Honourable Chris Alexander
Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Canada
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6
CC : Thomas Mulcair
Member of Parliament for Outremont
3333 Queen Mary, suite 310
Monday, July 29th, 2013
Re : Mr. Muhammad Khalil Awan and Mrs. Khurshid Begum Awan
Dear Minister Alexander,
My name is ___(name)___, and I am a member of ___(add name of organization, or affiliation, or community group if appropriate, with description)___.
I am writing in support of Mr. Muhammad Khalil Awan and Mrs. Khurshid Begum Awan, a family living in Montreal with their daughter Tahira Malik and their grandson Ali. They arrived in 2011 from Lahore, where they were targetted by extremist and criminal gangs related to the Sipah E Sahaba, an anti-Shia group banned in Pakistan.
I am gravely concerned by the fact that Mr. Awan was deported in April 2013, where he lives in hiding outside of Lahore, and already has been targeted by extremist violence. Both Mr. and Mrs. Awan are quite elderly with significant health problems, which were not taken into due consideration. Just last week, Mrs. Awan was again hospitalized following a heart attack. Despite many affadavits from doctors advising against her removal, CBSA showed up at the emergency room to detain and then deport Mrs. Awan. Due to public pressure and the advice of her doctor she was granted a six week stay on grounds that she cannot fly, however deportation remains imminent and her health continues to suffer.
It is also disturbing that during their refugee hearing, Mrs. Awan was not allowed to testify because of a panic attack she had a month earlier, despite her insistence and wishes to do so. The fear and violence lived by several minority communities in Pakistan take on a particular dimension for women and every refugee claimant has the right to be heard.
There is a very real danger for Shias living in Pakistan right now, and Canada should and must act to protect these people and families.
I ask, Minister Alexander, that you intervene to grant Mrs. Awan permanent residency and to stop the all removal procedures against her. I also ask that you allow Mr. Awan to rejoin his wife, daughter and grandson in safety in Montreal.
____ (your name or signature)____.