Canada court denounces illegal detention of Gambian migrant

Canada court denounces illegal detention of Gambian migrant

A superior court in Canada has ruled that Gambian immigration detainee Ebrahim Toure’s confinement in a maximum security jail without being charged is a violation of human rights and freedoms, the Toronto Star reported.

Toure has been a detainee for the last four and a half years.

The court, apart from terming the case a violation of rights and freedoms, on Thursday ruled that Toure should be transferred from maximum security jail to minimum security jail.

However, the court has denied the release of Toure as it said the government still has the right to detain him.

Justice Alfred O’Marra said it is an injustice to hold Toure in such a maximum-security jail as he has no criminal records in the past.

O’Marra was quoted by the Star: “His only conviction is for a non-violent property offense from 12 years ago in Georgia.”

“. . . Mr. Toure has spent more time in a maximum-security facility than someone convicted of a serious crime,” O’Marra added.

Toure, 46, however, is willing to be deported to the Gambia, from where he has come, but said he does not have the identity documents and also the Gambia authorities refused to help him by providing him any.

Immigration officials, however, accused him of hiding some identities. They believe Toure’s original name is Bakaba Toure and also said that until December 2015, he insisted to be from Guinea.

But O’Marra said Toure refused to provide DNA sample.

Jared Will, Toure’s lawyer, was quoted by the Star: “What do we do about the fact that his rights were violated over the four-and-a-half-year period that he was held (in maximum-security jail)? That’s the question the (Canada Border Services Agency) should be asking itself with respect to all the other detainees that they’re continuing to hold there.”

(Reporting and Writing by Mustapha Darboe; Editing by Sam Phatey)

Comments are closed.