Gay Palestinian seeking asylum in Canada set to be deported despite death threats

CanadaJun2 2, 2015 – Reported by – TORONTO — If the Canadian government decides to deport John Calvin back to Palestine on Nov. 4, he believes he will be killed.

“It’s a known thing that it will be a death sentence, so there would be no way around it,” he said from his home in Edmonton.

“Scared, terrified, disappointed, there’s a bunch of different things that one in my situation would feel.”

The Canadian government believes the 24-year-old is, or was, a member of the Palestinian militant organization Hamas and therefore is ineligible to seek asylum in Canada as a refugee.

But Calvin fled his chaotic upbringing under one of the most notorious pro-Hamas families in Palestine at the age of 19, which is why he says he has taken on a new name, and a new life, in Canada.

READ MORE: Government restores health coverage to refugee dying of cancer

Calvin’s refugee claim was based on his assertion that he had abandoned Hamas and that members of his family had tried to kill him for doing so and that his life would be in immediate danger upon returning to Palestine.

Initially, his case looked favourable after his lawyer says an immigration hearing determined his young age and minimal interactions with Hamas proved he was not a member of the group that the Canadian government designates as a radical Islamist-nationalist terrorist organization.

But a second hearing with the Immigration Appeal Division reached the opposite conclusion and Calvin is set to be deported on Nov. 4.

“So you have these two completely contradictory and inconsistent decisions and unfortunately John doesn’t get the benefit of the doubt, he gets the worse decision imposed against him,” said Calvin’s lawyer Nate Whitling, who is also one of Omar Khadr’s lawyers, adding that an appeal to that decision was flatly denied without explanation.

“That’s the end, we can’t appeal that any further so we’re sort of out of options in the courts and John is stuck with this decision.”…story continues below…

via Gay Palestinian seeking asylum in Canada set to be deported despite death threats |

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