On Jan 17, 2017 Daily Xtra reported: A lesbian refugee in Vancouver and the people supporting her are reeling from an imminent deportation order, which they say has provided them with little time to prepare an appeal.
Angela, whose last name and specific country of origin in Africa have not been released due to safety concerns, came to Canada in 2014 as an international student and the following year applied for refugee status on the grounds that she faces threats of bodily harm and imprisonment if she were to return home.
The Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada denied her application. However, in July 2016 a newspaper in her home country published an article that included Angela’s full name and that of her girlfriend. Angela’s advocates say the article incited homophobic violence against them.
Sharalyn Jordan, a Simon Fraser University professor whose research focuses on LGBT refugee protection, has been supporting Angela during this process and says the publication of the article last summer has only heightened the danger Angela faces in returning to her country of origin, where gay or lesbian sexual orientation is a criminal offence.
“What happened to her girlfriend is she was apprehended by police and they used the threat of criminal sanctions — imprisonment — to extort money and sex. They sexually assaulted her,” Jordan says. “So of course this is what [Angela] fears would happen to her.”
Angela could not be reached for comment prior to publication.
In the wake of the article’s publication outing her at home, Angela was granted a Pre-Removal Risk Assessment (PRRA), a process designed to ensure people being removed from Canada are not then sent to a country where they are in danger or risk persecution. However, according to Jordan and others involved in Angela’s case, the newspaper article outing Angela was excluded from evidence during this assessment.