FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MARCH 29, 2007
NDP DEMANDS END TO 113- DAY HUNGER STRIKE
Ongoing hunger strike in protest of conditions of detention at KIHC
OTTAWA – The ongoing hunger strike by Hassan Almrei has reached an alarming 113 days and is causing concern as he protests the conditions of his detention at the Kingston Immigration Holding Centre (KIHC) under a security certificate.
NDP Citizenship and Immigration Critic Bill Siksay (Burnaby-Douglas) had demanded that the Minister of Public Safety Stockwell Day and the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Diane Finley immediately resolve the situation at KIHC.
“The Minister of Public Safety must know that hunger strikes of this length are extremely dangerous,” said Siksay. “Minister Day has often responded by saying that the detainees have access to chocolate sauce in the refrigerator at the detention centre. Mr. Almrei isn't eating. He's only drinking water and orange juice. Access to chocolate sauce doesn't counter indefinite detention without charge or conviction or inhumane treatment. The minister should stop trivializing a very serious situation.”
Two other detainees at KIHC, Mahmoud Jaballah and Mohammad Mahjoub have been ordered released by the courts on extremely strict conditions. This action was taken weeks ago, yet they still remain in custody at Kingston.
“The government must live up to the court decision and ensure that these men are immediately reunited with their families,” said Siksay. “This process has taken far too long.”
“Despite their efforts to be heard, the men’s concerns about the conditions of their detention are still not being addressed,” said Siksay. “Minister Day has refused to address the arbitrary rules and unfair conditions they are subjected to on a daily basis such as petty head counts, inability to cook for themselves or dial telephones. Action must be taken before there is a terrible tragedy.”
Siksay has called on Day as the minister responsible for the Kingston Immigration Holding Centre to appoint the Correctional Investigator of Canada to seek an immediate resolution to the hunger strike and the issues raised by the detainees. Day has refused to act on this suggestion, or make any other provision for an end to the hunger strike.
For more information please contact:
The Office of Bill Siksay: 613-996-5597