ICC Demands Government Action to Protect Iranian-Canadians at the US-Canada Border

This letter is following up to a previous correspondence sent on January 7th, 2020, in which we communicated our concerns over reports of discrimination against Iranian-Canadians at the US-Canada border.

In some cases, Iranian-Canadians have reported being held for over 30 hours without explanation and being asked racially charged questions. Some have reported being finger printed before being sent back to Canada and are worried about what the United States plans on doing with these finger prints.

There have also been reports from Canadian outlets about the United States government collecting DNA samples from those who are detained at the border, which can be very dangerous for all Canadians who wish to enter the United States, whether it be for business or personal reasons.

Since these initial reports, the accusations were confirmed and leaked memos have shown that individuals of Iranian descent, including Canadian citizens, residents, and international students, are being discriminated against by US border officials, subject to extra interrogation, and being detained, solely because of their national origin, as part of what seems to be formal government policy. 

We ask again that the Prime Minister's Office, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Minister of Public Safety immediately investigate this issue and lodge the strongest possible complaint with the Trump administration. We expect the Canadian government to stand up against this racial discrimination by Donald Trump's government, a discrimination not only violates the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, but also international laws that prohibit discrimination based on national or ethnic origin.

Sincerely,
Pouyan Tabasinejad 
Vice President 
Iranian Canadian Congress 

کنگره ایرانیان کانادا طومار نژاد پرستانه «درخواست خروج دانشجوهای ایرانی» را محکوم می‌کند

کنگره ایرانیان کانادا طومار نژاد پرستانه «درخواست خروج دانشجوهای ایرانی» را محکوم می‌کند.

هفته گذشته، ازرالوانت، از ربل مدیا، در پاسخ به سقوط هواپیمای ۷۵۲ اوکراینی طوماری نوشت که در آن از دانشگاه‌های کانادا درخواست میکند دانشجو‌های با تابعیت ایرانی را اخراج کند، این در حالیست که پس از سقوط هواپیمای اوکراینی درخشش و نقش دانشجوهای ایرانی در جامعه علمی کانادا پر رنگتر از قبل شد.

کنگره ایرانیان کانادا ضمن ابراز خشم و انزجار جامعه ایرانی-کانادایی از این طومار که توسط رسانه راست‌گ...رای افراطی به منظور فرصت طلبی و بهره برداری از فاجعه سقوط هواپیما منتشر شده، بار دیگر تاکید میکند: ایرانیان کانادا و بخصوص دانشجویان بین‌المللی ایرانی مشغول به تحصیل در کانادا، جز اصلی و تاثیرگذار در پیشرفت علم و دانش کانادا هستند، و ما تا اخرین لحظه از حقمان برای ماندن در کانادا ،خلاف سلیقه مهاجر‌ستیزانی مانند ازرا لاونت، دفاع خواهیم کرد.

بدین منظور کنگره ایرانیان کانادا با تمام قوا بدنبال یافتن گزینه مناسب برای پاسخ به تنفر پراکنی و تبعیض علیه ایرانیان میباشد، گزینه های پیش رو شامل درخواست برای بررسی تبعیض علنی علیه ایرانیان، و سوال از شبکه های اجتماعی برای در اختیار قرار دادن تریبون به نفرت پراکنی و مهاجر ستیزیست. بزودی اطلاعات بیشتر را در این امر مهم به اطلاع شما می‌رسانیم.

English Version Here


ICC CONDEMNS RACIST PETITION CALLING FOR EXPULSION OF IRANIAN STUDENTS

 

Last week, Ezra Levant of the notorious Rebel Media outlet created a petition that called for, among other things, the expulsion of Iranian international students from Canadian universities, supposedly in reaction to the downing of Flight 752.

The Iranian Canadian Congress expresses the anger that many Iranian Canadians feel toward Levant and his far-right outlet for trying to take advantage of a tragedy that has affected the Iranian Canadian community so deeply, as well as his effort to use this tragedy as an excuse to attack our community. Iranian Canadians, including and especially Iranian international students studying in Canada, are an integral part of Canadian society and we will defend our right to stay here in Canada despite the wishes of hateful people like Ezra Levant.

In this effort, the Iranian Canadian Congress is vigorously exploring its options in responding to this hateful and reprehensible action by Levant, including asking for social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to deplatform Levant and Rebel Media, and exploring whether Levant's actions constitute hate speech.

Please stay tuned for more information about this important case.

Persian statement here


Iranian Canadian Congress's Message to Prime Minister Trudeau

Find below a message sent from the Iranian Canadian Congress to Prime Minister Trudeau in the aftermath of Flight 752:

Dear Prime Minister Justin Trudeau,

On behalf of the Iranian Canadian Congress, we would like to thank you for the leadership, sensitivity, and compassion that you've shown to the Iranian Canadian community and Canadians at large as we cope with the tragic events of Flight 752.

Iranian Canadians are looking to our Canadian government to help provide accountability, transparency, and justice to the victims and their families. Specifically, the Iranian authorities need to be held accountable for not only the lives lost but also for the misleading statements released from Iran following the incident. We appreciate that you and the Canadian Government have committed yourselves to these very principles.

We also commend Prime Minister Trudeau for calling for de-escalation in the region, rightfully noting that “If there were no tensions, if there was no escalation recently in the region, those Canadians would be right now home with their families."

Although the responsible Iranian authorities should in no way be exonerated, it is important to recognize, as you have, that the first victims of war and conflict are innocent civilians. Furthermore, as this tragic incident has shown, the 300,000 strong  Iranian Canadian community means that any threat to innocent lives in Iran is also a threat to Canadian lives.

The ties that bond Canada and Iran are deep and they require that Canada take a positive and active role in the region to help foster peace and stability in the region, a role that can draw on the long-standing Canadian tradition of mediation and diplomacy. 

We thank you for the support you have shown the Iranian Canadian community in committing to bring accountability, transparency, and justice for families of the victims as well as working towards a peace that helps ensure that such a tragedy will never happen again. We look forward to working with the Government on these difficult yet vital goals.

Sincerely, 
The Iranian Canadian Congress

IRANIAN CANADIAN CONGRESS STATEMENT ON NEWS ABOUT FLIGHT 752

Late last night, the Iranian government released a statement admitting that they shot down Flight 752. As Prime Minister Trudeau emphasized in his press conference, there needs to be transparency, accountability and justice.

The Iranian Canadian Congress condemns the actions of the Iranian government in providing false information to the public during the past three days. Those who have committed this crime of shooting down a passenger airplane and those who have been responsible in releasing false information must be held accountable. 

A transparent and thorough investigation of the tragedy must be completed, with full cooperation and oversight by international bodies and independent investigators to confirm what happened and identify those responsible. 

The families of the victims of this horrible tragedy must be supported in any way deemed appropriate and desired by the families, including through restitution. 

We also ask that the Canadian government works with allies to mediate conflicts in an effort to de-escalate tensions in the region to prevent further loss of life. Canada must stand for peace.


ICC VP Asks PM Trudeau, Ministers, to Stand Up for Iranian-Canadians at Canada-US Border

 

Find below a letter sent by ICC VP Pouyan Tabasinejad to Prime Minister Trudeau, Foreign Minister Champagne, and Immigration Minister Mendicino, as well as their Conservative and NDP counterparts Andrew Scheer, Erin O'Toole, Peter Kent, Jagmeet Singh, Jack Harris, and Jenny Kwan with regard to discrimination against Iranian-Canadians at the Canada-US border:

 
Honourable Prime Minister Trudeau, Minister Champagne, and Minister Mendicino,

I am writing this letter to you on behalf of the Iranian Canadian Congress, a non-profit and non-partisan advocacy organization dedicated to defending the interests of the Iranian Canadian community, a population estimated at 300,000 across the country.

Iranian-Canadian Congress has been hearing reports of Canadians of Iranian heritage are being detained and held for questioning at the Canada-USA border due to their ethnicity. Aside from facing undue delays, these individuals have been asked to answer questions about their political beliefs and their views on the recent crisis in the Middle East. This means that Canadians residents as well as citizens are being racially profiled at the US border.

In some cases, Iranian-Canadians have reported being held for over 30 hours without explanation and being asked racially charged questions. Some have reported being finger printed before being sent back to Canada and are worried about what the United States plans on doing with these finger prints.

There have been reports from Canadian outlets about the United States government collecting DNA samples from those who are detained at the border, which can be very dangerous for all Canadians who wish to enter the United States, whether it be for business or personal reasons.

We at the Iranian Canadian Congress are requesting that the Canadian government defend the rights of Canadians at the Canada-USA border and condemn the discriminatory actions of the United States government against Canadian citizens and residents.

Further, we request that an investigation be performed by the Federal government of Canada on the situation at the border, and if need be for the Canadian government to issue a travel advisory for Canadians entering the United States of America.

As Canadian citizens and residents, the Iranian-Canadian community 
expects the Canadian government defend the dignity and safety provided to us by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

 


Iranian Canadian Congress's Statement on Recent Events in the Middle East

The Trump Administration's assassination of Iran’s second most powerful man has been extremely concerning for many analysts and advocates for peace and security in the Middle East. As many analysts have noted, it is very possible that the tense situation in Iraq will be spread to Lebanon, Syria, Yemen, and even Afghanistan where Iran is capable of responding. 

For the Iranian-Canadian community particularly, this has made many in our community quite concerned as there is a real chance that the tensions further escalate and that the safety and well-being of their relatives and friends living in Iran are at risk.

This action by the Trump administration could be seen as part of US maximum pressure campaign against Iran that has not only failed to reach a “better deal” with Iran but it is constantly drifting the countries closer toward a direct military confrontations that will ultimately result in heavy costs for the region and the global community.
 
Additionally, this is an action that nearly all influential figures in Iraq condemned; indeed, the UN Special Rapporteur Agnes Callamard, also called it illegal and a violation of international human rights law.
 
At this moment, Canada must take a definitive stance against war and further escalation in the region. Furthermore, it is important to remember that Canada itself has real and important stakes in this volatile situation; it has approximately 850 soldiers in the Middle East and 500 in Iraq, and that any slide towards war puts the lives of Canadian soldiers in danger. The Iranian Canadian Congress believes Foreign Minister Champagne needs to take a stronger stance than that taken in his statement earlier today and squarely condemn acts of war by the Trump administration and work with our regional and European allies to prevent another disastrous war in the Middle East.

The ICC's Statement on Iran Protests

Please find below the Iranian Canadian Congress's statement on the protests currently occurring in Iran:

Sanctions and economic mismanagement have put tremendous financial pressure on people and the sudden increase in fuel prices has further deepen the economic troubles for Iranian people. We urge the international community to lift these harmful sanctions. 

The ICC strongly believes in the rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights including the right to peaceful assembly and condemns all forms of violence. The Iranian government should listen to people’s legitimate demands and respect their rights to peaceful protest as well as their access to the internet.

ICC Condemns Foreign-Linked Smear Campaign Against Richmond Hill MP Majid Jowhari

The Iranian Canadian Congress (ICC) has received multiple reports over the past few days about a smear campaign linked to Mujahedin-e-Khalq (MEK) against Iranian-Canadian MP and Richmond Hill candidate Majid Jowhari. 

MEK is an extremist Iranian opposition group that was listed in Canada as a terrorist entity as late as 2012. According to multiple reports the organization has dubious sources of funding and links to Saudi Arabia

On social media, fake accounts associated with MEK have distributed false information about Mr. Jowhari. Seemingly, the only reason behind the targeting of Mr. Jowhari by the MEK is that, aligned with PM Trudeau's promise in 2015 to re-engage with Iran and reopen the embassies, Mr. Jowhari supported this promise as well and presented the views of his constituents to the Canadian government. Time and again we have also witnessed that the majority of Canadian-Iranians also support diplomacy and peace with Iran and are against policies of sanctions and war. 

The ICC is extremely concerned about the MEK-linked smear campaign against a Canadian citizen running for public office. We are monitoring the situation carefully and will communicate our concerns with Canadian officials. 
   
We once again encourage all members of the Iranian-Canadian community to participate in the federal elections on October 21st and vote for the party or candidates who represent their views. 


Letter From 6 Canadian Organizations on the Push for War with Iran

Find below a letter from 6 Canadian civil society and pro-peace organizations to Canada's major parties regarding worrying push towards war with Iran on the international stage:

Read more

About Us

The Iranian Canadian Congress is a non-profit, non-partisan and non-religious organization established in 2007 to represent the interests of Iranian-Canadians and encourage their participation in Canadian society.

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Toronto, Ontario, M2N 5W9

Email: info@iccongress.ca

Phone: 647-539-4344

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