Suresh 'in danger' - Amnesty International

[TamilNet, Friday, 09 January 1998, 23:59 GMT]
Amnesty International said today that Mr. Suresh Manickavasagam "would be in danger of serious human rights violations, particularly torture", were he to be forcibly deported to Sri Lanka. The London-based human rights organization called for public appeals against Mr. Suresh's planned deportation from Canada.

In a statement issued today, Amnesty International said that it "has documented the widespread torture of individuals, particularly those suspected of being members of the LTTE in the custody of the security forces in Sri Lanka.".

Mr. Suresh, the coordinator of the World Tamil Movement, a Canadian Tamil expatriate organization, was arrested on 18 October 1995. The Canadian intelligence agency (CSIS) maintains that the WTM is a front for the LTTE, and that as its coordinator, Mr. Suresh was a person deemed inadmissible into Canada.

"The Canadian government is bound by the internationally recognized principal of non-refoulement, which prohibits states from forcibly returning people to countries where they risk serious human rights violations" said Amnesty, noting that Canada had already recognized Mr. Suresh as a Convention refugee in 1991.

The Canadian immigration authorities have advised Mr. Suresh's lawyers that he is to be deported to Sri Lanka on January 13, but later the date was changed to January 19.

Amnesty International said it "opposed the forcible return of anyone to a country where he or she may be at risk of human rights violations, irrespective of any accusations against them" and called for public appeals against the deportation to be sent to the Canadian Prime Minister, Minister of Justice and Minister of Citizenship and immigration.


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