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Guinean refugee in Montreal fears deportation after being targeted for bisexuality

CTVNews.ca Employees , with a report from CTV Montreal’s Angela MacKenzie
Printed Sunday, July 28, 2019 8:45PM EDT

Draped in a rainbow flag, an LGBTQ refugee going solely by the pseudonym Karim pleaded for his life in Montreal on Sunday.

Karim fled his dwelling nation of Guinea round 4 years in the past, after he was outed as a bisexual man.

Now, whereas different members of the LGBTQ neighborhood in Montreal are gearing up for Pleasure celebrations, Karim is dealing with deportation again to Guinea, the place homosexuality is outlawed.

He spoke earlier than media on Sunday together with his again to cameras, afraid to reveal his identification.

“I’m asking the Canadian government to save my life and my children’s lives,” he mentioned in French, the rainbow flag pulled round his shoulders.

Karim has been in Canada since he was compelled to flee Guinea.

As a member of a significant Guinean political celebration, he was the sufferer of a smear marketing campaign when his sexual identification was made public, and an arrest warrant was issued for him.

Now he fears his life is in danger.

In a press release launched Sunday, Karim mentioned he may “not believe” that the nation the place he discovered security may deport him.

“My life has been destroyed in Guinea and my family is in hiding,” he mentioned. “As someone who identifies as bisexual, sending me to Guinea is sending me to my death.”

Queer individuals in Guinea face jail time and the specter of demise steadily, in line with activist Mohamed Barry.

“He has to hide all the time,” Barry instructed CTV Information. “If he gets (caught), he gonna get killed for sure.”

Based on Karim’s lawyer, Stewart Istvanffy, the one hope for Karim is that if the federal authorities steps in.

It’s occurred as soon as earlier than: in 2017, Karim confronted deportation, however the federal immigration minister, Ahmed Hussein, intervened on the final minute.

Nevertheless, since then Karim’s appeals have been rejected. He utilized for everlasting residence on the idea of humanitarian grounds in February, however was refused in March, he mentioned within the assertion.

Istvanffy mentioned that his circumstances aren’t being listened to, and that he’s being judged by related circumstances, as a substitute of getting the particulars of his state of affairs acknowledged.

“They wouldn’t look at the evidence, they wouldn’t hear him on the substance, and since then they’ve rejected all new evidence,” Istanvffy instructed CTV Information.

Istvanffy plans to go to federal courtroom to ask for a keep of deportation. A listening to is about for Monday afternoon.

“We will see if this government is sympathetic to … LGBTQ rights or if it’s all hypocrisy,” Istanvffy mentioned.

In the meantime, the queer neighborhood in Montreal is standing in solidarity with Karim.

“Pride, a moment when we are supposed to be celebrating LGBTQ+ communities, is in a little less than a week. Instead of celebrating, we’re here today, fighting to save Karim, an endangered member of our community,” mentioned Meryem Benslimane of Motion LGBTQ avec les immigrantEs et refugieEs (AGIR).

“We are asking the Canadian authorities to allow him to continue living a safe and dignified life here in Montreal, where he can be himself without fear of danger.”

It’s assist that Karim dearly wants, together with his future hanging within the steadiness.

“Today,” he mentioned Sunday. “I am between life and death.”

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