The scandalous story of an Afghan interpreter Sayed Shah Sharifi who was denied a visa allegedly because he reporteted his difficulties with the Canadian immigration process to the media, has been denied his visa under a special measures program announced in 2009. This program was designed to help Afghan interpreters get visas to Canada who qualified under the program.
I was interviewed by the CBC concerning a story about an interpreter Muhibollah Karegar, whose visa was denied based on a technicality. Now another, even more troubling story comes to light where Mr. Sharifi, a supposed model interperter with a well documented case of being targeted by the Taliban, was denied a visa because he came to the media about his story. What is most troubling about this one is that Mr. Sharifi was accepted by the program only to be denied at the very end of the process–after he was initially approved in principle.
Canada Immigration even admits it is in part because he came to the media. After all if he was really afraid, why would he publicize his name in the papers? Well, the applicant says his name was already well known and he has been a target long before his name hit the papers. He was desperate. His long wait in the immigration queue for his number to come up compelled him to tell his story. Now that he did, he has been punished so it would seem. Looks like another blemish on our already tarnished immigration system.
You can listen to my interview on the topic on CRFB here
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