Putting a Face on the Removal of the Pre-Removal Risk Assessment: Refugee Claimant Could Be Deported And Face Death Penalty

Earlier this summer the Government of Canada introduced changes to Canadian immigration regulations in order to help prevent abuses to the refugee system. The law drew criticism from human rights advocacy organizations across the world because it only hurts refugees and not the actual criminals, such as the human smugglers.

Photo from the Toronto Star.

One of the changes of the new law was that there was a one-year ban on pre-removal risk assessments (PRRAs) for failed refugees, in order to deport them faster once their refugee claim in Canada was denied.

What is a Pre-Removal Risk Assessment?

A pre-removal risk assessment is a determination of whether when a failed refugee claimant is deported back to their native country they will face significant risk or not. There is a legal definition for PRRAs and the vast majority of applications are refused.

Fatemeh Derakhshandeh Tosarvandan filed a refugee claim that was refused on October 5th, 2011. She is originally from Iran and faces charges of adultery if she were to be deported back there. The punishment for adultery in Iran? Death by stoning.

Here is a video where Lisa Winter-Card discusses the case on the Sun News Network.

Ms. Tosarvandan is banned from obtaining a pre-removal risk assessment before her deportation that is scheduled for October 2nd – three days before the ban is lifted. A pre-removal risk assessment would allow her to present evidence that she is potentially facing the death penalty in Iran should she be deported, and that her estranged husband made up the charges against her.

It is somewhat ironic that Canada just severed diplomatic ties to Iran, because Iran is a violator of human rights.

This is exactly the reason why human rights advocates across the globe rallied against the new refugee law changes earlier this year.

We are representing Ms. Tosarvandan and are hoping for the best outcome for her and her family.

Michael Niren

About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the Associate Member of the American Bar Association. Read more

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