Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Paralyzed refugee claimant gets 60-day stay of deportation

Canadian Press

The federal government has granted a 60-day stay of a deportation order to a paralyzed Indian refugee claimant who was to have been removed from Canada on Monday.

Supporter Harpreet Singh says Laibar Singh is happy to be remaining in Canada for now.

The Sikh community asked people to e-mail the immigration minister as well as Minister of Public Safety Stockwell Day, and thousands of e-mails were sent, he said.

More than a dozen politicians and community leaders also urged the federal government to allow Laibar Singh to stay in Canada.

Since July, Laibar Singh has lived in sanctuary at a Sikh temple in Abbotsford, east of Vancouver.

He left his safety zone Monday to seek treatment at a hospital, where he was arrested.

His lawyer, Zool Suleman, wants his client to be allowed to stay on humanitarian grounds. Suleman said if his client is deported back to India, his health will be in danger.

The lawyer says Singh has no one to care for him in India and doesn't have money to support himself there.

Harpreet Singh said Laibar Singh will be returning to the temple and that his health expenses will be borne by the local Sikh community.