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Bisexual asylum seeker to be deported to Jordan where he will face ‘certain death’

Patrick Kelleher April 4, 2021
Canada asylum seeker bisexual Jordan

A bisexual asylum seeker is set to be deported to Jordan from Canada despite threats from his family. (Envato Elements)

A bisexual asylum seeker is facing deportation to Jordan where he will face “certain death”, his lawyers have said.

The man, named Samer, was told by his family that he will be burned to death or thrown off a building if he returns to Jordan, Stewart Istvanffy, a lawyer, told CTV News.

Samer was “shamed by his family” and is now terrified that Canadian authorities are going to deport him to his home country on Monday (5 April) after a plea for leniency failed.

“I’m facing death if I go there,” Samer, who currently resides in Montreal, told CTV. “They even know what time Monday I’m going to be deported from here. There’s no way I’ll escape.”

The asylum seeker, who withheld his surname to avoid drawing the attention of his family, arrived in Canada in spring 2019 after he lived in the United States for 13 years.

Samer fled the United States after his electronic store in Cleveland, Ohio, was robbed. The assailants later shot at the store and vandalised the shop front with racist messages.

He thought he would be safer in Canada, but the opposite was the case. Under Canadian law, Samer cannot even be considered for asylum because he had a criminal conviction in the United States.

Samer was convicted of vehicular homicide following a car accident when he was just 18-years-old. His best friend, a passenger in the car, was killed, and Samer served two years in prison.

Lawyer urges authorities to prevent bisexual asylum seeker’s deportation to Jordan

Samer was not aware when he fled to Canada that he could not be legally considered for asylum in the country because of his past criminal conviction.

Tragically, Samer requested that he be deported to the United States instead of Jordan – but the United States refused to accept him, meaning he will be sent back to his home country.

Samer’s lawyer is now petitioning minister of public safety, Bill Blair, to intervene and stop his deportation, which is scheduled for Monday.

Iyan Hayadi of AGIR Montreal, an organisation that works with LGBT+ migrants, said: “They’re basically sending a man to his death. In Jordan there might not be a… law against homosexuality, but the theory versus the reality is very different.”

Istvanffy said he is “ashamed” as a Canadian of the treatment Samer has endured in the country, which includes homophobic mistreatment from immigration staff.

 

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