Canadian rights groups decry 'suspicious' deaths of foreigners held at immigration centres awaiting deportation

Montreal: Civil rights groups have decried the unexplained deaths of two foreign nationals in one week while in Canadian immigration custody awaiting deportation.

Representational image. Getty Images

Representational image. Getty Images

"These sudden and successive deaths in the custody of CBSA (Canada Border Services Agency) are troubling," Monia Mazigh, director of the International Civil Liberties Monitoring
Group, said in a statement on Tuesday.

The CBSA reported the deaths of two persons at the Toronto detention facility, but gave no cause of death or other

According to the ICLMG, Francisco Javier Romero Astorga from Chile, was found on Sunday in his cell without vital signs. A week earlier, Melkioro Gahungu of Burundi, committed suicide, according to unnamed sources cited by the rights groups.

The ICLMG and the immigration rights coalition End Immigration Detention Network noted that since 2000 there have been 14 suspicious deaths of immigration detainees in Canada.

"The circumstances of these deaths are shrouded in secrecy and to our knowledge no one has been held accountable," said Mazigh, who called for a government investigation.


Updated Date: Mar 16, 2016 07:46 AM

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