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Deporting Jamila Bibi to Pakistan is the equivalent of a death sentence

A Saskatoon woman, Jamila Bibi, is facing expulsion from Canada and a possible “honour killing” in her home country of Pakistan for the criminal charge of adultery.

Photo courtesy of CTV News Canada

It’s hard to believe this is actually happening in our very own country, but ’tis so. A Saskatoon woman, Jamila Bibi, was removed from a women’s detention facility in Saskatchewan early Tuesday morning, where she was temporarily detained as part of her deportation. She is wanted for criminal charges of adultery in Pakistan and is likely to face an “honour killing” by her husband’s family (by stoning) if deported.

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Bibi’s lawyer, Bashir Khan, filed a motion for a stay of removal with the Federal Court, but it was rejected on Monday afternoon. Bibi, 63, has been given a five-day notice by the Canada Border Services Agency before being deported. Khan attempted to get in touch with his client on Monday but learned she has already been removed from the province and is in custody. Bibi came to Canada in 2007, claiming refugee status. A rally in her support was held in Saskatoon this weekend.

The United Nations’ Office of Human Rights has yet to recommend a course of action for Bibi’s case but has urged the government of Canada to refrain from removing Jamila until a decision has been made. The deportation process is moving forward anyway. Amnesty International Canada is, naturally, very unhappy about the government’s decision.

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So, should Bibi be deported or not? The Canada Border Services claims there is insufficient evidence of potential physical harm to protect Bibi from deportation, but when it comes to a possible “honour killing,” should the government be gambling with a person’s life? This is not a risk of a fine or jail time, but a danger of a stoning. Canada may be frivolously sending Bibi to her death whilst dangling its humanitarian reputation on the edge of an abyss.

There may be grounds for Bibi’s deportation, but to ensure her safety, a full investigation needs to be conducted before she is sent back to Pakistan. At the very least, the government of Canada can wait for a ruling from the United Nations’ Office of Human Rights. What do you think?

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