Call for Urgent Permit to Save Afghan Women’s Rights DefenderWritten by Rural Refugee Rights Network
OCT 14, 2022
Please take 2 minutes to send an urgent email and make a call to Sean Fraser Minister for Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), Caroline Xavier, Assistant Deputy Minister (IRCC), Jenny Kwan NDP IRCC Critic, Marci Ien Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth in order to protest the potentially lethal rejection of Farzana Adell Ghadiya’s application for protection in Canada.
Shockingly, Canadian immigration appear not to have read it or to have processed it under the completely wrong criteria. Either way, this decision must be immediately reversed given the risk of Farzana being forcibly returned to torture and death in Afghanistan.
As a persecuted women’s rights activist, Hazara minority, and Ismaili Muslim – a combination that makes her a priority target of the Taliban – Adell Ghadiya had applied for a Temporary Resident Permit for Protection (TRP) given that she meets all the qualifications under the humanitarian program for Afghan refugees. It is a perfectly legitimate route for refugees to get to Canada (one often employed successfully by the Rural Refugee Rights Network), but Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) failed to read her application materials and issued a boilerplate rejection usually sent to applicants for a temporary resident visa, a document that is time-limited and premised on the likelihood that the visitor will return to their country of origin.
But Farzana did not apply for a temporary resident visa. She applied for a Temporary Resident Permit for Protection (TRP).
It’s a fundamental breach of fairness to assess an application as something it isn’t. It shows how little value the lives of Afghan women have for the Canadian government, which had no trouble getting almost 100,000 Ukrainians here in 9 months but has barely brought 20,000 Afghans here in 14 months. Minister Fraser must issue her a permit immediately before she winds up in a Taliban dungeon or six feet under.
Farzana’s work building girls’ schools and maternity hospitals and starting educational programs drew significant Taliban threats through her years in Afghanistan, resulting in a 2013 beating so severe that she was left for dead, suffering pain to this day from a leg injury and two ruptured discs sustained in that beating. Her work as Chief of Staff for the UN High Commission on Women from 2016-2017 also places her in the gun sights of the Taliban.
In addition to almost 34,000 supporters on a change.org petition, Farzana enjoys a strong support community of women in Ottawa, who speak with her on a regular basis and send money to keep her going in a third country where she is in hiding due to fears of being swept up in frequent street roundups and forcibly returned to her death in Afghanistan.
Despite her disappointment, Adell Ghadiya feels hopeful that pressure from Canadians will turn this negative ruling around. “I really believe that if Mr. Fraser read my file, he would approve it,” she says. “I have seen so much love and kindness from Canadians supporting me and so many other Afghan people seeking safety, and I put my faith and trust in them to continue speaking up so that we can find the protection we need.”
To sign the petition on Change.org and to get information on how to write to key Members of Parliament, click here