Immigration detainees in Lindsay jail stage protest and hunger strike

September 20, 2013

[Excerpt of article from torstar.com]

GTA immigration detainees recently transferred to a jail in Lindsay, Ont., held a protest and staged a hunger strike this week over what they describe as unfair treatment.

About 200 inmates being held in Greater Toronto have been relocated to the Central East Correctional Centre since August because of a coming closure of the Toronto West Detention Centre, a move critics say isolates the detainees and keeps them from receiving help and support.

… …

“Basically, they were upset they had no access to anything, their family, legal counsel or any recreational program,” said a source who was informed about the situation.

The detainees, deemed a flight risk while awaiting deportation, have complained about not being able to make phone calls to lawyers and families, frequent lockdowns due to short staff, and disregard of their dietary needs.

“We have had a hard time communicating with our clients,” said Toronto immigration lawyer Guidy Mamann, who has had about two dozen clients transferred to Lindsay.

“More than 45 per cent of the immigration (files) are in Greater Toronto, and Lindsay is two hours from the city. The whole thing just makes no sense. It is a crazy situation.”
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