Over 180 immigration detainees in Lindsay, Ontario’s Central East Correctional Centre (CECC) began protest actions against conditions of their detention on September 18th, 2013 . The detainees were moved from other prisons in the Greater Toronto Area, to about two hours away, and have lost touch with families and legal support as a result. Conditions at Lindsay are substantially worse for them then before. On September 23rd, 191 prisoners began a hunger strike in protest against the inhumane conditions they are forced to endure, presenting CECC and the Canadian Border Service Agency (CBSA) with a list of basic demands.
These demands are for better access to medical care and social workers, cheaper phone calls and access to international calling cards (many have family overseas), access to better food, like the food on the non-immigration ranges, an end to constant lockdowns, keep the improved canteen program going and better access to legal aid and legal services. Additionally, detainees are demanding that the CBSA grant specific requests to move individuals to facilities nearer to their families, legal resources, and social services.
Given that CBSA leases the cells from CECC and thus both aim to save money, these basics needs are even less accessible for imprisoned (im)migrants than they are for the general population.
Some of the prisoners are long-term detainees, people immigration enforcement cannot deport but will not release. Others have been designated as ‘high security’ based on prior criminal history but this can be as little as an arrest that has not led to conviction. Some people have been in jail for over 7 years because Canada unlike the US and UK has no limit on how long someone can be held prior to deportation.
Take Action right now to support the Lindsay Immigration Detainee strikers!