EXTERNAL AI Index: AMR 20/02/98
23 January 1998
Further information on EXTRA 05/98 (AMR 20/01/98, 9 January 1998) - Fear of
refoulement / Fear of torture
CANADAManickavasagam Suresh, aged 42
Manickavasagam Suresh, a Tamil man from Sri Lanka, is still facing imminent
forcible return to Sri Lanka, where he would be in danger of serious human
rights violations, particularly torture.
On 19 January l998, his deportation from Canada, scheduled for the same day,
was stayed until 23 January 1998, in order to give an Ontario Court the
opportunity to hear a motion to stay his removal.
In an affidavit presented to the Federal Court of Canada, a lawyer acting on
behalf of the Department of Citizenship and Immigration summarized a
communication received by one official from another official, advising that
the Sri Lankan government had given assurances to other officials of the Canadian
government that Manickavasagam Suresh would not be subjected to "torture or
degrading treatment". The communication notes that it was "presumed" that the
Sri Lankan government would provide protection.
In these circumstances, Amnesty International does not view that adequate
assurances have been given that Manickavasagam Suresh will not be subjected
to torture if returned to Sri Lanka.
FURTHER RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/faxes in English or in your
- urging that Manickavasagam Suresh not be forcibly returned to Sri Lanka and
expressing deep concern that, if returned, he would be at risk of serious human
rights violations, in particular torture, in Sri Lanka;
- urging that Canada abide by its obligations under the Convention against
Torture and that Manickavasagam Suresh not be put at risk of torture irrespective
of any accusations against him;
- noting that the Canadian government is bound by the internationally-recognized
principle of non-refoulement, which prohibits states from forcibly returning
people to countries where they risk serious human rights violations.
Office of the Prime Minister
Ottawa, Ontario KIA 0A2, Canada
Faxes: +1 613 995 0101
Telegrams: Prime Minister, Ottawa, Canada
Salutation: Dear Prime Minister
Minister of Justice
Department of Justice
Ottawa, Ontario K1A OH8, Canada
Faxes: + 1 613 941 2279