Action Alert on Dr. Shazia Khalid

Friday, July 23 2010

Dr. Shazia Khalid was raped in Pakistan earlier this year. As in much of the world, she was expected to atone for her "sin" by killing herself.  Dr. Khalid pushed for justice.  Local authorities confined her to a psychiatric hospital, then kept her and her husband under house arrest for 2 months, her grandfather in law said she must be killed or at least divorced, then the authorities ordered them to leave the country and not have contact with journalists or human rights groups,- if they stayed, they would be killed by government "agencies". The couple was put on a plane to London, without their son. She wanted asylum in Canada where she has friends and relatives but a Canadian bureaucrat rejected the application because they were safe in Britain. She and her husband are now living in one room in a bad neighborhood in London, while applying for asylum in Britain. "If I had died then, it would have been better."

Canada can reconsider its refusal to grant them asylum.  The Minister has discretion to let the couple in on "humanitarian and compassionate grounds" or because of public policy considerations, according to s. 25 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.  Contact Joseph Volpe, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, email:  Ottawa, Ontario K1A 1L1.  

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