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Canada urged to help Times of Israel writer threatened with deportation to Iran

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Neda Amin NEDA AMIN/FACEBOOK

The Centre of Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) is appealing to the Canadian government to grant asylum to a Turkey-based, Iranian-born blogger for the Times of Israel’s Persian website. Neda Amin, 32, is being threatened with deportation to Iran.

Amin left Iran for Turkey in 2014 after having been arrested several times over things she’s written, including a book she published called The Chain, which is about female oppression in Iran.

In an Aug. 2 letter addressed to Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen, CIJA CEO Shimon Koffler Fogel explained that because Amin is an outspoken advocate for women’s rights and because she’s employed by an Israeli publication, she was granted refugee status by the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Despite being issued a document by the UNHCR that designated her as a refugee who is “protected from forcible return to a country where she would face threats to her life or freedom,” Amin received notice from Turkish immigration authorities on July 5 that her application for international protection had been rejected.

“Amin reported that she went to the UN office in Turkey, but the authorities refused to help. At present, if the situation doesn’t change, Ms. Amin will be deported on August 5,” Fogel wrote.

READ: PHOTOGRAPHER DOCUMENTS THE LANDMARKS OF IRAN’S HISTORICAL SITES

Amin told Arutz Sheva in July that in the three years she has been living in Turkey, she was harassed by its national intelligence organization on numerous occasions.

“People who said they work for the Turkish intelligence organization called me on the phone five or six times one-and-a-half years ago. Then they interrogated me at a foreigners’ branch directorate. They kept asking me why I wrote for an Israeli newspaper and with whom I have connections in Israel. Although I repeatedly said I am only a journalist, they accused me of being a spy for Israel,” Amin told Arutz Sheva, adding that if she is deported to Iran, she fears for her life.

Fogel urged the Canadian government to call on the Turkish government to cancel the deportation order, and to offer Amin asylum in Canada.

“Given Ms. Amin’s work as a journalist for an Israeli media outlet, her outspoken criticisms of the Iranian regime and her human rights work, her deportation back to Iran could conceivably result in her death,” Fogel wrote.

Fogel pointed to the case of Zahra Kazemi – the Iranian-Canadian photojournalist who was arrested, tortured and killed in 2003 for taking pictures of Tehran’s notorious Evin prison – as an example of what could happen to Amin, should she be deported back to Iran.

‘They kept asking me why I wrote for an Israeli newspaper.’

Members of the community are encouraged to add their names to Fogel’s letter.

Immigration ministry spokesperson Lisa Filipps said Canada relies on the UNHCR, private sponsors, referral organizations and other governments to refer refugees for resettlement, adding that “refugees cannot apply directly for resettlement to Canada nor can refugee claims be made at the Embassy of Canada.”

UN Watch, a Geneva-based NGO that monitors the performance of the UN, is circulating a petition that will be delivered to U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The petition, which has collected nearly 7,500 signatures to date, states that Amin “is in grave danger should she be deported back to Iran … where she could face execution.”

  • TerrorIsEvil

    Both Turkey and Iran are among the worst violators of human rights – Turkey and Iran have journalists being tortured in their jails just because they present the truth about these Islamist regimes.

    Canada must take a role in rescuing Neda Amin – especially after the egregious mistake of rewarding a former Canadian-born Taliban terrorist 10.5 million because, in my opinion they think he deserved compensation for his hardships in the terror business and for his “wonderful” contributions to jihad (without the government taking one smart step to defend Canada’s rights to properly litigate against a seditious terrorist who threw away his Canadian citizenship by joining an Islamist terror group and for getting the cash to him so quickly that his victims could not freeze the payments).

    This points out once again the antisemitism of Iran and Turkey for wanting to bring harm to a woman who is connected in any way with a Jewish company or media outlet. It is guilt by association. Maybe it is time to boycott goods from Turkey and Iran if they persist in going down the road of ending freedom for their own people, bringing harm to Muslims who want to be associated with peaceful western institutions and Israel and for terrorizing the world with their extreme Islamism.

  • Saeed Soltanpour

    Iran is violating human rights as Israel do systematically before the establishment of Iran New regime . why you do not grant asylum to her in Israel since she looks is happy with Israel

  • TerrorIsEvil

    Khadr and the rich rewards Canada provides to (former) terrorists plus the moves to prevent criticism of Islamic terrorism by shutting up critics through M-103 will make it difficult for people to defend and speak up for people like Neda Amin. Try to understand connections because these outcomes do not happen in a vacuum and in isolation.

    Canada tends to support the most radical elements of Islam by showing support through visits to radical Mosques by the PM and many other pro-Islamist appeasement. I know several moderate Muslim scholars and activists in Canada who support my views and are very worried with the direction of the Liberal government and various provincial governments with respect to appeasement of the worst and marginalization of the best.