One Stowaway Released, Others Still In Custody

One stowaway released, others still in custody

Staff Reporter
Chronicle Herald
Tue. Apr 28 – 5:29 AM

One stowaway was on his way out of jail, but six others will remain in custody until a second hearing next week.

A detention review hearing was held Monday at the Central Nova Scotia Correctional Facility in Dartmouth for the seven men taken into custody Thursday after their recent discovery aboard the Atlantic Concert cargo ship during a voyage from Belgium to Halifax.

For six of the men, “the Canadian Border Services Agency argued that their identification was not established clearly and that they were a flight risk, as they dont want to go back to their country,” said Stephane Malepart, Atlantic spokesman for the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada.

The board member hearing the case “agreed with (border services), so the detention will be maintained and another detention review hearing will take place.”

The seventh man was ordered released.

Canada Border Services Agency “phoned me to say that hes being released on terms and conditions,” Julie Chamagne, executive director of the Halifax Refugee Clinic, said at 1 p.m. Monday.

“I dont know much about it other than the minister is satisfied as to his identity. I think he was being detained on identification grounds, and hell be released and go forward with his refugee claim here.”

The border services agency had only contacted the refugee clinic about one man who sought legal counsel, Ms. Chamagne said. She didnt know what was happening with the other six stowaways.

“You know as much as I do about the other six. Whether theyve been allowed to make refugee claims, whether theyve expressed the intent to make refugee claims, whether theyve been issued removal orders before they were able to (make refugee claims), Im not sure.”

Jennifer Morrison, the agencys Atlantic region spokeswoman, referred questions to the immigration board.

Mr. Malepart couldnt comment about any refugee claims but said the six at the Dartmouth jail have not been ordered out of Canada.

“Our mandate this morning was to determine whether those individuals had to remain in detention or not.”

The second review hearing is set for May 4. If the six remain detained and in Canada after that time, they will be allowed another review hearing every 30 days, Mr. Malepart said.

Although there was speculation the men were from Morocco, that could not be verified Monday and no details about the men were released.

Ms. Chamagne wanted to speak with the clinics client before giving further information but said the possibility of a post-detention interview was unlikely.