1 Of 76 Tamil Migrants Released In B.C.

1 of 76 Tamil migrants released in B.C.

The Canadian Press
Last Updated: Friday, October 23, 2009 | 9:41 PM PT

One of the men arrested aboard a small cargo ship off Vancouver Island last week has been ordered released from detention, but 75 others will remain in jail.

Tamil officials in Canada say the men were fleeing persecution in Sri Lanka after a long civil war.

The Immigration and Refugee Board wrapped up 48-hour detention hearings for all 76 late Friday.

No details are being given about the one person who was granted an order for release with terms and conditions, but there is at least one minor among the would-be migrants.

With the 48-hour detention review hearings now complete, seven-day detention reviews will begin Monday.

The men are being held at a jail in Maple Ridge, B.C., east of Vancouver.

Federal Immigration Minister Jason Kenney has said the RCMP are investigating the migrants to determine if any have connections to terrorist or criminal organizations.

The seizure of the ship that the men were aboard, the Ocean Lady, followed the interception of another ship en route from Sri Lanka to Australia a week earlier.

According to news reports, passengers aboard that ship identified the Ocean Lady as a smuggling vessel carrying would-be migrants toward Canada.