Magazine article Anglican Journal

Iranian Refugee Now a Free Man: Lived Three Years in Sanctuary

Magazine article Anglican Journal

Iranian Refugee Now a Free Man: Lived Three Years in Sanctuary

Article excerpt

STAFF

In two days in mid-February, Amir Kazemian, an Iranian refugee who had spent nearly three years living in sanctuary at an Anglican church in Vancouver, went from berg a detainee to a free man and permanent resident in Canada. Mr. Kazemian was arrested Feb. 17 by local police and turned over to Canadian immigration authorities. On Feb. 19, the Canadian Border Services Agency released him and granted him permanent resident status on humanitarian and compassionate grounds.

Shortly after the surprise ruling, an ecstatic Mr. Kazemian told reporters he planned to "have a party, maybe go skiing and learn Vancouver streets," reported the Vancouver Province.

Shortly after Mr. Kazemian was arrested inside St. Michael's church, his lawyer, Naomi Minwalla, had made an urgent plea for support on the diocese of New Westminster's Web site, and via e-mail to church leaders, including the office of Archbishop Andrew Hutchison, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada. (Archbishop Hutchison had visited Mr. Kazemian twice last year and promised to advocate on his behalf.)

Ms. Minwalla said police arrested Mr. Kazemian after he called them to file a complaint against a man who had tried to con him. …

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