Despite Public Safety Canada’s failure to prove that he engaged in or instigated “the subversion by force of any government” or terrorism, Iranian activist Djaber Kalibi was given a deportation order by the Immigration and Refugee Board. Kalibi complied and left the country on June 26 to return to France (where he possesses citizenship), leaving his two stepdaughters in Montréal where they are pursuing their studies.
Kalibi is a communist of Iranian origin who has lived in Canada for nine years before being deported. In July 2013, while returning from a trip to France, the authorities confiscated Kalibi’s passport and advised him that he was now inadmissible to Canada. His “crime?” Having supported an attempt to overthrow the Islamic regime around 30 years ago while he was living in France. The offense, for which he was sentenced to four years in 1986, is punishable by more than 10 years’ imprisonment if committed in Canada; the deportation thus became automatic.
Now 78 years old and facing health problems, Kalibi quickly complied with the decision of the IRB in order to get the treatment that his condition requires. But the struggle to allow him to come back to Canada and resume his request for permanent residence continues. A request will soon be submitted to the Minister of Immigration Chris Alexander for allowing him to return. At this stage, only the Minister has the power to lift the inadmissibility if he is convinced that Kalibi is “rehabilitated” (sic).
The decision of the Canadian government to deport Djaber Kalibi is particularly hypocritical insofar that, officially, Canada has always considered the Islamic regime as illegitimate and responsible for gross and systematic violations of human rights.
For more than 50 years, Kalibi has been a vocal political opponent to the reactionary regimes that succeeded in holding power in Iran—both the Shah’s regime and the regime of the ayatollahs, the latter of which subverted the popular rebellion that led to the overthrow of the former in 1979. At first glance, one would expect that Canada would support someone who struggled against these regimes, facilitating his life. As we have already emphasized in past issues of this newspaper, what Canada doesn’t tolerate, presumably, is that Kalibi’s opposition to these regimes is different from acceptable types of opposition. That is, Kalibi’s political activism has always been motivated by the cause of the working class and socialism.
Since the decision of Chris Alexander is not expected to be made in the next few months, the campaign for letters of support will continue throughout the summer. A fundraiser is coordinated by the Support Committee to pay the costs of filing the application for rehabilitation. Other actions are also planned: to stay informed of future developments and know how to support Djaber, visit the Support Committee website at comitesoutien.wix.com/solidaritedjaber