The Partisan adds its voice to those who condemn the decision of the Canadian government to expel political activist Djaber Kalibi, who has lived in Canada for eight years now. We also demand that the permanent resident status, to which he and his family are entitled, be given to him as soon as possible.
Last July, upon arrival at the Montreal-Trudeau airport from France, immigration officers confiscated his passport. This was not the first time that Kalibi, who possesses French citizenship, has traveled to France, but this was the first time his travels were treated as a problem. To justify their decision, the Canadian authorities cited the fact that, in 1986, Kalibi was arrested and sentenced to four years in prison in France for trying to organize the overthrow of the Islamist Iranian government.
At the time of his arrest in France, Djaber Kalibi was charged only with a misdemeanour—similar to a summary conviction under Canadian law. After his release from prison, the deportation order signed by the French Minister of the Interior was declared unconstitutional and void by the Court of Cassation, which concluded that Kalibi was no danger for national security. He was eventually granted French citizenship a few years later.
A 77-year old Communist, Djaber Kalibi is widely known for his militant commitment in opposing successive dictatorial regimes in Iran. As noted by Solidarity Without Borders (a Montréal-based organization that supports his fight against expulsion from Canada), the charge against him is simply “absurd.” Indeed, Canada officially supports the “Axis of Evil” doctrine as being put forward by former U.S. President George W. Bush, and according to the Canadian government, the Iranian regime is a “terrorist” regime. At the same time, however, Djaber Kalibi is being charged as a “terrorist” because, in 1986, he was connected to a plot for overthrowing that regime by force—the only way that it could be overthrown.
The decision of the Canadian government shows the immense hypocrisy of the imperialist powers’ official narrative regarding “democracy” and “human rights.” These rights, which are praised by bourgeois zealots, stop where the interests of the imperialist bourgeoisie begin. Despite its official stand condemning the Iranian regime, it is common knowledge that the Canadian government supports the efforts of the so-called “reformers” who want to “revamp” the Islamic regime. The establishment of a better-looking Islamic regime would certainly fit the interests of those big Canadian companies wishing to enter the Iranian market.
Djaber Kalibi rightly opposes the deportation order that was issued to him by Immigration Canada; the Immigration and Refugee Board will soon hear his case. Along with his partner and children, he is very well integrated with Canadian society but—like thousands of other migrants who undergo restrictive and interested Canadian government policies—Kalibi must now fight to stay in Canada. It goes without saying that our solidarity is required.
Solidarity Across Borders set up a committee in support of Djaber Kalibi. It is calling for protest letters to be sent to the Minister of Immigration, Chris Alexander, and his colleague in charge of Public Safety, Steven Blainey. Other actions will take place in the days and weeks to come. For more details visit www.comitesoutien.wix.com/solidaritedjaber