20 June-2014: Canada has overturned the case of a white South African man who has sought refugee status in the North American country over “persecution” of his race by Spouth Africa’s black majority, Canada’s National Post reported.
The Canadian Federal Court has upheld the decision by the Immigration and Refugee Board which denied Huntley’s application for refugee status, effectively sending him back to South Africa.
In 2009, an international uproar met Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) decision that Brandon Huntley, a white citizen of South Africa, had a “well-founded fear of persecution on the ground of his race” and the South Africa government had “indifference or inability or unwillingness … to protect white South Africans from persecution by African South Africans.”
Canada was informed by angry journalists and politicians that the decision could sour relations between the two countries and, the capital, Ottawa appealed the decision to the Federal Court of Canada, which returned the case to the IRB to be reviewed. In 2010, Mr. Huntley’s then-lawyer accused Ottawa of interfering to mend international relations. Mr. Huntley appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada, which declined to hear his case in 2012.
Judge Catherine Kane of the Federal Court ruled this week that refugee protection is considered a substitute protection in the event of a country failing to provide protection and that Huntley had failed to provide evidence that he would not get such protection in his home country.
“Persecuted individuals are required to first approach their home state for protection and to exhaust all efforts that are reasonable in the circumstances before seeking refugee protection in other countries,” said Kane in the judgment.
Huntley first arrived in Canada in 2004, on a work visa that expired after 5 months. He then returned to his homeland and successfully obtained another visa which expired in 2006. He stayed in the country until 2008 when he began his bid to be granted refugees status.
Huntley justified his application in his form stating he had been stabbed when he was a teenager at least six times and subjected to racial slurs by black South Africans. He claimed that he knows of other white citizens who had been similarly attacked and his white family member had to hire private security to accompany them if they needed to move around at night.
According to Canada’s immigration laws, Huntley has now 30 days to leave the country under a removal order.
(Input source: This is Africa)