From The National Post by way of The Religion of Peace:
MONTREAL — In Lamine Yansané’s hometown of Boké in Guinea, his father is a revered imam who sometimes leads Friday prayers. But after Mr. Yansané married a Catholic woman and abandoned Islam for Christianity, his father disowned him, and Friday prayers have featured a call for his death, the Federal Court heard yesterday.
Mr. Yansané, who has been denied refugee status, is seeking a last-ditch reprieve on the grounds that he faces certain harm if he is deported from Canada. “If you return him to his country, he is going to die,” Mr. Yansané’s lawyer, Stewart Istvanffy, told the court. He called his client “a victim of radical Islam, who is threatened by the imam of his town, his own father.”
Mr. Yansané, 37, arrived in Canada from Guinea in the fall of 2005. He told the Immigration and Refugee Board that he fled the West African nation after his father and uncle tracked him down in the country’s capital of Conakry, confronted him about his church attendance and threatened him as a traitor to Islam. His wife and three children remain in Guinea.
The board member who heard his case called his testimony “devoid of credibility.” She did not believe that a family of religious fanatics would have permitted his marriage to a Christian in the first place. (Mr. Yansané said he was allowed to marry on the condition he convert his wife to Islam, a project he abandoned.) And she found it far-fetched that his family would tolerate the couple’s presence in Boké for the 10 years they lived there before moving to Conakry.
A subsequent review by an Immigration Department officer concluded Mr. Yansané would not be at risk if he were sent home, and the officer dismissed additional evidence gathered by Mr. Istvanffy.
That evidence included a report from a Conakry lawyer, hired by Mr. Istvanffy to investigate the situation in Conakry. The lawyer quoted another Boké imam who was persuaded Mr. Yansané’s father would follow through on the threat. The father considers Mr. Yansané’s actions “a true humiliation and an affront to his honour,” the lawyer reported, adding that “he never stops saying he will seek vengeance against Lamine.”
A letter from a priest in Boké was similarly dire, describing Mr. Yansané’s father as “one of the fundamentalists who do not accept their children changing religion: They are born, live and die Muslims.”
In June 2008, the National Post reached the father, El Hadj Aboubacar Yansané, in Boké and he warned his son to stay away: “He knows what will happen. It would be dangerous for him to come back to Boké,” he said.
Following that interview, the imam repeated his threats during Friday prayers, according to a letter filed with the court. The handwritten letter to Mr. Yansané from his friend Mamady Chérif in Boké reported that his father had announced during Friday prayers that he had learned his son was in Canada. Mr. Chérif said Mr. Yansané, Sr., called on the faithful to contact their countrymen living in Canada to inform them of the fatwa he had issued against his son.
“My friend, I beg you to change your address and avoid meeting other Guineans; in my opinion the best solution to preserve your life is to leave for a neighbouring country,” Mr. Chérif wrote.
The federal Immigration Department officer assessing the risk facing Mr. Yansané called the Conakry lawyer’s report “biased” because it had been commissioned by Mr. Istvanffy. She disregarded the National Post‘s interview with the father, which Mr. Istvanffy entered as evidence, concluding without basis that the article was ordered up by Mr. Istvanffy.
Mr. Yansané had been issued a new Guinean passport and preparations were underway to deport him last January when Federal Court Justice François Lemieux issued a stay pending a further review of the case. He found that the Immigration Officer’s dismissal of the new evidence raised serious questions of law. “I find that the applicant has established that he would suffer irreparable harm if the stay is not granted, based on the simple fact that his life is in danger if he returns to Guinea,” Justice Lemieux wrote.
Mr. Istvanffy yesterday asked Justice Michel Shore to permanently strike down the Immigration officer’s finding and clear the way for Mr. Yansané to remain in Canada. “The biggest problem with the Canadian system is an unwillingness to correct past errors,” he said.
Federal Justice department lawyer Sébastien Dasylva said applicants are not entitled to “a second bite out of the cherry” simply because they are unhappy with the original decision in their file. The Immigration and Refugee Board decision was “very well founded,” he said. Justice Shore has taken the matter under advisement.