FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 15, 2017
Canada Is Last Hope for Edward Snowden’s Guardian Angels
Montreal – The asylum claims of the three families who assisted Edward Snowden during his
time in Hong Kong in 2013 were formally rejected last week. Their last hope for safety now
lies with refugee claims filed earlier this year in Canada.
On May 11th 2017, the Hong Kong Immigration Department delivered decisions in the
asylum claims of Ajith, as well as Supun, Nadeeka, Vanessa and their three young stateless
“Our clients never had a chance for fair treatment by Hong Kong authorities as they have
been clearly targeted for expulsion ever since news of their involvement with Edward
Snowden became public last September” said Michael Simkin, one of three Canadian
attorneys representing the seven asylum-seekers in their applications to Canada.
“We now have less than two weeks to submit appeals before the families are deported” said
their Hong Kong barrister, Robert Tibbo adding “in the meantime they may be detained and
their children placed in foster care.”
For the Refugees, a Canadian not for profit organisation, filed refugee sponsorship
applications for the asylum seekers in January. Three weeks ago, authorities confirmed the
applications had been transferred to the Canadian Consulate in Hong Kong. Last week, the
Minister’s of Immigration’s office confirmed that they recognize the urgency and seriousness
of this matter. All three files are now being processed by Canadian authorities in Hong Kong.
Now that the three families’ claims have been rejected in Hong Kong, they are more
vulnerable than ever and in urgent need of protection. Canada must act quickly, because
time is running out for these seven exceptional individuals.
For the Refugees has launched a campaign to raise $15,000 Canadian to cover the legal
costs of the appeals in Hong Kong. Donations can be made at http://fortherefugees.com/donate
Edward Snowden’s “guardian angels” made international headlines in 2016 with the release
of Oliver Stone’s film “Snowden”, which included a scene that alerted the international community to their existence. Since then, their situation has become even more dire. These
families, including three young stateless children, face institutional discrimination and social
segregation in Hong Kong as well as persecution in their home countries.
Joined by Edward Snowden’s attorney, Barrister-at-law and Montreal native Robert Tibbo,
the Montreal attorneys Marc-André Séguin, Francis Tourigny, and Michael Simkin, who are
representing the three families in their Canadian immigration proceedings, have petitioned
the Canadian government to accept them as refugees.
For more information: http://fortherefugees.com/news/
For more information, please contact:
For the Refugees
+1 514 582 9236
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