Update July 2022:
Hi friends! We have some wonderful news to share and one last ask for support.
Two weeks ago, Martin received news that he had won his appeal to the Federal Court of Canada. The settlement with the Department of Justice is a welcome victory, as Martin's team strongly believes the immigration ministry made errors in refusing his Humanitarian and Compassionate application.
This would not have been possible without your support in March and April. You are amazing!
Martin's case still has one more hurdle to jump as he resubmits a new H&C application, which his legal team predict will result in Martin finally obtaining permanent status before the end of 2022, allowing him to stay in Canada, where he has lived since 2006.
To this end, Martin needs your help in raising $5,500 to support his legal costs on this last leg. Please donate and share with friends, family, community & organizations who would like to support.
Martin has spent too long detained in Canada's immigration system to consider his victory at the federal court merely an administrative mistake. If Martin successfully gets residency, this case will be a hugely significant precedent as many others he has struggled alongside continue their fight for permanent status.
Martin was on hunger strike the first time I spoke to him.
Detained without charge or trial for three years at a provincial jail in Ontario because he didn't have documentation. Talking in October, 2013 via a call-connect service the End Immigration Detention network was running, Martin's message was clear.
“The media is putting coverage on jail conditions. We are not fighting for jail conditions. We are fighting for our freedom, for our lives out there. We have family, we have kids in Canada that cannot see us because we have been detained. This is what we are fighting for."
Martin has helped many immigration detainees in the struggle for their freedom and now he needs our support.
Who is this fundraiser for?
Hi, my name is Martin Sisay. I am 36 years old, originally from The Gambia, West Africa, and I have been living in Canada since 2006. I have made a home in New Westminster, BC with my wife Jenine, my 12-year-old daughter Amie and my 6-year-old son Zack.
Why did Martin come to Canada?
I came to Canada fleeing war and to be with my wife and soon to be born first child Amie.
What is the challenge Martin is facing?
After a long and emotional process, my refugee application was denied and at the beginning of March, my humanitarian and compassionate application was also denied. I now have less than 10 days to appeal the case through the Federal Court of Canada, or else I will be deported to a place I have not lived since I was 12.
How will the funds be used?
The funds you help raise will pay directly for my legal fees needed for my appeal. All funds will go towards this.
Why is this important?
Canada has pledged to welcome Ukrainian refugees fleeing Putin's war and it is important we seize this moment to declare that all refugees should be welcome here, and given permanent status so they can build a home and be safe with their families.
In September 2013, Martin Sisay helped lead a hunger strike amongst migrant detainees in Lindsay, Ontario, where he was imprisoned for three years. He was a key organizer in demanding Canada end its practice of indefinite immigration detention, which has been criticized by the United Nations . Canada is one of the only Western countries without a limit on immigration detention pending deportation.
End Immigration Detention Network rally at the Toronto Immigration Holding Centre, December 10, 2016
What is Martin's message to supporters?
Thank you so much for your continued support for me and my family at this very challenging time. I promise I will never give up the fight for freedom. I ask you to lobby your MPs and MPPs to put an end to the practice of cruel and arbitrary detentions, and to provide permanent immigration status to all who need access to safety, regardless of where they come from #StatusforAll.
I also want to express my solidarity with the people of Ukraine. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.