God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

pensée of a Catholic priest

31.08.2009 … believe it or not…

White South African granted refugee status

Fri Aug 28, 11:07 PM

An Ottawa man has been granted refugee status after an immigration board panel ruled he would be likely be persecuted if he returned back to his native South Africa  because he is white.

A Canadian immigration and refugee board panel ruled Thursday that Brandon Huntley, 31, could stay in Canada because he presented “clear and convincing proof of the state’s inability or unwillingness to protect him.”

“I find that the claimant would stand out like a ‘sore thumb’ due to his colour in any part of the country,” tribunal panel chair William Davis said in his decision to grant Huntley refugee status.

It’s likely the first time a white South African has been granted refugee status in Canada claiming persecution from black South Africans, said Russell Kaplan, Huntley’s immigration lawyer.

“There’s a hatred of what we did to them and it’s all about the colour of your skin,” Huntley said of the violence wrought by black attackers on many white South Africans.

Huntley first came to Canada on a six-month work permit in 2004 to work as a carnival attendant. He returned home to South Africa and came back to work in Canada in 2005 for a year and stayed illegally for an additional year until he made a refugee claim in April 2008.

Growing up in Mowbray, a town near Cape Town, Huntley was attacked seven times  including three stabbings  by black South Africans during attempted robberies and muggings.

During these attacks, Huntley told the refugee board that he was called “a white dog” and “a settler,” a reference to South Africa’s colonial past based on racial apartheid.

“If you have got the money, you can protect yourself,” Huntley said of the armed security guards wealthy white South Africans hire to protect themselves.

Huntley’s “subjective fear of persecution remained constant and consistent” up to the time he made his refugee claim, Davis noted in his decision on Huntley’s claim.

The decision also took into account testimony by Laura Kaplan, 41, the sister of Huntley’s lawyer, who immigrated to Canada last year from her native South Africa.

Laura Kaplan testified about being threatened by armed black South Africans and the torture of her brother Robert in 1997 when a gang of black men broke into his house, tortured him for eight hours, shot him three times and left him for dead.

Davis said the evidence of Huntley and Laura Kaplan “show a picture of indifference and inability or unwillingness” of the South African government to protect “White South Africans from persecution by African South Africans.”

donna.casey@sunmedia.ca

Filed under: Uncategorized, , ,

HIV, AIDS and HOPE – thoughts of a Catholic priest

Being a Roman - Catholic priest and working in the fields of HIV and AIDS in Africa is often a challenge. Living in Africa has also its challenges. On the other hand I feel very much blessed having all the three. So you will find stories and reflections about my work, about the church, South Africa and Africa and essential information and developments in the field of HIV and AIDS. And in between personal stories and thoughts. You are most welcome to leave a comment or to get in touch with me - blogs - "thinking loud" so to speak is a ways of communication and exchange of ideas.

Follow God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE on WordPress.com

Archives

You can share this blog in many ways..

Bookmark and Share

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 2,057 other followers

Translation – Deutsch? Française? Espanol? …

The translation button is located on each single blog page, Copy the text, click the button and paste it for instant translation:
Website Translation Widget

or for the translation of the front page:

* Click for Translation

Copyright

© Rev Fr Stefan Hippler and HIV, AIDS and HOPE.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Rev Fr Stefan Hippler and HIV, AIDS and HOPE with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

This not withstanding the following applies:
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

%d bloggers like this: