We, the undersigned, are calling upon Canada’s Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Refugees - Sean Fraser, and Prime Minister - Justin Trudeau to immediately suspend and revoke deportation proceedings against Zain Haq.
Haq is a nonviolent climate activist who has been advocating for the protection of old-growth forests in British Columbia, and led a successful fossil fuel divestment campaign at his university.
Zain is, and has long been, publicly and actively committed to the principles of nonviolence. Zain grew up in Pakistan, a country where millions of people have recently been displaced by floods because of glacial melting, and are facing ongoing crises of hunger, health care, and housing.
Deportation is an undue punishment for someone who has no arrest record other than being engaged in nonviolent civil disobedience to raise awareness for the urgent climate emergency.
Furthermore, the attempt to paint a 21-year-old, nonviolent university student as a risk to public safety, and bar him from completing his education, is obviously racist and Islamophobic.
We ask the Canadian government to revoke this intended condemnation of a climate activist to persecution by authorities in Pakistan, and to act in line with the nation's professed commitment to protecting civil liberties, freedom and democratic values. The Minister of Citizenship has discretion to do so.
The climate emergency is getting ever worse. Government repression of those who are raising the alarm is no substitute for lifesaving action.
As UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said earlier this year: “Climate activists are sometimes depicted as dangerous radicals. But the truly dangerous radicals are the countries that are increasing the production of fossil fuels. Investing in new fossil fuels infrastructure is moral and economic madness.”