Call on government to restore Deepan’s citizenship ahead of the Charter challenge
On Wednesday 9 April, 2014, in a strong demonstration of nation-wide solidarity, over 10 cities from coast to coast dropped banners in support of Deepan Budlakoti and his fight to have his citizenship restored. Communities from Ottawa, to Kingston, Guelph, Kitchener-Waterloo, London, St. Catherines, Toronto, Montreal, Halifax and Vancouver, dropped banners in solidarity with the Justice for Deepan campaign.
In May 2010, Deepan Budlakoti, a construction worker born in Ottawa, Canada, was informed by the government that his passport was issued to him in error.
“Although Deepan was born in Ottawa and has lived here his entire life, the government is trying to deport him to India”, said Lena McFarlane a member of the Justice for Deepan Support Committee. “Deepan has been rendered stateless by his own government – the government of Canada. She added, “the government’s actions are outrageous and inexcusable.”
Thousands of individuals, organizations, and communities across the country agree. The nation-wide banner drop was just the latest in a series of events around the world that are bringing attention to the Canadian government’s actions and Deepan’s struggle for justice. “We demand that his deportation order be stopped, his citizenship recognized, and that he be able to live with justice, dignity and freedom,” reads a statement by Solidarity Across Borders in Montreal.
The government of India has affirmed that Deepan is not and never has been a citizen of India. The Indian High Commission, the once workplace of Deepan’s parents, has also publicly declared that Deepan’s parents did not work for them at the time of his birth.
“In the face of incontrovertible evidence, the government persists in making Deepan’s daily life almost unliveable,” said Deepan’s lawyer Yavar Hameed. “We are in the midst of a Charter challenge against the government for these reasons.”
The banner drop on Wednesday was to draw attention as Mr. Budlakoti takes his case to the Federal Court.
Deepan Budlakoti: 613-216-1295
Yavar Hameed (Mr. Budlakoti’s Lawyer): 613-232-2688 ext. 228
Lena McFarlane (Spokesperson): 613-700-2320
Stan Kupferschmidt (Spokesperson): 613-295-4329
For Background: www.justicefordeepan.org