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Let's deport him to certain death!


TRIBE Member

Faces death at home, North Korean can't stay

Canada's Immigration and Refugee Board has rejected the asylum case of a North Korean dissident even though the board agrees the man will likely be executed for treason if deported to his homeland.

The IRB has allowed the man's six-year-old son to remain in Canada, because as the son of a dissident he would face persecution, while a removal order has been issued for his father, his only living parent.

Song Dae Ri, a trade official, was posted to North Korea's embassy in Beijing before he defected to Canada with his son and wife in August, 2001. His wife was lured home by her parents before she had a chance to make a refugee claim, and in April, 2002, was executed in North Korea.

"When I came to Canada, I was relieved to have escaped alive. Now I fear I will die and my son will be an orphan here. It is so terrible," said Mr. Ri, shredding a tissue in his long, thin fingers and weeping as he cast a glance at his cherubic-faced son, Chang-Il, seated beside him playing with his GameBoy.

IRB member Bonnie Milliner ruled that Mr. Ri will likely be executed for treason if returned home, but said he was not "deserving of Canada's protection" because he was complicit in crimes against humanity merely for being a member of Kim Jong-il's government. She made that ruling despite written assurances from Canada's War Crimes Unit that Mr. Ri was "not a person of interest to them" and that there was no evidence he had committed crimes against humanity.

"While [Mr. Ri] may not have personally committed any atrocities, I believe that on a balance of probabilities he was aware of the North Korean government's excesses . . . and waited 10 years [to leave]," she concluded in her September, 2003, decision. "He was a high-level North Korean government official with weighty responsibilities."

He has decided to go public with his story because he fears being deported.

The case offers a rare glimpse into the inner workings of the secretive, authoritarian regime of Kim Jong-Il, known as the Dear Leader, from which few people escape. In the past seven years, 35 North Koreans have applied for refugee status in Canada and just two have been granted asylum.

This week, the country was accused of killing political prisoners in experimental gas chambers and testing new chemical weapons on women and children. North Korea is also known to have developed a nuclear arsenal, although Mr. Ri says he has no knowledge of this.

CSIS agents have approached Mr. Ri, a former trade official, on several occasions, and he says he will meet with them once his case is resolved. He fears North Korean agents may attempt to track him down in Canada and assassinate him. That is why he does not want a photo that shows his face in the paper and why he lives in seclusion in Toronto.

Ms. Milliner observed that North Korea is one of the world's most repressive regimes, bringing misery to its people through dictatorial control and subjugation. The country's criminal code specifies that all those who engage in espionage or treason will be executed, and that the families of political prisoners "must be wiped out for three generations" to come. She suggested Mr. Ri avail himself of "other Canadian remedies" in an attempt to stay in Canada, an apparent reference to a humanitarian and compassionate appeal.

Ms. Milliner questioned why Mr. Ri failed to dissociate himself from government abuses at the first available opportunity, and defected only when he feared his own life was in danger.

Mr. Ri, who bows politely in greeting and wears a black turtleneck and tailored dark suit, believes the IRB completely misunderstood his case. "I have been made a political scapegoat."

He said he was not a high-ranking diplomat, but a low-level trade official, No. 7 million in the North Korean government hierarchy. Four years ago, he was posted to North Korea's embassy in China, and sold commodities to raise hard currency for his country.

"The IRB talks about human-rights abuses. But all I ever did was try to help my people by buying wheat to feed the people," he said.

He and his colleagues lived under a complicated surveillance system in Beijing and were prohibited from living outside the North Korean compound, or from conversing with anyone other than on business. Security personnel spied on him.

"An escape is as difficult as a camel goes through the eye of a needle . . . due to the surveillance accompanying me and in fear for the family members left in North Korea," he said.

He learned of the freedoms of the outside world while on business trips, and made the fatal mistake of sharing his observations with other North Korean officials, opening himself to accusations of treason.

The "trigger" event leading to his defection was witnessing the mistreatment of North Koreans who had escaped to China in search of asylum, only to be recaptured and returned.

His refugee claim also notes that he was accused of "leaking confidential military and state information" to Chinese officials, which he said is untrue.

Through business contacts, he managed to obtain South Korean passports for himself, his wife and their young son, and they fled to Canada on Aug. 22, 2001.

He made a refugee claim four months later.

His son, who goes by the name Joshua now, is fluent in English, as well as Korean, Japanese and Chinese. He is in Grade 1 and recently received a coloured pencil for good performance. Joshua translates for his father and "tries to cheer him up," he said.

His mother fared less well in Canada. Her family had close ties with North Korea's leadership and she was unable to reconcile the betrayal of her family and homeland.

She attempted suicide before finally leaving Canada in December, 2001. She flew to Taiwan and then was taken to Pyongyang, where she was executed in April, 2002.

Mr. Ri's father was executed by the Korean government, and the IRB didn't understand why Mr. Ri failed to mention that, and the fact that his wife was executed. Mr. Ri explained that he was too frightened to mention his wife's execution until he had proof she was dead. He waited to seek asylum for fear the South Korean press would publicize his case and his relatives in Pyongyang would suffer the consequences.

The local South Korean community have taken up Mr. Ri's cause. Several thousand people, including business, community and church leaders and the publisher of the Korean Times Daily, have written letters of support and signed petitions imploring the Canadian government to allow Mr. Ri to stay on humanitarian and compassionate grounds.

"His situation is part of the historical legacy left by the division of North and South Korea in 1948," one letter reads.

Robert Moorhouse, who filed the humanitarian and compassionate review last year, notes that if his client is sent back to China, he will be repatriated to North Korea, because China's government expels all North Koreans without allowing them to seek asylum.

"My client is very worried and is living as an unprotected person in Canada now," he said. "He deserves asylum."

Mr. Ri adds, "I want to be alive and settle in Canada with my son."

Then he begins to weep again, while his son sits at his side playing with his GameBoy, smiling up at his father.
Alex D. from TRIBE on Utility Room

Subsonic Chronic

TRIBE Member
The IRB has allowed the man's six-year-old son to remain in Canada, because as the son of a dissident he would face persecution, while a removal order has been issued for his father, his only living parent.


What awesome use of logic. I'm am shocked and awed, and ashamed, all at the same time.


TRIBE Member
fucking fatass americans!!

oh wait...i mean fucking fatass canadians!

noo wait more...fucking malnourished north koreans!

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Vote Quimby

TRIBE Member
Gotta love our immigration department.

This is the third fucked up deportation order I've heard about in the last month.

This guy, some chuch going, big time community service African guy (the Star did a story) and a hot blond from Amsterdam (just a girl I know)

But let's keep the riff raff. The criminals, terrorists, etc. Not the people who may have somethin positive to contribute.

Fucking idiots.


TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Vote Quimby
Gotta love our immigration department.

I say we privatize it so the uber privacy veil will prevent us from ever hearing about these things!!

Hi i'm God

TRIBE Member
Do you think if they just sent him back without plastering all over the media about him going home he'da had more of a chance to slip away?!


TRIBE Member
Doubtful. You can't just walk off an international flight and slip away, especially in North Korea.

The act of publicity is probably a last ditch effort to garner a response from the public.


TRIBE Member
Re: Re: Let's deport him to certain death!

Originally posted by Subsonic Chronic

What awesome use of logic. I'm am shocked and awed, and ashamed, all at the same time.

Yep. Granting a child refugee status doesn't mean their parents will also be granted the status and allowed to stay.

Happens all the time. They can apply for permanent resident status under humanitarian and compassionate grounds but it's by no means guaranteed.
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TRIBE Member
This is fucked. For one, I thought Canada would refuse to extradite a criminal suspect if the destination jurisdiction practiced capital punishment. Isn't this the same thing?

Reminds me of when we turned away boatloads of jews fleeing Nazi Germany.


Vote Quimby

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by KickIT
This is fucked. For one, I thought Canada would refuse to extradite a criminal suspect if the destination jurisdiction practiced capital punishment. Isn't this the same thing?
Before extraditing someone, the death penalty has to be taken off the table in sentencing.

Maybe he should have comitted a crime in N Korea, then he'd get to live.


TRIBE Member
Originally posted by KickIT
This is fucked. For one, I thought Canada would refuse to extradite a criminal suspect if the destination jurisdiction practiced capital punishment. Isn't this the same thing?
I think it may be.

We generally won't extradite if there's a risk of facing the death penalty. (in Kindler v. Canada the supreme court said they won't do it if it shocks the conscience of Canadians, decided it didn't, and extradited the guy. In Burns v. Canada (2001) the court said times have changed and in all but exceptional circumstances extradition that might result in the DP will shock the conscience of Canadians, so you generally can't do it.

I think deportation to the risk of torture is similar. It's been treated similarly by the court, I think (potential violation of s 7 of the Charter, life, liberty and security of the person). In Suresh v. Canada the SCC basically said "yo, torture is bad, we won't deport someone if they will face it except in extreme circumstance where Canadian national security is at stake and whatnot." Obviously threats to life would be included, especially the death penalty without adequate procedural protections, as is the case here. I haven't read Suresh in a while and my memory sucks, but I think it applies. I think the Immigration and Refugee Board's determination might be allowable (well, personally I think it was stupid, but whatever) cuz I think if he shows he'll face the death penalty in his Pre Removal Risk Assessment application they'll hold off on deporting him. So, he may not be a refugee, which was basically what the Board said (using an overly broad definition of war crimes to exclude him) but I doubt (hope) he wouldn't be deported. I think now it's a safe bet he won't be, after all this media attention.


TRIBE Member
Canada again rules against N. Korean defector


The federal government has again branded a North Korean defector a war criminal not entitled to Canada's protection, despite a lengthy government report stating that Song Dae Ri should stay in Canada because he would be killed for treason if sent home.

Robert Genier, a senior analyst with Citizenship and Immigration Canada, endorsed a much-criticized decision from the Immigration and Refugee Board. That ruling found Mr. Ri guilty of war crimes merely for being a trade official in North Korea's secretive, repressive regime. No allegations of specific crimes against humanity have been made against him, and Canada's War Crimes Unit found no evidence of wrongdoing.

In August of 2001, Mr. Ri defected to Canada from his post as a trade official in North Korea's Beijing embassy. His asylum claim was rejected in September of 2003, while his six-year-old son's was accepted.

But before Canada can send Mr. Ri back to North Korea, government officials must assess the risk to his life. The Toronto immigration official assigned to perform the review concluded on Feb. 9 in a 16-page report stating that Mr. Ri should be allowed to stay in Canada because he would be executed for treason if returned.

"I am satisfied [Mr. Ri] would be at risk of cruel and unusual punishment if he were to return to North Korea," ruled C. Lemonde, a pre-removal risk assessment officer with the Canadian Border Services Agency.

However, Mr. Genier, a more senior immigration official in Ottawa, reviewed the findings and concluded last week that Mr. Ri was not entitled to Canada's protection "because of the nature and severity of the acts committed" by him.

The decision came as a surprise to Mr. Ri, creating more anxiety for the 37-year-old former diplomat, who is living in seclusion with his son in Toronto.

That the IRB accepted his six-year-old son as a refugee has only added confusion to a case that has become so controversial that human-rights groups in South Korea are lobbying Canada to help Mr. Ri. (His wife was executed for treason in North Korea in April of 2002 after her parents lured her home.)

"This government recommendation is very Kafkaesque," said Robert Moorhouse, who represents Mr. Ri. "You have the left hand of the government not knowing what the right hand is doing. People in two different offices of the same ministry can't get their story straight. Mr. Ri is not a war criminal."

Mr. Genier's decision is an "interim" one, a spokeswoman for the Immigration Department said Thursday. She stressed that the decision is correct in law. The final decision is up to the office of Public Safety Minister Anne McLellan, which must say whether Mr. Ri's removal order should be stayed.

That review is not his only hope.

Immigration Minister Judy Sgro is also considering his application to stay on humanitarian grounds. If successful, it would allow him to apply to become a permanent resident of Canada.

"The department will do the balancing process," said Tsering Nanglu, an Immigration Department spokeswoman. "Ottawa will decide finally whether the risk to Mr. Ri's life if he is deported outweighs any risk he may pose to the Canadian public."

A source in the Immigration Department indicated that Mr. Ri would likely get a favourable ruling and be permitted to stay.

Still, critics suggest the fact that he was twice labelled a war criminal shows the refugee-determination system is flawed. There has never been any specific evidence of wrongdoing by Mr. Ri. But IRB member Bonnie Milliner found him complicit in crimes against humanity because he willingly joined the government and did not leave at the first available opportunity.

Mr. Ri testified at his hearing that he traded commodities in Beijing and was not a prison guard or concentration camp worker. He said he became fearful for his life after a colleague overheard him criticizing the brutal excesses of Kim Jong-Il's regime and the atrocities committed in camps for political prisoners. He said he left Beijing using a false South Korean passport.

"You can't send someone back to a place where they will be tortured," said Lorne Waldman, a Toronto immigration lawyer. "It would be unthinkable for the minister to deport this man, just because he was a member of the North Korean government."

In Seoul, several high-profile North Korean defectors including Hwang Jang Yeop, who worked as a diplomat and was the architect of North Korea's official juche, or self-reliance philosophy, are lobbying Canada to accept Mr. Ri.

"Someone obviously made a mistake in this case. Everyone is concerned there is a dangerous precedent being set, especially for a country like Canada that accepts a lot of refugees," said Marc Simkins of the Association of North Korean defectors.

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Temper Tantrum

TRIBE Member
This absolutely appalls me. Hopefully by going public with his story the outrage of the canadian public (let's hope we're still capable of reacting as harshly to this as we did to conan's little bit on the quebecois) will stop him from being deported. The fact that the War Tribunal said he was of NO interest to them, his WIFE was executed, and they are ORPHANING a son is just so ludicrous i don't even know where to begin.

And VQ: True, we're not at war with North Korea. But their part of the axis of Evil to our good old buddies down south. and we just love to kiss the big A ass.



TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Subsonic Chronic
I can't believe that they're still willing to send him back despite the fact that HIS WIFE WAS EXECUTED WHEN SHE WENT HOME.

she wasn't executed, she...fell.
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judge wopner

TRIBE Member
hes essentially being considered a war criminal as N.Korea's regime is considered

he was a fairly high ranking member of said regime.

its not like boat loads of jews coming to canada,
its more like Megelev or one of Hitlers mid ranking SS generals coming over here.

he didnt mind being part of the frame work and rising through the ranks until it didnt suit him anymore and he fled. you dont get to any position of authority in taht regime without showing some dedication to the cause,

him being a trade official does not absolve him of any wrong doing, we dont mind bringing 80 year old camp captains from the holocaust to trial and messing up their lives and that of the family they build up here, but you do it to a north korean and look out, what a tragedy!?!?

why should you be absolved of your crimes and allowed to stay here simply because you have a child.

i call bullshit on this guy. hes a war criminal, let korea deal with the vendetta on their own,
why should our tax dollars be spent in legal fee's ensuring he can stay here.
its sad about his son, but it sets a horrible precident.
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TRIBE Member
I'm not sure why I should be appalled considering its only one side of the story.

This kind of journalism really bothers me, and I'm surprised its a Globe piece and not from the Star. In two pieces, she's essentially talked to the person making the claim, who's probably repeated what he told the review board. And there's very brief quotes from the person who made the claim on his behalf, and an immigration lawyer. Not exactly the most objective sources.

Most refugees claim they'll be subject to torture or executed if deported. Some are telling the truth. Some are not. Imagine if every refugee claimant was profiled, with mention of their cute kids? It's akin to prejudicial pre-trial information - she knows she's not going to get any comments from the government when the investigation's still ongoing.

I really think the facts are just showing that, as convoluted and time-consuming it may seem, the process is working the way it usually does. As noisy and one of the subjects hinted, this guy really doesn't fit the definition of a refugee, but is eligible to appeal on humanitarian and compassionate grounds, which is what happened.

There's just WAY too much missing information and lack of follow-up in this piece for you and me to decide what the version of truth is.

For example, I think knowing exactly how much time elapsed from when he made his regrettable comments in N.K. and when he was able to leave that would go a long way into assessing the relative danger he faced. I can't understand why that information isn't in the story.

And the stuff about his wife is way, way too murky. She came with him to Canada in August and attempted suicide in December. Don't you think that suggests there's at least a sliver of a chance there were more reasons for that than mere dislocation? And what does "lured her back" mean? I'm really curious about that word choice - Why is it termed that way? Why would her family "lure her back" if she faced certain death?
I don't think we'll really know the whole truth about that, as he's the only one left alive.

The journalist seems to have swallowed his whole story hook, line, and sinker, without challenging him on anything. Esp. this little passage:

CSIS agents have approached Mr. Ri, a former trade official, on several occasions, and he says he will meet with them once his case is resolved. He fears North Korean agents may attempt to track him down in Canada and assassinate him.

Look, I think this guy probably doesn't pose any danger or has anything to hide, but the first part doesn't at all answer WHY he won't meet with CSIS agents, just that he won't. As a journalist, you have to get an answer to that question. As far as the second part, don't you think a reasonable person could at least question his credibility, given that fairly wild-eyed claim? Doesn't it appear a tad contradictory to you? He's claiming to be a relatively unimportant trade official, but then claiming he's of enough importance that Korean agents are going to track him down? And if they were, how would being granted refugee status prevent that?

I just think it's really shoddy, irresponsible journalism, and I trust that those on the board, who have a lot more information than we do (for one, how consistent his story has been through the process), will make the right decision.
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Vote Quimby

TRIBE Member
N. Korean defector can stay

From Thursday's Globe and Mail

Tears of joy and relief streamed down the elegant face of Song Dae Ri, as the North Korean defector celebrated an 11th-hour reprieve that will allow him to stay in Canada with his six-year-old son.

Ending months of uncertainty, the office of Public Safety Minister Anne McLellan stayed Mr. Ri's removal order yesterday and ruled he is not a war criminal — contrary to the findings of the Immigration and Refugee Board, which rejected his asylum bid last September.

The ministry ruled that the risk Mr. Ri would be tortured or killed if deported outweighed any danger he may pose to Canada.

"I felt like I was in hell and now I'm on my way to heaven," Mr. Ri said. "I want to thank Canada for saving my life. I never was a war criminal and I am happy that someone in the government can take this rock off my back. I want to raise my son to believe in truth and justice. He will see we were treated fairly, even though it took so long to get to the right conclusion."

Dressed in his customary black turtleneck, dark tailored suit and trench coat, the 37-year-old former trade official mopped his brow with a red handkerchief, and bowed his head solemnly.

His son Chang-Il, who goes by the name Joshua, gave the thumb's up, and said through mouthfuls of ice cream that the decision to allow his father to stay was "good."

The temporary-resident permit granted to Mr. Ri Wednesday does not give him permanent status in Canada but means he is now a protected person who cannot be deported, said Robert Moorhouse, representing Mr. Ri.

He is waiting for the Immigration Minister to rule on a humanitarian appeal, which would allow him to become a permanent resident.

Mr. Ri and his family defected to Canada in August, 2001, fleeing Beijing where Mr. Ri was posted as a trade official at the North Korean embassy.

The controversial handling of Mr. Ri's asylum bid prompted criticism from human-rights groups and immigration experts in Canada, Seoul and around the world after The Globe and Mail first published details of his case last month.

Immigration and Refugee Board member Bonnie Milliner accepted Mr. Ri's son as a refugee but found the father did not deserve Canada's protection.

She ruled he was complicit in crimes against humanity simply for being a member of Kim Jong-il's government. Canada's war-crimes unit had found no evidence Mr. Ri had committed such crimes.

Before Mr. Ri could be returned home, the government had to assess the risk to his life.

Initially the Canadian Border Services agency concluded in a 16-page report last month that Mr. Ri should be allowed to stay in Canada because he'd be executed for treason if returned.

However, a more senior official with Citizenship and Immigration Canada disagreed, saying Mr. Ri was not entitled to Canada's protection because he was guilty of war crimes.

Ms. McLellan's office — the final arbiter in the case — found that he was not a war criminal.

"Immigration officials refused to intervene in the IRB Convention refugee process indicating that, in their opinion, Mr. Ri was in fact not complicit in the commission of crimes against humanity or war crimes," assistant deputy minister Lyse Ricard said in the prerisk removal assessment.

G. C. Alldridge, another department official, also concluded in the report that it would be in the best interests of Joshua to have his father remain in Canada. Mr. Alldridge said that had Ms. Milliner not found Mr. Ri to be complicit in war crimes, "there is sufficient credible evidence to establish a well-founded fear of persecution by reason of political opinion."

"There is no disagreement that Mr. Ri's spouse returned to North Korea and was most probably executed ..... and other family members in North Korea may have suffered. I understand his father may also have been executed," according to the decision.

Mr. Ri's wife was conflicted about her decision to defect, and returned to North Korea in December, 2001. She was executed four months later. Mr. Ri says his father was also killed in retaliation for his defection, in keeping with the 's policy of "wiping out" families of defectors for three generations to come.

Mr. Ri traded commodities in Beijing and became fearful for his life after a colleague overheard him praising the West and criticizing the excesses of the North Korean regime.

Yesterday, Mr. Moorhouse said the government realized its mistake.

"The government has finally realized the errors made in the case and Mr. Ri is finally getting the justice and treatment he deserves," Mr. Moorhouse said. "The ministry can't overturn an IRB decision, so what they have done is to agree with their own war-crimes unit that Mr. Ri is not a war criminal or a risk to Canadian society."

Mr. Moorhouse filed request for the prerisk removal assessment only 30 days ago, and it normally takes as long as eight months for a decision to be rendered.

The speedy resolution of his case came as an immense relief to Mr. Ri, who has been living in seclusion with his son in Toronto. Now he feels he can "come out of the darkness," begin attending church again and re-enroll his son in school.

Wednesday night, the family savoured their victory with Mr. Moorhouse and their translator, celebrating over Korean food and a new Canadian passion: Labatt's Blue.

"Canada will protect me now. I feel safe again," said Mr. Ri, giving his son's shoulders a squeeze and breaking into a rare smile.



TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Vote Quimby
His son Chang-Il, who goes by the name Joshua, gave the thumb's up, and said through mouthfuls of ice cream that the decision to allow his father to stay was "good."
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