CANADA DEPORTS CHINESE BUSINESSMAN DESPITE CONCERNS ABOUT DEATH PENALTY
February 16, 2011: a multimillionaire Chinese refugee claimant accused of fraud in his homeland was deported to China despite fears he could be tortured or executed there, one of his lawyers, Daniel Kingwell, said.
Canadian authorities escorted Han Lin Zeng, 65, to the airport and put him on an afternoon flight to China just hours after a federal court judge nixed an emergency stay of removal. In his decision, Judge Richard Boivin decided there was no reason to take the "extraordinary" step of ordering a stay of Zeng's deportation. He said Zeng's fears appeared to be overblown.
"The applicant's arguments are speculative, as there is no evidence that the death penalty or torture can reasonably be anticipated in this case," Boivin wrote. He stayed illegally for four years before filing a refugee claim in Toronto in 2004. However, the refugee board rejected his request for asylum in light of the criminal allegations against him. Kingwell said the risk of execution was real, and Canada had failed to guard against that risk. "Canada sought no assurance that he will not be executed despite the uncontradicted expert opinion that he will. We're very concerned," Kingwell said.
For its part, Ottawa argued that while Zeng does face the risk of a substantial prison sentence if convicted, the chance of ill-treatment or execution is remote. (Sources: www.metronews.ca, 17/02/2011)