A Toronto teenage terror suspect has lost a three-year battle to stay in Canada and faces a one-way trip to his native Iran. Piran Ahmadi Poshteh, now 21, is being deported because immigration authorities allege that as a minor he belonged to the terror group Mujahedin-e-Khalq (MEK)
A Toronto teenage terror suspect has lost a three-year battle to stay in Canada and faces a one-way trip to his native Iran. Piran Ahmadi Poshteh, now 21, is being deported because immigration authorities allege that as a minor he belonged to the terror group Mujahedin-e-Khalq (MEK), whose members are fighting to overthrow the Iranian government.
Poshteh's appeal to stop the deportation was thrown out by the Federal Court of Canada in a decision obtained yesterday.
The Canadian Foundation of Children, Youth and the Law sought intervener status at the hearing claiming the best interest of the then-minor should be looked at.
Foundation officials said handing out MEK flyers doesn't make a person a terrorist.
Court heard Poshteh's father was an MEK member, who was killed in 1999 by Iranian police. At 15, he vowed to carry out his father's goal to overthrow the Iranian government.
Court was told that Poshteh and a friend were given a task to distribute MEK flyers on the streets of Tehran from sometime in 2000 until June, 2002.
At the age of 17 years and 11 months, one month short of being an adult, Poshteh was arrested by police and thrown in jail for two weeks, court heard.
Poshteh fled to Toronto as a refugee claimant in Sept. 2002, but immigration officials deemed he was inadmissible because there were grounds to believe he was engaged or would engage in acts of terrorism.
Toronto lawyer Avi Sirlin argued Poshteh was a minor while linked to the MEK, to which he was not a formal member.
"Terrorist organizations do not issue membership cards," Mr. Justice Marshall Rothstein said. "There is no formal test for membership." Court heard propaganda was an important part of the MEK because it was used to educate, recruit and enlist sympathy and support.
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