A woman in Saskatoon who fled to Canada from her native Pakistan over accusations of adultery has lost a bid to avoid deportation.
Jamila Bibi’s lawyer, Bahsir Khan, says Bibi, who is in her 60s, will be killed by stoning or other methods if sent back because of adultery accusations against her.
“Right now, I’m so scared. I’m just praying for her right now,” said Sahana Yeasmin, Bibi’s close friend and employer.
Yeasmin owns Meg’s Restaurant in Saskatoon and helped Bibi obtain a valid work permit. Once that process was completed, she employed Bibi and continues to do so.
“She’s not my friend. I consider her as my mother; if anything happens to your mother, what can you say?” she said, as she considered the possibility of Bibi being deported to Pakistan.
Bibi’s stay-of-removal hearing began Monday and her refugee claim was denied, with a previous attempt to deport her blocked when her lawyer appealed to the United Nations high commissioner for human rights in Geneva.
Bibi was arrested at a Canadian Border Services Agency office in Saskatoon last week and is set to be escorted back to Pakistan tomorrow.
Her lawyer, Bashir Khan, asked a Federal Court judge to stop the deportation temporarily until her case could be heard, but that request was denied
Bibi, who has worked for years at a Saskatoon restaurant, is currently being detained in a Prince Albert jail, awaiting deportation. CBSA officers arrested her last Wednesday during her weekly check-in at Saskatoon’s CBSA office.
The last five days have been tireless and near sleepless for Khan.
“I worked all weekend on this file, and last night I slept at 4:30 in the morning and was up at 6 a.m.,” he said Monday while preparing for the hearing.
Bibi is facing adultery charges in Pakistan, Khan confirmed. He said she faces threats of violence and even “honour killing” by her accusers, if she’s deported to Pakistan.
Bibi’s case has attracted wide-spread attention. Amnesty International refugee co-ordinator Gloria Nafziger insisted this weekend that the work of the international body must be finished before a decision is made. In Saskatoon on Sunday, dozens of protestors marched along downtown streets in opposition to Bibi’s scheduled deportation.