Iranian living in Canada church given citizenship

February 20, 2007 00:43

An Iranian man who spent nearly three years in sanctuary in a Vancouver church before being arrested over the weekend was unexpectedly granted his permanent resident status by Canadian officials on Monday. The Canada Border Services Agency released Amir Kazemian from custody after Citizenship and Immigration officials granted him residency on humanitarian and compassionate grounds. The surprise ruling came after the arrest Saturday of the 41-year-old man by Vancouver police at St. Michael's Anglican Church. Kazemian, who claimed he had been tortured in Iran, had been living in the church since June 2004 when he sought sanctuary from a deportation order.

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