Free Maoua

Published: Wednesday, 11/16/2005 12:00 am EST

An Ivory Coast woman living in an Ottawa safe haven after being denied refugee status will bring her story to faith communities and supporters this week. Maoua Diomande, in sanctuary since June, will tell her heart-wrenching story in hopes of being a voice for up to 60 per cent of refugee claimants who are turned down annually in Canada. The vigil begins Nov. 23 at 7 p.m. at l'Eglise du Sacré-Coeur, at the corner of Cumberland St. and Laurier Ave. A candlelight walk will depart from the church at 7:45 p.m., heading to the Eternal Flame on Parliament Hill. There, organizers hope some members of Parliament will join them to demand a "just and equitable refugee determination system." Some citizens are concerned by Immigration Minister Joe Volpe's recent announcement that he won't instate an appeal division in the refugee system.

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