MONTREAL –An Iranian woman threatened with expulsion from Canada was arrested Tuesday because authorities feared she was a flight risk.
Roghayeh Azizi Mirmahaleh, 60, is set to be deported to Iran on Feb. 28 after she was denied refugee status because of her ties with an organization deemed by Canada several years to be terrorist.
The organization no longer appears on Canada’s blacklist.
Mirmahaleh attended a scheduled meeting with the Canada Border Services Agency on Tuesday and was questioned about her imminent departure for Iran.
Her lawyer, Stephanie Valois, said officials wanted to know if she was getting ready to leave and then arrested her because they thought there was a possibility she might not report to immigration authorities for her deportation.
Valois said her client is “really scared” to return to Iran because she fears for her life after being involved in a group that was critical of the Iranian regime.
But Valois added that Mirmahaleh never said she wouldn’t leave Canada on the scheduled date.
“Madame is 60 years old, she doesn’t speak much French or English,” said Valois. “She depends on her daughter, who is not a permanent resident. So I don’t see how she could stay in Canada illegally. It is not part of the plan.”