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Correspondence to Claire C.pdf

Letter Expressing Concerns about Mrs. Fiona Hurley's Continued Role at NASC

1 of 9
QUIANNA CANADA
1 | 2023-001 [06122023]
December 06, 2023
Via E-mail & Registered Post
CLAIRE CUMISKEY
Chairperson of the Board of Directors
for NASC, the Migrant and Refugee
Rights Centre
34 Paul Street, 1st Floor
Cork City, T12 W14H
T:+353 1 265 4327
F:+353 1 684 9911
E: Claire.cumiskey@fragomen.com
Re: Letter Expressing Concerns about Mrs. Fiona Hurley's Continued Role at NASC
To Claire Cumiskey:
I’m Quianna Canada, an asylum seeker, and human rights advocate. I used to reside in
Cork, Ireland, until I faced coercive repatriation and was compelled to submit an asylum
application in another nation. In this communication, I will provide compelling evidence and
elucidate the critical reasons why it is paramount for the Board of Directors to advocate for the
resignation of Mrs. Fiona Hurley.
Despite reaching out to NASC for intervention and seeking public support to end the
distressing persecution I endured by the U.S. Embassy in Dublin for over three years, Ms.
Hurley maintained silence and refrained from taking any action. This lack of response further
heightened the emotional toll I was already grappling with during that challenging period. I am
of the belief that Mrs. Hurley’s inaction starkly contradicts the core principles and values
upheld by NASC, such as integrity in delivering the organisation’s mission. The specific
concerns I have regarding her role in my persecution and subsequent inaction are as follows:
I. DIRECT PARTICIPATION
QUIANNA CANADA
2 | 2023-001 [06122023]
First, Mrs. Hurley’s direct involvement in actions that harmed my rights implicates her
in violating the rights of other American asylum seekers. For instance, Mrs. Hurley unilaterally
assumed the role of spokesperson for American asylum seekers without our consent, effectively
suppressing our voices and undermining the legitimacy of our International Protection claims.
Instead of responsibly proposing that the Irish Examiner publish a statement about American
asylum seekers that respects our right to fair consideration, Mrs. Hurley neglected this option.
Her statement in the Irish Examiner not only called into question our capacity to engage in
essential epistemic practices, such as interpreting our experiences, but also hinted at a sense of
paranoia in our pursuit of asylum. It is noteworthy to mention that Mrs. Hurley did not provide
any supporting evidence or research to substantiate her statements. Despite having access to
Americans undergoing the international protection process in Ireland, whom she could have
consulted, and ample reports detailing the treatment of specific groups, Mrs. Hurley opted to
make a damning statement without verifiable backing.
QUIANNA CANADA
3 | 2023-001 [06122023]
Under Mrs. Hurley’s leadership, NASC has unequivocally exhibited a discernible bias
against American asylum seekers through its actions, evident in the absence of any comparable
public statements regarding any other group of asylees in the organisation’s history. If Mrs.
Hurley issued similar statements about other vulnerable groups seeking international
protection, there is a substantial probability that these communities would interpret her remarks
as groundless and lacking sensitivity. Such responses would further compound the existing
challenges experienced by these already marginalized groups.
II. FAILURE TO ACT
Second, NGOs have an important role to play and a responsibility in safeguarding
democracy, promoting human rights and fundamental freedoms and contributing to the
promotion and advancement of democratic societies, institutions and processes.1
Regrettably,
Mrs. Hurley did not take the expected steps to safeguard my rights or address human rights
violations in my case, as she has done in other situations, as shown below:
1
General Assembly. “Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and
Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and
Fundamental Freedoms.” United Nations, United Nations, 8 Mar. 1999,
www.un.org/en/delegate/page/un-official-documents.
QUIANNA CANADA
4 | 2023-001 [06122023]
QUIANNA CANADA
5 | 2023-001 [06122023]
This left me feeling unheard and vulnerable, as her intervention could have made a
significant difference in the face of the abuse I endured. NASC had ample opportunities to
assess and communicate my proficiency in identifying transnational repression in the Republic
of Ireland. Even after my departure, the organisation could have provided feedback, yet it
remained conspicuously silent. This prolonged silence not only underscores that my experience
in their country wasn’t merely an examination or evaluation of my ability to identify human
rights violations accurately but, more critically, it was a distressing encounter with authentic
persecution, carrying the potential to endanger my life.
III. SUPPORT OR ENDORSEMENT
Third, despite compelling evidence of human rights violations against American asylum
seekers, NASC Ireland has maintained its support and endorsement of the United States. At the
height of my visits to NASC’s office, seeking their support, they coincidentally published an
article titled "Recent Pathway Innovations Linked to Community Sponsorship in the United
States."2
As mentioned above, if Mrs. Hurley published similar articles on other vulnerable
groups’ country of origin who are seeking international protection, there is a substantial
probability that these communities would interpret the publication as insensitive. Their
publication does not constitute academic research on the United States; rather, it serves as a
distinct endorsement of the nation.
2
https://NASCireland.org/news/2023/recent-pathway-innovations-linked-community-sponsorship-
united-states
QUIANNA CANADA
6 | 2023-001 [06122023]
IV. INACTION IN RESPONSE TO KNOWLEDGE
Fourth, in full awareness of the persecution I endured, Mrs. Hurley and the NASC staff
not only neglected to take decisive action to address the issues, but also refrained from holding
the perpetrators accountable for their actions. I have submitted numerous appeals to NASC and
its employees to condemn transnational repression and safeguard the rights of all asylum
seekers, including Americans. However, these pleas have consistently been met with refusal:
a. Cork Asylum Seeker Turns to NASC for Support Amidst Human Rights
Violations in Direct Provision
In this email to Mrs. Hurley, I requested assistance and support in communicating
with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). I
highlighted the publication of an article urging the UNHCR to investigate
Ireland’s coercive repatriation practices and expresses challenges faced in
reaching the UNHCR due to an authority figure’s interference and lack of access
to proper communication channels. I further emphasized the importance of
NASC’s role as a link to asylum seekers’ rights and requests assistance as an
intermediary between her and the UNHCR, citing international standards and
directives supporting asylum seekers' right to contact the UNHCR. Lastly, I
expressed a willingness to meet in person to discuss the matter further, seeking
NASC’s support on this pressing issue.

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Correspondence to Claire C.pdf

  • 1. QUIANNA CANADA 1 | 2023-001 [06122023] December 06, 2023 Via E-mail & Registered Post CLAIRE CUMISKEY Chairperson of the Board of Directors for NASC, the Migrant and Refugee Rights Centre 34 Paul Street, 1st Floor Cork City, T12 W14H T:+353 1 265 4327 F:+353 1 684 9911 E: Claire.cumiskey@fragomen.com Re: Letter Expressing Concerns about Mrs. Fiona Hurley's Continued Role at NASC To Claire Cumiskey: I’m Quianna Canada, an asylum seeker, and human rights advocate. I used to reside in Cork, Ireland, until I faced coercive repatriation and was compelled to submit an asylum application in another nation. In this communication, I will provide compelling evidence and elucidate the critical reasons why it is paramount for the Board of Directors to advocate for the resignation of Mrs. Fiona Hurley. Despite reaching out to NASC for intervention and seeking public support to end the distressing persecution I endured by the U.S. Embassy in Dublin for over three years, Ms. Hurley maintained silence and refrained from taking any action. This lack of response further heightened the emotional toll I was already grappling with during that challenging period. I am of the belief that Mrs. Hurley’s inaction starkly contradicts the core principles and values upheld by NASC, such as integrity in delivering the organisation’s mission. The specific concerns I have regarding her role in my persecution and subsequent inaction are as follows: I. DIRECT PARTICIPATION
  • 2. QUIANNA CANADA 2 | 2023-001 [06122023] First, Mrs. Hurley’s direct involvement in actions that harmed my rights implicates her in violating the rights of other American asylum seekers. For instance, Mrs. Hurley unilaterally assumed the role of spokesperson for American asylum seekers without our consent, effectively suppressing our voices and undermining the legitimacy of our International Protection claims. Instead of responsibly proposing that the Irish Examiner publish a statement about American asylum seekers that respects our right to fair consideration, Mrs. Hurley neglected this option. Her statement in the Irish Examiner not only called into question our capacity to engage in essential epistemic practices, such as interpreting our experiences, but also hinted at a sense of paranoia in our pursuit of asylum. It is noteworthy to mention that Mrs. Hurley did not provide any supporting evidence or research to substantiate her statements. Despite having access to Americans undergoing the international protection process in Ireland, whom she could have consulted, and ample reports detailing the treatment of specific groups, Mrs. Hurley opted to make a damning statement without verifiable backing.
  • 3. QUIANNA CANADA 3 | 2023-001 [06122023] Under Mrs. Hurley’s leadership, NASC has unequivocally exhibited a discernible bias against American asylum seekers through its actions, evident in the absence of any comparable public statements regarding any other group of asylees in the organisation’s history. If Mrs. Hurley issued similar statements about other vulnerable groups seeking international protection, there is a substantial probability that these communities would interpret her remarks as groundless and lacking sensitivity. Such responses would further compound the existing challenges experienced by these already marginalized groups. II. FAILURE TO ACT Second, NGOs have an important role to play and a responsibility in safeguarding democracy, promoting human rights and fundamental freedoms and contributing to the promotion and advancement of democratic societies, institutions and processes.1 Regrettably, Mrs. Hurley did not take the expected steps to safeguard my rights or address human rights violations in my case, as she has done in other situations, as shown below: 1 General Assembly. “Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.” United Nations, United Nations, 8 Mar. 1999, www.un.org/en/delegate/page/un-official-documents.
  • 4. QUIANNA CANADA 4 | 2023-001 [06122023]
  • 5. QUIANNA CANADA 5 | 2023-001 [06122023] This left me feeling unheard and vulnerable, as her intervention could have made a significant difference in the face of the abuse I endured. NASC had ample opportunities to assess and communicate my proficiency in identifying transnational repression in the Republic of Ireland. Even after my departure, the organisation could have provided feedback, yet it remained conspicuously silent. This prolonged silence not only underscores that my experience in their country wasn’t merely an examination or evaluation of my ability to identify human rights violations accurately but, more critically, it was a distressing encounter with authentic persecution, carrying the potential to endanger my life. III. SUPPORT OR ENDORSEMENT Third, despite compelling evidence of human rights violations against American asylum seekers, NASC Ireland has maintained its support and endorsement of the United States. At the height of my visits to NASC’s office, seeking their support, they coincidentally published an article titled "Recent Pathway Innovations Linked to Community Sponsorship in the United States."2 As mentioned above, if Mrs. Hurley published similar articles on other vulnerable groups’ country of origin who are seeking international protection, there is a substantial probability that these communities would interpret the publication as insensitive. Their publication does not constitute academic research on the United States; rather, it serves as a distinct endorsement of the nation. 2 https://NASCireland.org/news/2023/recent-pathway-innovations-linked-community-sponsorship- united-states
  • 6. QUIANNA CANADA 6 | 2023-001 [06122023] IV. INACTION IN RESPONSE TO KNOWLEDGE Fourth, in full awareness of the persecution I endured, Mrs. Hurley and the NASC staff not only neglected to take decisive action to address the issues, but also refrained from holding the perpetrators accountable for their actions. I have submitted numerous appeals to NASC and its employees to condemn transnational repression and safeguard the rights of all asylum seekers, including Americans. However, these pleas have consistently been met with refusal: a. Cork Asylum Seeker Turns to NASC for Support Amidst Human Rights Violations in Direct Provision In this email to Mrs. Hurley, I requested assistance and support in communicating with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). I highlighted the publication of an article urging the UNHCR to investigate Ireland’s coercive repatriation practices and expresses challenges faced in reaching the UNHCR due to an authority figure’s interference and lack of access to proper communication channels. I further emphasized the importance of NASC’s role as a link to asylum seekers’ rights and requests assistance as an intermediary between her and the UNHCR, citing international standards and directives supporting asylum seekers' right to contact the UNHCR. Lastly, I expressed a willingness to meet in person to discuss the matter further, seeking NASC’s support on this pressing issue.
  • 7. QUIANNA CANADA 7 | 2023-001 [06122023] b. Silent Enablers: NASC, the Migrant & Refugee Rights Centre Failure to Speak Up Fuels Mistreatment of Asylum Seekers In this article, criticized NASC for its failure to provide adequate support and advocacy for American asylum seekers. I recounted personal experiences of feeling unsupported and disrespected during interactions with NASC’s Senior Advocacy Officer, Natalia McDonald, and highlights NASC’s perceived bias against American asylum seekers. The article suggests that NASC has not condemned abuses of power or mistreatment faced by American asylum seekers and questions the organisation’s commitment to its stated values of inclusivity and equality. Lastly, I emphasized the importance of NGOs denouncing discrimination and advocates for NASC to play a more proactive role in supporting all asylum seekers, including Americans. c. Fiona Hurley’s Leadership Called into Question After Tragic Deaths of Asylum Seekers in Cork, Demands for Resignation Begin In this article, I questioned the organisations commitment to supporting asylum seekers. It highlights the tragic fact that some asylum seekers under NASC’s care have taken their own lives, which prompted my call for a public apology from the organisation and the resignation of Mrs. Hurley due to the organisation’s complicity in transnational repression. The article emphasizes the need for NASC to acknowledge responsibility, issue a meaningful apology, and implement concrete actions to address systemic issues contributing to mistreatment. It also suggests a thorough review of policies, practices, and leadership to rebuild trust and credibility. The legal disclaimer clarifies that the call for action is not intended as hate speech and underscores a commitment to lawful and respectful discourse. The organisation’s reluctance to publicly denounce coercive repatriation signifies complicity with authorities and reveals a lack of commitment to those facing this oppressive
  • 8. QUIANNA CANADA 8 | 2023-001 [06122023] practice. As a human rights organisation, NASC has an obligation to protect individuals from human rights abuses by third parties. If they fail to take reasonable steps to prevent and address abuses, they may be complicit in the resulting human rights violations. Indeed, Recommendation CM(2007)14 of the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers to member states on the legal status of non-governmental organisations in Europe state NGOs can be made liable for professional misconduct or neglect of duties.3 V. THE ORGANISATION’S STARK LACK OF COMPASSION AND FAIRNESS Mrs. Hurley’s and NASC’s actions not only reveal a stark lack of compassion and fairness but also cast a shadow of imminent danger over the lives of asylum seekers. NASC’s abandonment left me isolated in the face of persecution, prompting my solitary exploration of conditions in host countries, driven by the unsettling fear that NASC might have left me to confront a perilous fate. The treatment I endured at the hands of this organisation goes beyond neglect; it epitomizes inhumanity and degradation. My survival, achieved through relentless self-advocacy, stands as a testament to the pressing need for profound changes in the way asylum seekers are treated, supported, and protected. It is worth mentioning here that NASC’s unwavering silence became the catalyst for my departure from the Republic of Ireland. The prospect of remaining in a situation where NASC continued its reticence was fraught with the potential for devastating consequences that I couldn’t afford to ignore. Regrettably, others have not been as fortunate, further emphasizing the urgency and gravity of this situation. VI. CALL FOR MRS. HURLEY’S RESIGNATION Given these valid worries, a thoughtful and urgent consideration is urged for her resignation from NASC. First, my call for Mrs. Hurley’s resignation doesn’t stem from the 3 https://www.osce.org/files/f/documents/7/0/33742.pdf
  • 9. QUIANNA CANADA 9 | 2023-001 [06122023] perspective of a mere country researcher; rather, it echoes the plea of a victim of her negligence and a witness to her perilous silence when vested with both legitimate and referent power to provide protection, which regrettably went unfulfilled. Second, this recommendation is underscored by the observed collaboration with authorities in facilitating coercive repatriation against American asylum seekers. Third, this call for resignation is driven by a careful analysis of the impact on the well-being and safety of those seeking refuge, reflecting a sincere commitment to fostering an environment that prioritizes the protection and rights of vulnerable individuals. It is apparent that Mrs. Hurley’s approach to guiding NASC in handling American asylum claims raises significant concerns about the potential jeopardy to lives in the process. I am one among several Americans who have sought asylum in the Republic of Ireland, and the likelihood of others facing similar circumstances is undeniable. The disconcerting possibility of Mrs. Hurley maintaining her position is an alarming concern for Americans who harbour fears of persecution from the US Government and could find themselves exposed to the hazardous practice of transnational repression. Moreover, the extended period of silence maintained by NASC for three years regarding the issue at hand highlights a broader concern of potential attribution. This could imply that the organisation, by staying silent on the challenges faced by other asylum seekers, may have been influenced by their country of origin. Based on the aforementioned, I call on Mrs. Hurley to tender her resignation and would appreciate a prompt and clear response from you regarding this pressing matter. Sincerely, ___________________________ Quianna Canada