Former child refugee set free as he fights deportation to Somalia
A Canada Border Service Agency shoulder patch is seen in Ottawa on Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013. (The Canadian Press/Adrian Wyld)
The Canadian Press
Published Wednesday, January 17, 2018 2:35PM EST
TORONTO - Former Somali child refugee Abdoul Abdi has been released from custody as he continues his fight against deportation to a country he has no connection to.
Benjamin Perryman, Abdi's lawyer, says he was released Wednesday morning from the Central East Correctional Centre in Lindsay, Ont., to a halfway house in the greater Toronto area.
Abdi grew up in foster care in Nova Scotia, but never got Canadian citizenship, and was held by the Canada Border Services Agency after spending five years in prison for multiple offences, including aggravated assault.
Abdi's case has become a rallying point for advocates who say it was wrong for the province to fail to apply for citizenship on his behalf.
Perryman said Abdi told him Wednesday it felt "unreal" to be free after five years, and thanked his supporters and wanted "to say thank you for being given a chance."
No deportation hearing has been scheduled yet.