Postcard campaign waged against ex-spy

Oct. 12, 2010 at 5:14 PM
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BURNABY, British Columbia, Oct. 12 (UPI) -- A former Russian secret agent, holed up in a church for more than a year while fighting deportation, should be kicked out of Canada, a civil rights group says.

Mikhail Lennikov, who has claimed sanctuary in the First Lutheran Church in Burnaby, a suburb of Vancouver, British Columbia, since June 2, 2009, is facing a postcard campaign by the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association to have him deported as a spy, Postmedia News reported Tuesday.

Lennikov, originally from Vladivostok, Russia, first came to Canada in 1997 on a student visa and was then recruited by the Russian secret service. Canadian immigration law prohibits spies, or anyone who has engaged in subversive action against a democratic government.

The front of the postcard depicts a smiling flight attendant and a "one-way ticket," a departing plane and the words "Vancouver to Vladivostock (sic)."

On the reverse: "On 28 January 2010, The National Post quoted the Honorable Vic Toews, Minister of Public Safety, as saying, 'The Immigration and Refugee Board and the courts have determined that Mr. Lennikov is not admissible to Canada under our laws.' I agree! So why is this veteran officer of the notorious Soviet secret police, the KGB, still here?"

The group says they have mailed postcards out to politicians, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service and the Canadian Border Services Agency.

Lennikov has exhausted all legal appeals, Postmedia says.

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