Free Lulu

A note from the family:

We need your help for our family to start a new life in freedom

Please make a contribution to our family by clicking here: http://www.gofundme.com/hh5jws

Three years ago our family accepted the hospitality of a Toronto church where we have waited for an opportunity to testify against a corrupt refugee lawyer at the Law Society of Upper Canada. We have not found the justice that we need. We love Canada, but we have realized that our family needs to be free. For three years we have not been able to work and our daughter has not been able to go to school.

We have met so many people over the past few years who have loved and supported us. Our family is asking you now for your help as we have decided to make a new life in a different country. We are sad and nervous to leave, but we know that it is the only option. As life in our destination is very expensive and we have not been able to work for three years, we are asking for your financial support for our first few months in a new place.

Our story is one of a great injustice in both Hungary and Canada. It is important that Canadians know what happened and continue to fight for a better Canada. Please share our story.

With love and gratitude,

Jozsef, Timea and Lulu

Please scroll down to read letters that people have written to and for Lulu, and look around this website to learn more about her family’s story.

Even though the family is leaving, the fight for justice continues. Please call the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration’s office today to express your concern @ 613-995-8042. Click HERE to make sure you are well informed for your phone conversation.

The Free Lulu website was inspired by children in Toronto who, hearing about Lulu at their Temple, decided to write letters to her. You can see their letters here.

Warn hugs sent your way

From Caitlin Keaney, Ottawa ON

Dear Lulu,

I read about your family’s story on CBC. I know if must be difficult and confusing at this time and frustrating not being able to go outside with other children. I am sorry you have to go through this. It is hard for me to understand how you feel.

Your parents are doing their best to protect you and provide you with a life of freedom. They want the best for you and most of all they want you to be able to go outside freely. Try to be patient for now. When you are sad it may be helpful to find something that allows you to express how you feel. Maybe you can draw, paint, write a story or make something.

Your parents were also working hard to help other people who have difficult lives. Remember your parents love you and there are a lot of people who are trying to help you. We want you to be happy.

Warm Hugs sent your way,

Caitlin

 

Hello Timea Daroczi and Jozsef Pusuma,

Hello I am writing to you today as I have several articles on CBC that spoke of the difficult situation that your family is currently experiencing. I would like to express my sympathy for the difficult and restraining situation that you are dealing with due to the negligence of a lawyer who sadly failed to do his job correctly. I called Minister Chris Alexander and left a message to express my concern and ask that he ensure that your family will be provided with, at the very least, a special permit to remain in Canada so that you may attend the hearing.

It is harrowing that after the human rights work that you have done in Hungary that you still having your freedom restricted as refugees.

I became interested in your case as I am a Master’s student at Carleton University studying European, Russian and Eurasian Studies and am working on a thesis that discusses Roma human rights issues in France. Specifically I am examining the 2013 evictions of over 20,000 Roma individuals from their homes in France. I am discussing the local officials failure to follow EU human rights directives and French law. If you are interested in learning more about the specific details, I can share them with you. However I understand that you have greater and more personal concerns at the moment.

I wish your family the best and let me know if there is more I can do for you.

Think of you,

Caitlin Keaney

Cynthia Phillips, Brampton ON

Dear Lulu, Jozef, & Timea,

I am thinking of you, because I cannot imagine how anyone could endure what you are going through.  You deserve to have every freedom that all Canadians enjoy… from big things, such as the peace of knowing that your lives are protected by law, to the little things, such as the freedom to step outside on a warm summer night.

Right now, I am poised between horror and faith.  I am horrified that the people who lead my country would allow this to happen to an innocent family.  I have faith, however, that these same people will come to their senses, realize the gravity of their wrongdoing, and respond by bringing justice to your case.

As you wait, I know this is but a small comfort, but please know that we have not forgotten about you.

Sincerely,

Cynthia Phillips

Brampton, Ontario

They aren’t a news story to me, they are now my friends

Tim Goodall, Toronto ON

Dear Mr. Alexander;

FREE LULU!

Sunday May 25, 2014 I met Jozsef Pusuma his wife Timea Daroczi and their lovely daughter Lulu.  Sunday was my 12 year old son’s confirmation to our church community.  May 23, 2014 my son took time off school to rally outside of your Constituency Office asking that Lulu be free.  He has created a power point presentation, which he has taken to various organizations to highlight the situation that the Pusuma’s are in.  In gratitude for my son’s caring efforts, Jozsef cooked traditional Hungarian food and gave it to my family as gift to be shared with all who came to the confirmation. Jozsef, a kind, thoughtful, caring man shared with me his desire to live in Canada.  He talked about his hope of one day opening a Hungarian restaurant, were he will serve great food and offer live music.

You should try this man’s cooking it is fantastic.

BACKGROUND:  Jozsef and Timea are high profile human rights activists from Hungary.  Both are Roma.  Mr. Pusuma is half Jewish.  Mr. Pusuma worked as a hate crimes investigator for Ms. Viktoria Mohacsi, an influential leader in the struggle for Roma rights and a former Member of European Parliament.

After years of enduring threats and harassment, Mr. Pusuma, Ms. Daroczi and their very young daughter Lulu were attacked by four thugs with clubs, members of the Hungarian Guard in July 2009. This incident was the culminating event that led the family to flee from Hungary to Canada to seek protection as refugees.

Jozsef and Timea are human rights defenders; that is a fundamental reason why they are in danger in Hungary. They have solid evidence to prove this fact, and they gave it to their lawyer long before their refugee hearing. However, the lawyer never submitted that evidence to the Immigration and Refugee Board, and didn`t prepare them properly for their hearing. On the day of their refugee hearing, their lawyer did not show up and an interpreter and immigration consultant on the lawyer’s staff came instead.

Because of the lawyer’s failure to submit their evidence to the Immigration and Refugee Board, it was never considered, and as a result, their refugee claim was refused.

February, 2014 a committee of the Law Society`s governing body determined that “the investigation of the matter disclosed evidence of professional misconduct” by their first lawyer and the Committee authorized discipline proceedings against him.

I say free Lulu, because the Pusuma’s lovely little girl Lulu has been living in sanctuary for over two years in cramped conditions in a West End Toronto church.  She cannot go to school; the Pusuma’s cannot go outside for fear of deportation.  I am writing this letter in support of the Pusuma family.  I know that your office is quite aware of this case.  There is a petition with over 42,000 signatures.  There was the, afore mentioned, rally at your C.O.  “Once you witness an injustice you are no longer an observer, you are a participant” – June Callwood.  I feel it is now incumbent upon me to formally add my voice to the many and urge you to please issue the Pusuma family a Temporary Resident Permit while they continue to fight for residency in Canada.

In summary:  Sunday May 25th, I watched the Pusuma family interacting with my family and friends and members of the community. They became our friends.  They aren’t a news story to me, they are now my friends.  I watched as we shared Jozsef’s kind gift of Hungarian cuisine.  People were raving about how amazing everything tasted.  They thanked Jozsef for the wonderful food.  I watched everyone share and discuss the news of the day, share jokes, laugh, shake hands, pats on backs, fond embraces, together we cleaned up and did the dishes as family and friends do.  We all pitched in.  I watched Lulu playing with other children and at the end of the luncheon; we all wished each other well.  Mr. Alexander, the Pusuma’s are already a Canadian family, we just need to make it official.  Get them out of sanctuary and let them start contributing to our great country.

As we all left Sunday, to enjoy the beautiful, much anticipated spring weather we all had a collective lump in our throats.  We get to leave.  Not the Pusuma’s.  For a brief, shining moment they were engulfed in the warmth of family and friendship.  Then we all left them – alone in their tiny one room “home”.

It is my sincere hope that the day comes soon, when you will be able to sit in Jozsef’s Hungarian restaurant, try his Broccoli soup with homemade pasta dumplings and enjoy the best Paprikash I have ever tasted.  I hope that you will see the broad smile on the faces of the Pusuma family, a Canadian family and say to yourself, “I helped make this happen.”

Respectfully,

Tim Goodall

Toronto Canada

I am full of admiration

Nancy Anaya, Toronto ON

Dearest Lulu, Jozsef and Timea,

I just learnt about your story today and it brought tears to my eyes. I am so sorry you are experiencing such difficult circumstances. I am full of admiration for your great faith and for all the work you have done to help the Roma in Hungary. I feel angry and sad for the people who attacked you and for the negligent lawyer that misrepresented you.

I am catholic and I believe that God allows bad things to happen to good people to use them as an example of courage, determination and faith. I can assure you that your story is moving many hearts, is opening our eyes to the terrible discrimination the Roma people continue to face, and I can assure that in the middle of your suffering you will have moments of great joy, because you are experiencing the love of many people that is doing everything they can to help you.
 
I pray that God continues giving you strength and hope. I will hold you in my prayers, specially little Lulu, who God has blessed with the opportunity to have you and felt profoundly loved.
 
Heartfelt blessings,
Nancy Anaya