Stowaways from North Africa appear before refugee board

HALIFAX – An advocate for refugee claimants says the two stowaways found aboard a container ship in Halifax harbour earlier this month are originally from Morocco and Western Sahara.

Earlier reports said the Arabic-speaking men were probably from North Africa.

Julie Chamagne, executive director of the Halifax Refugee Clinic, says the two men appeared before the Immigration and Refugee Board earlier today, but their case won’t move forward until they produce identification documents.

Chamagne says friends and relatives in northwestern Africa are expected to send some documents in the weeks ahead.

The two men, believed to be in their late 20s or early 30s, have been held at the Central Nova Correctional Facility near Halifax since they were apprehended Feb. 16.

Another hearing will be held March 30, but Chamagne says that date could be moved up if the proper documents arrive before then.