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Letters for Liberty
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Battles for Freedom
May 2, 2003
Free Ernst Zundel Now
The Canadian Association for Free Expression, Canada's leading free speech advocacy group, is demanding the immediate release of political prisoner, Ernst Zundel, today at his third detention hearing in Niagara Falls, Ontario.
"Mr. Zundel is quite literally a political prisoner," says CAFE Director Paul Fromm, who has also been acting as Ernst Zundel's legal representative in his detention hearings for the past six weeks. "He is being held in solitary confinement solely for the non-violent expression of his political views."
The allegation that Mr. Zundel might be a threat to national security "is mischievous nonsense," says Fromm. "Zundel has been politically active in Canada for 40 years. He's a public figure. His writings and speeches are available on-line. He's been investigated for years by the police. He's an open book. Zundel has never advocated or practised violence, nor have his followers," Fromm adds. "He's a pacifist and a publisher."
To "get" Ernst Zundel, the government is trampling on his basic rights. There have been two secret hearings about Mr. Zundel, one on March 25 before the last detention review and the other on April 1, before this review. "The government has refused to tell us who testified or to give us a summary of the evidence so that we may ask questions," Fromm argues. Such disclosure is required by the Supreme Court.
Such secret trials strike at the very heart of democracy and Anglo-Saxon justice which ensure that a man knows the charges and evidence against him and can respond.
"Mr. Zundel's prison conditions are appalling. He is denied pens or highlighters.Until recently, he was denied even newspapers. He has been denied an important book necessary in his defence because it's a hard cover."
Canada's CSIS Act defines a threat to national security. It makes is clear that non-violent dissent or protest are not threats to national security. Zundel is a peaceful publisher.
"There's something screwy about Canada's justice system when it comes to political dissidents," says Fromm. "Karla Homolka was involved in three murders. She sits in a luxurious cell, orders Frederick's of Hollywood sexy lingerie, indulges in sex with other female inmates and is given passes to earn her university degree."
"Ernst Zundel was a contributor to Canadian society. He employed a number of Canadians in his publishing and graphics arts enterprises. He's never been convicted of any violation of the Criminal Code. Yet, he sits denied basic facilities in solitary confinement."
"Perhaps to win decent treatment, he should change his name to Homolka," says Fromm.
Stop the Secret Trials
Dissent is Not a Threat to National Security
Canadian Association for Free Expression
P.O. Box 332
Office Phone: 905-897-7221
Office Fax: 905-277-3914
Get involved now and contact CAFE: [email protected]