- Kevin Johnston – for expressed negative opinions about Muslims
- James Sears – for expressed negative opinions about women and Jews
- Bill Whatcott – for expressed negative opinions about gays
session, CCPR/C/GC/34, <http://www2.ohchr.org/
ONTARIO CIVIL LIBERTIES ASSOCIATION BLASTS MONIKA DETENTION AS ILLEGAL & DEMAND CANADIAN GOV’T ACTION TO FREE MONIKA FROM HER “UNJUST & IMMORAL IMPRISONMENT
July 16, 2018
Honourable Chrystia Freeland
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould
Minister of Justice
Dear Ministers Freeland and Wilson-Raybould:
Re: Imprisonment of Canadian Monika Schaefer in Germany for a video expressing a view about the Nazi holocaust
The Ontario Civil Liberties Association (OCLA) advocates for civil and human rights, including the human right of freedom of expression, opinion and belief.
The OCLA is concerned about an apparent unwillingness of Canada to come to the aid of a Canadian political prisoner in Germany, who is charged using a German criminal law that does not exist in Canada and that is categorically contrary to international law.
Canada ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) in 1976. As you know, General Comments (GC) of the United Nations Human Rights Committee (UNHRC) interpret and specify the ICCPR covenant and constitute international law.
At paragraph 49 in General Comment No. 34 [CCPR/C/GC/34, 2011] the UNHRC determined:
Laws that penalize the expression of opinions about historical facts are incompatible with the obligations that the Covenant imposes on States
parties in relation to the respect for freedom of opinion and expression. The Covenant does not permit general prohibition of expressions of an erroneous opinion or an incorrect interpretation of past events. Therefore, the German law in issue, which criminalizes negative expression about the historical events of the Nazi holocaust, is a so-called “memory-law” (HRC term) that violates the human right of free expression. It carries a maximum jail sentence of five years.
We have reviewed the reason given that Ms. Schaeffer was arrested, charged and detained in Germany when she travelled to that country. It is her -minute video titled “Sorry mom I was wrong about the holocaust”, which she made in Canada about Canada and published from Canada, and which the CBC embedded in its July 15, 2016 article entitled “Hate speech complaint filed against Jasper woman for Holocaust denial video”:
In this way, the CBC participated in a criminal offence under German law (perpetrated in Canada), which is absurd.
We ask you both to do everything you can to save Monika Schaefer from her on-going unjust and immoral imprisonment in Germany and that you tell your efforts in this regard publicly. Ms. Schaefer’s trial is in progress. In particular, we ask Canada to appoint a consular observer and direct contact for Ms. Schaefer immediately.
Every day that Canada refuses to act or acts ineffectively is a day that Ms. Schaefer spends in a
foreign jail. Therefore, we express the required urgency.
Please let us know your responses so that we may report these on our website.
Ontario Civil Liberties Association (OCLA) http://ocla.ca
Please do your best to share this email and petition with friends and family and associates. We need to build the support for the OCLA initiative by increasing the signatures into the thousands. See additional information on the OCLA petition below:
Please take a moment to read and consider signing OCLA’s petition in defence of the civil rights of Arthur Topham, a BC man who is currently being prosecuted under a “Hate Propaganda” section of Canada’s Criminal Code. The petition is online at the following link: http://www.change.org/p/
OCLA has the position that sections 318 to 320 of the Criminal Code should be repealed. These sections allow egregious violations of the civil rights of liberty, just process, and freedom of expression. Under these provisions, a person can be jailed without the Crown being required to prove any actual harm to a single identified individual.
Mr. Topham was arrested in front of his spouse, detained, subjected to a home-invasive seizure, and faces jail time if convicted, for expressing his highly unpopular views.
OCLA’s public statement on this matter is available at: http://ocla.ca/wp-content/
Please read OCLA’s letter to the BC Attorney General asking her to withdraw her consent for this prosecution, which is available at: http://ocla.ca/wp-content/
“I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.” – Voltaire
Arthur Topham is the victim of eight years of judicial persecution for the non-violent expression of his anti-Zionist opinions on his website Radicalpress.com
First, he was the object of a complaint by B’nai Brith Harry Abrams under the old Sec. 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act (Internet censorship). The case was heading toward a tribunal hearing. However, Sec. 13 was stymied by the Marc Lemire ruling. Then, Parliament, after much pressure by free speech supporters, repealed Sec. 13.
So, Abrams and his new ally Richard Warman (the instigator of numerous Sec. 13 complaints) regrouped. They complained to the BC “hate squad” and Arthur Topham was charged under Sec. 319 of Canada’s Criminal Code — the notorious “hate law.”
He could go to jail for two years simply for the non-violent expression of his political or historical opinions.
CAFE has backed him from the start. We were granted intervener status at the planned Canadian Human Rights Tribunal hearings. We have continued to back him during his latest judicial torment.
He has now attracted the support of the influential and prestigious Ontario Civil Liberties Association. this is huge. This group is calling on B.C. Attorney General Suzanne Anton to “withdraw her consent” to these charges; that is, drop the charges. Under the “hate law”, a charge can only be laid with the consent of the provincial attorney general. If she takes a second look at this disgraceful case of harassment and abuse by process and withdraws her consent, that will be the end of Topham’s torment.
It is vitally important that you sign this online petition initiated by the OCLA for Arthur.
CANADIAN ASSOCIATION FOR FREE EXPRESSION
You don’t have to be a Canadian to sign this petition and I humbly ask that everyone who values the right to self-expression please sign it and if possible add a comment as to why you did. As well, please pass this on to anyone else who may value freedom of speech.
Join the Ontario Civil Liberties Association (OCLA) in defending the civil rights of Arthur Topham. No one in Canada should be jailed or criminally convicted for saying what they believe, or for stating an opinion, ever. No proven and caused actual harm to an actual identified person, no jail, and no criminal charge!
Please sign the petition.
The Ontario Civil Liberties Association vigorously advocates for authentic and unqualified freedom of expression of individuals, on all topics and in every form, in accordance with the right to free expression enshrined in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Civil rights and legal context
The threats to civil liberties caused by the hate propaganda provisions (sections 318 to 320) of the Criminal Code of Canada affect all Canadians.
The said sections define offences resulting in prison sentences of up to five years for speech that need not be proven to have caused physical or psychological harm to any person. The sections define crimes of expression in which the Crown is not required to prove that there was a victim, or that any person suffered actual harm.
The said sections are applied at the discretion of the Government, since no proceeding can be instituted without the consent of the Attorney General. As such, the use of such a proceeding as a political instrument is an inescapable feature of the law.
The political nature of charges made to date under the said sections is evident. Powerful individuals calling for or condoning wars of aggression that are actually carried out are never charged. The accused are typically politically isolated ordinary bloggers and publicists, who express highly unpopular views that attract the political opportunism of influential lobby groups.
At the Government’s whim, the accused is confronted with the unlimited legal resources of the Crown, and the investigative resources of the police – who will typically make a home-invasive seizure of all storage and communication equipment and agreements (mobile phones, computers, account statements, stored emails, books, etc.).
The arrested individual must apply for bail release. If released from custody, bail conditions can include a partial or total gag-order about the proceedings and about the impugned expression.
On-going Arthur Topham prosecution
Mr. Topham is a peaceful married man, a father of four, grandfather of eight, and a small business man in a rural community, who has not previously been charged with any crime. In 2012, he was arrested in front of his spouse, detained, and has been subjected to a broad house-invasive seizure, and to many preliminary court proceedings, in which he is now self-represented by necessity.
Mr. Topham has a website on which he publishes his critical views and those of others. On this website, as explained by the Crown in a preliminary court hearing held in January 2014, Mr. Topham has:
1) re-published the 1941 book by Theodore N. Kaufman, entitled “Germany Must Perish!”;
2) published his expressly-satirical piece entitled “Israel Must Perish!”, in which he solely changed “Germany” to “Israel”, “German” to “Jew”, and “Hitler” to “Netanyahu” in parts of the original book by Kaufman;
3) re-published “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion”, (first published in Russia in 1903);
4) re-published the 1967 book by Eustace Mullins, entitled “The Biological Jew”;
5) re-published the 1964 book by Elizabeth Dilling, entitled “The Jewish Religion: Its Influence Today”;
6) published a blog post by himself, entitled “Karen Selick: Just Another Hate-mongering Germanophobe Jew”.
On the basis of such internet materials, posted to a website, the BC resident is being prosecuted pursuant to section 319(2) of the Criminal Code:
—-Every one who, by communicating statements, other than in private conversation, wilfully promotes hatred against any identifiable group is guilty of
(a) an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years; or
(b) an offence punishable on summary conviction.—-
Mr. Topham is a passionate communicator with unpopular views about society. Mr. Topham is open, authentic, and honest, as is evident from his postings about the proceedings against him.
The Ontario Civil Liberties Association believes that the proceedings against Mr. Topham are systemically political in nature and should not be consuming public, police, and judicial resources. We believe that the proceedings are harmful to Canadian society, in addition to being unacceptably unjust towards a citizen.
The Ontario Civil Liberties Association knows of no scientific basis (sociological or psychological) whereby the emotion of “hate” can be causally and deterministically induced in a person by a communicator of words posted to a website.
The next court hearing, in Quesnel, BC, is scheduled for September 29, 2014.
We ask that the Attorney General retract her consent for the proceeding against Mr. Topham, in the interest of preserving a just and democratic Canada.
Hon. Suzanne Anton, Attorney General of BC,JAG.Minister@gov.bc.ca
Hon. Suzanne Anton — Retract your consent for the criminal proceedings against Mr. Arthur Topham.