Letter: Canada’s Attorney General asked to bring home a Canadian

Arthur Topham wants help for “wrongly arrested and incarcerated friend in Germany”

Editor,

This is an open letter to Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada Jody Wilson-Raybould.

RE: Illegal arrest and detention of Canadian citizen Monika Schaefer in Germany on Jan. 3, 2018

I am writing to you regarding the above noted injustice, which the foreign nation of Germany has perpetrated upon a dear friend of mine, Monika Schaefer, of Jasper, Alberta.

I am certain that by now you will have received a number of other e-mails from supporters of freedom of speech, both nationally and internationally, and you may already be aware of this travesty of justice that has taken place affecting a Canadian who has no criminal record and has been an exemplary example of someone standing up for all citizens of Canada who believe strongly in their country and the freedoms that it offers to its citizens; in particular, those which are enshrined in our Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

It is doubtless, given your distinguished position as Canada’s Minister of Justice and Attorney General, you are fully aware of the contents of the Charter and, as concerns the matter which I am writing to you about, Section 2, titled “Fundamental freedoms” which contains Sec. 2(b) and states all Canadian citizens are guaranteed “freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication.”

Given that on your official Facebook page you have chosen a cover photo that celebrates the 35th year since the enactment of the Charter, I cannot imagine your heart and soul are not deeply ingrained with these fundamental principles that make Canada what it is today.

As a strong supporter of one of Canada’s most cherished and fundamental human rights, I can only assume you will give your immediate attention to the plight of one of our fellow Canadians who has been wrongly arrested and incarcerated by German authorities for no other reason than she exercised her rights as a Canadian citizen and expressed her thoughts, beliefs and opinions on a controversial historic matter.

We are aware that every sovereign nation has the exclusive right to determine its own laws and to enforce those laws upon its citizenry.

But we are also cognizant of the fact there are foreign nations that don’t honour and respect the values we, as Canadians, do.

That is why the vast majority of the world’s nations have endorsed international agreements, such as the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), which was adopted in 1948, and like our own Charter, is celebrating its 70th anniversary in 2018.

The UDHR, of which Canada is a signatory, states in Article 19. Freedom of Expression. “We all have the right to make up our own minds, to think what we like, to say what we think, and to share our ideas with other people.”

That, in essence, is precisely what Monika Schaefer did in her full and correct belief that, as a Canadian citizen, born on Canadian soil, she has the right to make up her own mind on questions of history (or whatever else she deems of importance to herself) and also the right to express what she thinks and to share her ideas with others be it via the written word, spoken word or the medium of video or the Internet.

Given the reality of the aforementioned documents and Canada’s intimate relationship with them, it behooves you to look into this matter as soon as possible and do everything in your power to negotiate with the German authorities the immediate release from prison of Monika Schaefer and a guarantee that she will be able to freely leave Germany and return home to her native soil unharmed.

I believe that it is also in your power to instruct Canada’s Ambassador to Germany, Stéphane Dion, to promptly and expeditiously begin negotiations with German authorities and resolve this tendentious breach of international justice as soon as humanly possible.

With that in mind I shall also send a copy of this letter to Stéphane Dion at his Berlin address. Concomitantly I will send copies of my letter to Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and Germany’s Ambassador to Canada Werner Wnendt.

Arthur Topham

Quesnel

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