Political Prisoner Terry Tremaine Back in Jail
Canada's "justice" system is a quaint thing. It cheerily tosses non-violent letter writers (Brad Love) or dissident bloggers like former Universitry of Saskatchewan math and computers lecturer Terry Tremaine into prison but, gosh, darn, there have to be proper procedures.And, of course, it determined that the Chinese cannibal Vincent Wai Guang Li, who severed the head of a fellow passenger and then proceeded to eat his face and eyeballs, was "not guilty by recent of mental defect." He now walks among us on extended day passes. [good lord]
On September 10, the Federal Court of Appeals upheld a one month punitive sentence imposed on Mr. Tremaine for civil contempt of court, even though he had purged the contempt and removed several dozen postings from his website.And, the court order, which Mr. Tremaine did not receive until long after his postings, had been made under a law that Parliament has since repealed [Sec. 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act.]
Did that mean off to jail with Mr. Tremaine. Well, not exactly. A warrant had to be prepared. The bureaucracy moves slowly. So, Mr. Tremaine's life was tense and on hold while legal papers were drawn up.
Finally, on being notiied that all was in readiness, Mr. Tremaine turned himself in September 29 and began his sentence.
In a recent call from inside the belly of the beast, Mr. Tremaine reported: "I have finally gotten canteen (weekly cart of approved purchases) and some Nicorette." Yes, Mr. Tremaine is a smoker -- almost as politically incorrect as being a freethinker in this constipated country,
The guards and other prisoners seem puzzled: "You're in prison for posting stuff on the Internet?" Average Canadians have trouble getting their heads around the notion that you can be flung in prison simply for the non-violent expression of your political opinions.
Doesn't that only happen in awful places like communist Nortk Korea, ruled by a coiffure challenged Elvis look alike like Kim Jong-un?
In his short talk with me, Mr. Tremaine made an interesting observation: Canada actually treats political dissidents worse than Burma. That woman, Aung San Suu Kyi " got house arrest. And she won a Nobel Peace Prize."
Paul Fromm (right), Director of the Canadian Association for Free Expression,
presents Terry Tremaine with CAFE's Free Speech Award.
"And Galileo, although accused of heresy for declaring that the earth was not the centre of the universe but, if fact, revolved around the sun, also got house arrest."
But, in smug hypocritical, politically correct Canada, he noted, "political prisoners get jail."
Mr. Tremaine will spend Canadian Thanksgiving (October 13) in jail. Why not drop a note or postcard of support to one of our "men behind the wire." Evangelist and sometime political prisoner William Whatcott will be visiting him.
Mr. Tremaine's address is:
c/o Regina Provincial Correctional Centre
CANADIAN ASSOCIATION FOR FREE EXPRESSION