February 4, 2005

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Friday, February 4, 2005

Consulate General of Canada
550 South Hope Street, 9th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90071

Together with other Americans, we have come today to the Canadian Consulate in Los Angeles to express, as emphatically as we can, our outrage over the unjust treatment of Ernst Zundel, and to demand his immediate release.

For nearly two years now, Canadian authorities have been holding the 65-year-old German-born publisher and civil rights activist in solitary confinement on the pretext that he is a threat to national security. There is no basis for this charge.

He is held on the basis of evidence that is not being made public and to which, therefore, he is unable to respond. This is an outrageous violation of one of the most basic principles of justice: the right of the accused to respond to the evidence against him.

Zundel’s life is an open book. He is a peaceful man with no record of violence. During the 40 years he lived in Canada, he was never convicted of a crime. In fact, Zundel is himself a victim of hate and violence. He has survived at least three attempts on his life, including a devastating arson attack against his residence.

Zundel is behind bars solely because of his views, and especially his dissident views about the Holocaust. He is effectively a political prisoner.

Jewish groups have been demanding that Zundel be deported to Germany, where he faces years of imprisonment for the “thought crime” of “denying the Holocaust.” (“Holocaust denial” is against the law in Germany, France, Switzerland and some other European countries.)

Knowledgeable observers of the Zundel case, including those who disagree with his views, recognize that he is being held unjustly, and several prominent Canadian newspapers have editorially protested his incarceration.

Canada’s most prestigious daily paper, the Globe and Mail, affirmed in a March 6, 2004, editorial, “Zundel doesn't warrant a security certificate,” that Zundel is being held on a “guilt by association” pretext, and that he poses no risk to people or property. “He has never been charged with a violent crime and does not urge others to commit violence,” the Toronto daily noted. “The real danger to Canadians,” the editorial concluded, comes not from individuals like Zundel, “but from a government that casually discards their most precious rights.”

In another editorial, “The Zundel Case,” the Globe and Mail called Canada’s treatment of  Zundel an “abuse of the secret-trial legislation.” The Oct. 23, 2004, editorial continued: “What little [evidence that] has emerged suggests the Crown is arguing not that he has incited violence, but that his material might be read by people who might incite violence — guilt by association. … The willingness of Canadian authorities to twist the narrow purpose of the security-trial legislation to go after Ernst Zundel is a blot on Canadian justice.”

Along with a growing number of concerned Canadians and Americans, we protest Ernst Zundel’s unjust incarceration, and demand his immediate release.


Mark Weber


Institute for Historical Review

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