Canada's Customs Censors
Ban Zundel's Prison
Memoirs As 'Hate'

From Paul Fromm
Dear Free Speech Supporter:
Returning from the U.S. on October 11, I was sent to secondary inspection for my usual bout with Canada's thought police, the Customs censors. As usual, after pawing through my clippings, poring over my reading bag of Canadian newspapers, a rooting through my underwear and laundry, they hit upon their real target -- some books and pamphlets. They seized a number. I call it stole: they were mine, not theirs; they had them, I didn't. They call it "detaining" the literature.
In a notice dated November 8, unsigned, of course, by the cowardly censors I was informed that Ernst Zundel's "Setting the Record Straight: Letters from Cell #7" had been seized and ruled as "hate propaganda." I've filed the appeal which appears below. If I lose, these books shall be consigned to the fire by Canada's modern day book burners.
For a year and a half, I've been sent to secondary inspection -- special treatment harassment almost very time I've flown back to Canada. It's a price I reluctantly pay for being an outspoken supporter of free speech and Ernst Zundel's freedom. In Absurdistan, it's risky to stand for freedom.
If you want a copy of the latest banned book, send $20 (postage is included) to CAFE, Box 332, Rexdale, ON., M9W 5L3, Canada. Send a cheque or money order or e-mail us your VISA number and expiry date. Don't knuckle under to state-imposed thought control
Censorship sucks!
Paul Fromm
Canadian Association for Free Expression
Box 332,
Rexdale, Ontario, M9W 5L3
905-277-3914 fx
February 8, 2005
Customs Disputes Section,
Prohibited Importations Unit.
Canada Customs and Revenue Agency,
5th Floor, Killeany Place,
150 Isabella Street,
Ottawa, ON.,
K1A 0L5
Re: Regional Control # 4972-04-0010
Dear Sirs:
I am in receipt of a notice of detention and subsequent determination dated (by hand November 8, 2004) which I did not received until November 15, 2004. The determination releases to me a number of items seized at Toronto International Airport on October 11, 2004. This was another in a long series of harassment searches that I am subjected to as I am a White middle class male and, therefore, not among the privileged groups you're not supposed to bother. To boot, I'm a free speech activist and am regularly targetted by your department for the "special treatment." All of my seized books were returned except for two copies of Setting the Record Straight: Letters from Cell #7 by Ernst Zundel.
Your unsigned letter advised me that this book is prohibited.
I wish to exercise my right to appeal this seizure.
Firstly, I must protest the cowardly secretive letter I received. There is no signature. An old Merle Haggard song talks of a prisoner given "a number not a name." Well, I find it despicable that the decision to ban a key work of prison literature was announced to me by #16012 "Senior Program[me] Officer" -- someone either so cowardly or ashamed of his work that he dares not provide his victim his name.
Secondly, the reasons, with boxes neatly checked off but no details provided, violate your own guidelines as set out in Memorandum D9-1-1 of September 20, 1994. Section 8 notes: "It should be emphasized that a book ... is to be assesses in its entirety. It's to be considered as a whole and its overall nature and dominant characteristic must be assessed."
Setting the Record Straight: Letters from Cell #7 is an important contribution to Canadian prison literature. it is written by political prisoner, Ernst Zundel. He's one of just six persons held under a seldom used Canadian Security Intelligence Agency Certificate of National Security. He lived in Canada form 1958 to 2000 and was never convicted of a criminal offence, much less an act of violence. Yet, he stands accused of being a "terrorist" and threat to national security. The precise nature of the charges, the evidence against him and many of the hearings have all been in secret. Mr. Zundel's account of his travails, written in pencil from solitary confinement shed important light on the behaviour of the Canadian legal system in response to the alleged terrorist threat in the post 9/11 world.
In his "Introduction", John Kaminski observes: "In his Canadian prison ordeal, Zundel is not allowed to hear the evidence against him, who the witnesses are, or even what the accusations are. This procedure, permitted by Canadian anti-terrorist legislation, cancels the basic right under Anglo-Saxon common law of the defendant to know the charges against him, to face his accusers, and to challenge their evidence in order to make a full and complete defence." (p.7)
In her January 4, 2005 complaint to the United Nations Human Rights Committee in Geneva, lawyer Barbara Kulaszka wrote: "
Zundel lived in Canada from 1958 to 2000 and has no criminal record. He has never been charged with any offence involving any type of violence directly or indirectly. He has never been charged with the offence of inciting hatred notwithstanding numerous attempts by groups which support the State of Israel to have such charges laid. In the United States, the FBI conducted an investigation of Zundel as part of the immigration process. It concluded: "In view of the fact that there is no indication that the subject is, or ever has been involved in any acts of violence, acts of domestic terrorism, or any other criminal activity within the United States, recommend this case be closed administratively." (Investigative Report, U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, 04/09/2001)
Zundel is being held in prison under national security allegations that rest, not on serious violence or any type of violence, but solely on his opinions which question the British/United States version of Germany's treatment of its Jewish population during World War II and his work in sharing that information with others and receiving information from others. This is the very type of activity that Articles 18 and 19 [of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights] are designed to protect. Zundel is a researcher, a writer, a publisher, a producer of radio and TV documentaries and interview-type shows. He shares his opinions with others. He receives information and opinions from others. He may or may not share the opinions of people that he speaks with or interviews.
Yet, Canada has held Zundel in prison in solitary confinement for two years based solely on his activities as a writer and publisher. Canada admits it has no evidence that he is violent or has engaged in any type of violence. But it dislikes his historical views. Nevertheless, Zundel has never been charged with inciting hatred against Jews or any other group in Canada notwithstanding the fact that powerful Zionist organizations have attempted numerous times to have such charges laid. Zundel is not a hate propagandist under Canadian law.
The national security charges against Zundel are politically motivated and arbitrary and violate all civilized norms enshrined in Articles 18 and 19. Zundel is being held essentially as a political prisoner because of his beliefs. The fact that he does not believe in the Allied version of the Nazi treatment of Germany's Jewish population, does not constitute a threat to national security. Zundel has endured and continues to endure persecution because of his convictions." (pages 18 & 19)
I submit that the explanation and revelation of the effects of Canada's new Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) on an individual, in this case Ernst Zundel, mean that this book falls under the exception of paragraph 9(d)(3) of Memorandum D9-1-1: "In assessing goods under tariff code 9956, full recognition should be given to freedom of expression. In particular,. with respect to goods which may constitute hate propaganda, classification under tariff code 9956 will not be made if there is a possibility that the goods may: ... 93) be relevant to any subject of public interest, the discussion of which is for the public benefit and, on reasonable grounds, believed to be true."
Surely, the effects of the national security provisions, particularly Section 78, of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act -- unlimited detention, jailing without charge or conviction, secret trials, secret evidence -- are matters "of public interest the discussion of which is for the public benefit." As to the truth of this material, there can be little dispute. Federal Judge Huguesson has spoken of the unease many judges have with the secret trial provisions of IRPA. A major article "Playing into Zundel's Hands" by Andy Lamey (National Post, December 17, 2004) dealt with these matters as well.
The stated reasons that this book is banned are that it "alleges that an identifiable group manipulates media/trade/finance/politics/government to the detriment of society" [and] "weakens or threatens society."
While it's true that Mr. Zundel blames his years of court prosecutions and his present persecution on the lobbying of a number of Jewish groups, surely his book is saved on several counts. Firstly, he does not blame all Jews or the whole group for his problems. Mr. Zundel makes it clear that he has worked with many Jewish people and even promoted their works. For instance, he writes: "Yesterday, I received a letter from Professor Polacco de Menasce, a Jew. I visited him several times and interviewed him at length. We broadcast some of those interviews, and I sold his booklet, Silence of Heidegger, in English, French, and German." (p.147)
Secondly, his accusations are true and have been so acknowledged in court. In his ruling of September 22,. 2004, Mr;. Justice Pierre Blais, the designated judge conducting a hearing into the reasonableness of the national security certificate against Ernst Zundel noted: "As I have stated in a previous decision, it is no secret that the Canadian Jewish organizations placed a lot of pressure on ministers and different levels of government, insisting that different measures should be taken against Mr. Zundel. ... The pressures that were placed on the federal government and particularly the Ministers issuing the certificate are well known and were made in public." (paragraphs 16 and 17) Mr. Zundel carefully documents and specifies the campaigns over the years of certain Jewish groups against him; for instance, on page 160.
Section 6.(1)(f)(2) and (4) of Memorandum D9-1-1 states: "Goods with some or all of the following characteristics may be subject to prohibition under tariff code 9956 as hate propaganda: (2) goods alleging that an identifiable group is manipulating
media/trade/finance/politics/government to the detriment of society" [and] "seriously threatens society as a whole." These characteristics are to serve as alarm bells of possible problems. The operative word in this section is "may". The determinative Section is 9, especially 9(d)(1) which exempts goods that "communicate statements that are established to be true" or 9(d)(3) goods that may "be relevant to any subject of public interest ... and, on reasonable grounds, believed to be true." The courts have found many of Ernst Zundel's statements to be true and his extensive documentation in this book would convince an informed reader that these statements are "on reasonable grounds, believed to be true."
In conclusion, Setting the Record Straight: Letters from Cell #7 by Ernst Zundel is an important work of prison literature. It discusses and exposes urgent political matters in Canada -- the secret hearings permitted under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, the powerful lobbying of certain minority groups to the detriment of freedom of speech and freedom of discussion. The statements impugned -- at least from the very general and unspecific notice sent to me -- are true and in the public interest. Therefore, by the guidelines of your own department, this book should not be classified as :"hate propaganda."
Sincerely yours,
Paul Fromm
Canadian Association for Free Expression



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