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From: dgannon@techbook.techbook.com (Dan Gannon)
Newsgroups: soc.history,alt.censorship,alt.activism,alt.revisionism,alt.discrimination,alt.conspiracy,alt.politics.correct,alt.journalism.criticism,talk.politics.misc,talk.politics.mideast
Subject: After 9 Years of Legal Persecution, Zundel Wins in Supreme Court!
Date: 20 Sep 1993 13:26:26 -0700
Organization: TECHbooks - Public Access
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Summary: Posted to help answer questions recently asked about this topic.


>From the _IHR Newsletter_, October 1992 (Number 89):


                   ZUNDEL WINS IN CANADA'S SUPREME COURT

                  Victory for Free Speech and Revisionism
                   Now Free, Zundel Counters New Attacks
               Vindication After Nine Years of Legal Struggle


     Canada's Supreme Court has struck down as unconstitutional the law
under which German-Canadian publisher Ernst Zundel was convicted for
publishing a Revisionist booklet about the Holocaust.

     In a four-three decision, the judges ruled on August 27 that the
"false news" law under which Zundel was convicted (Criminal Code Section
181) violates the freedom-of-speech provisions of Canada's Charter of
Rights (similar to the US Bill of Rights), and is thus unconstitutional.

     After a bitter and costly nine-year struggle, the 53-year-old
German-born publisher and political activist, who resides in Toronto, is
once again a free man.  Zundel does not have to serve the nine-month prison
sentence pronounced in his 1988 trial, nor can he be deported.

                 Free Speech for Revisionists Affirmed

     The Court's defense of the principle of freedom of speech was sweeping
and unequivocal.  Canada's archaic and rarely invoked "false news" law, the
Court ruled, "infringes the guarantee of freedom of expression" laid out in
the country's Charter of Rights.

     Except for overtly aggressive forms of "communication," such as acts
of physical violence, the Charter protects "all communications," the Court
declared.  "The content of the communication is irrelevant."

     This vague law was all the less legitimate, the Court found, "given
that false statements can sometimes have value and given the difficulty of
conclusively determining total falsity."

     In its ruling, the majority of judges specifically affirmed:

      ...The purpose of the [Charter's] guarantee is to permit free
     expression to the end of promoting truth, political or social
     participation, and self-fulfillment.  That purpose extends to the
     protection of minority beliefs which the majority regards as wrong or
     false.  Section 181, which may subject a person to criminal conviction
     and potential imprisonment because of words he published, has
     undeniably the effect of restricting freedom of expression and,
     therefore, imposes a limit on Section 2(b) [of the Charter].

      ...It is also significant that the Crown [prosecution] could point to
     no other free and democratic country with criminal legislation of this
     type.

      ...The greatest danger of Section 181 lies in the undefined phrase
     "injury or mischief to a public interest," which is capable of almost
     infinite extension.

      ...Section 181 may have a chilling effect on minority groups or
     individuals, restraining them from saying what they would like for
     fear that they might be prosecuted.

     Writing for the majority, Justice Beverley McLachlin stated:

      To permit the imprisonment of people, or even the threat of
     imprisonment, on the ground that they have made a statement which 12
     of their co-citizens deem to be false and mischievous to some
     undefined public interest, is to stifle a whole range of speech, some
     of which has long been regarded as legitimate and even beneficial to
     our society.

     The Court thus categorically endorsed key arguments made by attorney
Douglas Christie during his presentations on Zundel's behalf in the 1985
and 1988 trials.  The Canadian Civil Liberties Association (similar to the
American Civil Liberties Union) had similarly maintained that the "false
news" law should be struck down as an unconstitutional threat to legitimate
forms of free speech.

     The Court did not pronounce on the accuracy of Zundel's Revisionist
views on the Holocaust.

                         Nine Years of Struggle

     Zundel was first charged in 1983 for reprinting _Did Six Million
Really Die?_, an international underground "best-seller" that succinctly
argues that the generally accepted Holocaust extermination story is a
fraud.  (A revised edition of this 28-page booklet, entitled _Six Million
Lost and Found_, is available from the IHR for $5.25, postpaid.)

     Zundel was repeatedly attacked by mobs of Jewish hoodlums as he
entered a Toronto courthouse to attend preliminary hearings in 1984.  His
house was fire-bombed in September 1984.

     After an emotion-charged seven-week trial in early 1985 that received
intense and often sensational coverage in the Canadian media, Zundel was
found guilty and sentenced to 15 months imprisonment.  In early 1987,
though, the Ontario provincial Court of Appeals set aside his conviction,
ruling that the judge in the 1985 case had acted improperly in a way that
was biased against the defendant.

     Authorities decided to try Zundel again on the same charge.  After a
four month trial, he was once again convicted in May 1988 and given a
nine-month prison sentence.

     During the history-making trial, the Zundel defense team presented
stunning new evidence on the Holocaust extermination story, including the
results of American gas chamber expert Fred Leuchter's forensic
investigation of the alleged extermination gas chamber facilities at
Auschwitz.  (For more on the 1988 trial, see: R. Faurisson, "The Zundel
Trials," IHR _Journal_, Winter 1988-1989; M. Weber, "My Role in the Zundel
Trial," IHR _Journal_, Winter 1989-90; R. Lenski, _The Holocaust on
Trial_.)

     Zundel was released on $10,000 bail while appealing the verdict, but
with a highly unusual gag order that forbade him from expressing opinions
about virtually all aspects of Second World War history.

     The Toronto _Globe and Mail_, "Canada's national newspaper,"
editorially supported the Court's decision (August 28).  Echoing the
arguments of Christie and Zundel, the paper pointed out that "under Section
181, no one need be demonstrably harmed by the 'false' speech, nor must it
be shown that anyone has suffered a measurable injury."

     At no time in either trial did the prosecuting attorney ever show that
anyone had ever been harmed or injured by Zundel's publication of _Did Six
Million Really Die?_.

     And because of the unfair instructions given to the jury by the judge
in the 1988 trial, the paper went on to note, "in sum, there was no
practical defence" that Zundel could possibly have made in his own
interest.

                "Multiculturalism" and "True Democracy"

     The three dissenting judges who defended the "false news" law argued
that it encourages "racial and social tolerance" and protects the "values"
of "multiculturalism and equality."  The law is still needed, they
maintained, to combat the "cancerous growth" of racism in Canada.

     Suggesting that Canadian society is not strong enough to withstand the
efforts of even a single Ernst Zundel, the three dissenting judges
contended that

     The publication of such lies [by Zundel] makes the concept of
     multiculturalism in a true democracy impossible to attain.
     ...Holocaust denial has pernicious effects upon Canadians who
     suffered, fought and died as a result of the Nazis' campaign of racial
     bigotry and upon Canadian society as a whole....It deprives others of
     the opportunity to learn from the lessons of history.

                     An Obvious Ruling, Says Zundel

     That this case ever reached Canada's Supreme Court is actually a sorry
commentary on the country's legal system, Zundel told the IHR.  Any judge
should have been able to realize that the "false news" law, and the entire
case against him, was a blatant violation of justice and legal principle.

     "Every prosecutor, every judge worth his law degree should have come
to the same simple and clear conclusion that Madame Justice McLachlin did,"
Zundel told the IHR.  "The law was clearly unconstitutional."  Instead,
judges and prosecutors "choose political correctness over legal principle
and the Canadian tradition of justice."

     That the judges in the 1985 and 1988 trials joined the powerful
"politically correct" groups in their campaign to slander and silence
Zundel points up a serious defect in the Canadian legal system, he says.

     Rarely have so few defenders of freedom been so abused and harassed by
so many, Zundel adds.  He is contemptuous of the conduct of many in the
media, who failed to appreciate that his free speech struggle was veyr much
also in THEIR interest.  "Perversely, I secured for my enemies their right
to lie about me."

     The fact that the Supreme Court decided not to comment on the conduct
of the judges in the two trials, Zundel also told the IHR, "should give
people pause to ponder."

                      New Charges Against Zundel?

     As expected, Jewish organizations lost no time in resuming their
campaign against Zundel.  Just days after the Court's ruling, Jewish
leaders demanded that he be charged again, this time under Canada's "hate
law" (Section 319) that bans willful incitement to hatred.

     Officials of the Canadian Jewish Congress and Canada's B'nai B'rith
organization formally called on police authorities to charge Zundel with
"promoting hatred against Jews."  They asserted that his defiant vow to
journalists, in the aftermath of the Court's ruling, to continue presenting
the Revisionist view of the Holocaust story constitutes "promoting hatred
against Jews."

     "As far as we are concerned, Holocaust denial is anti-Semitism," a
Canadian Jewish Congress official declared.  (_Canadian Jewish News_,
Toronto, Sept. 3.)

     This outrageous declaration is not only inaccurate, it is an insult
against each and every Jewish person who has supported the Revisionist view
of the Holocaust story.  (Joseph Burg, for example, himself a Jewish
Holocaust survivor, testified on Zundel's behalf in the 1988 trial.)

     Experience should have taught these arrogant organizations that their
efforts to silence Zundel are more than likely to result only in further
embarrassment for themselves.

     In their long-standing war against the German-Canadian, Zionist Jewish
groups have repeatedly found themselves looking like the legendary B'rer
Fox after his bouts with the Tar Baby.  The more they flail away at Zundel,
the stucker they seem to get.

     Even the Toronto _Globe and Mail_, certainly no friend of Zundel,
wisely warned against bringing new charges against him.  A new trial, the
paper predicted, would merely provide Zundel with another forum and more
publicity for his views.  "To put him on trial for another offence (using
the hate law has been suggested) would only give him and his views a few
more years in front of the bright lights."  (Editorial, August 28.)

                            Zundel Responds

     Saying "two can play this game," Zundel quickly responded to the
Canadian Jewish groups' move by filing a complaint of his own on September
3 with the Ontario provincial police.  In his formal protest, he cited a
hate-mongering statement by Elie Wiesel that appears in the Holocaust
personality's book, _Legends of Our Time_:  "Every Jew, somewhere in his
being, should set apart a zone of hate--healthy, virile hate--for what the
German personifies and for what persists in the German."

     "I know of no other clearer invitation to hate in any book or
publication I have seen," Zundel commented in his letter to the "Project
Hate" section of the provincial police.

     "We want to test now whether the laws of Canada are only applied
against people like myself or also against Jews," Zundel said.  "I have
never before gone after anybody through the courts, but now I will.  If the
Canadian Jewish Congress... with all their lawyers, wants to hound me, well
then by God the German community and the Austrian community, we are now
going to fight back."

     Zundel said that his request that immigration authorities ban future
visits of Wiesel to Canada is directly related to an effort by the Simon
Wiesenthal Center to keep British historian David Irving out of Canada.
(Irving, who testified on Zundel's behalf in his 1988 trial, is scheduled
to address a meeting in Ontario in November.)

     As we go to press, it is not clear how the Ontario Attorney General
will decide to proceed on the formal complaints by Zundel and the Jewish
organizations.

               A Victory for Free Speech and Revisionism

     In spite of its inherent newsworthiness, the Canadian Supreme Court's
momentous decision received only very limited coverage in American
newspapers and other US media.

     This "silent treatment" is entirely consistent with the deliberate
quashing of full media coverage of the 1988 Zundel trial.  (This systematic
suppression was at the insistence of powerful Jewish organizations, which
complained bitterly about the extensive and occasionally balanced coverage
of the 1985 trial.  For more on this, see Doug Collins' essay in the Fall
1991 IHR _Journal_.)

     Zundel's attendance at the very first IHR Revisionist conference in
1979 was a pivotal experience in his life, he says, and profoundly
influenced his thinking and approach.  He has steadfastly supported the IHR
ever since.

     The IHR is pleased to congratulate Ernst Zundel and his courageous
attorney, Doug Christie -- along with the many others who have stood with
them throughout this costly and nightmarish nine-year ordeal.

     This is not merely vindication for a man who has fought tirelessly for
civil rights and equal justice for his people, it is a major victory for
the cause of free speech and free historical inquiry.  As Zundel puts it:
"My victory is everybody's victory."

     At a time when dissident views of Second World War history are banned
in Israel and several European states, the Canadian Court's wise ruling
should be a sober warning to all the would-be censors who desperately seek
to silence the growing Revisionist movement.

     Above all, the Canadian Court's resounding defence of free historical
inquiry and, more specifically, of freedom for Holocaust Revisionism, is an
encouraging victory for Revisionist historians and activists everywhere.

[end of article]


-Dan Gannon

-- 
dgannon@techbook.COM  Public Access User --- Not affiliated with TECHbooks
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