Saturday, April 08, 2006

Standing up for tyranny

Reporters Without Borders notes that while it's a relief that Frederick Lavoie has been released from a Belarussian prison, the Canadian government doesn't seem to have done much to make that happen:
Reporters Without Borders Canada is delighted that journalist Frédérick Lavoie was released 15 days after he was arrested while covering the elections in Belarus. However, it deplores the attitude of the Canadian government which settled for improving conditions of Mr Lavoie's detention rather than press for his immediate liberation...On March 28, Reporters Without Borders Canada and Frédérick Lavoie's brother, Jérémi Lavoie, immediately requested a meeting with Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay to ensure the immediate release of the Quotidien and La Presse correspondent. Their request was unsuccessful...

Frédérick Lavoie...was arrested during the crackdown and sentenced to 15 days in prison for "participating in an unauthorized demonstration" at the end of a summary trial in which he was denied consular assistance to which he was entitled.
To the best of my knowledge, there's not yet any comment from Colin Mayes. But Canadian journalists can apparently be assured that their freedoms and due process rights abroad are among the areas in which the Con government considers it "mature" to look the other way.

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