SUPPORT RADICALPRESS.COM'S BATTLE FOR FREEDOM OF SPEECH IN CANADA
SUPPORT ARTHUR TOPHAM’S CONSTITUTIONAL CHALLENGE TO CANADA’S REPRESSIVE SEC. 319(2) “HATE PROPAGANDA” LAWS AND DEFEND FREEDOM OF SPEECH IN CANADA
CANADIAN PUBLISHER FACING POSSIBLE 2 YEAR JAIL SENTENCE FOR PUBLISHING POLITICAL WRITINGS ONLINE.
Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms under Sec. 2b of the Charter states:
2. Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:
(b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;
Dear Free Speech Supporters,
My name is Arthur Topham and I am the owner, publisher and editor of the online alternative News site RadicalPress.com which has been operating in Canada since 1998. Since 2007 I have been involved in legal battles with the Canadian government – first the Canadian Human Rights Commission (2007) and now the federal criminal justice system (2012) over alleged offences that purportedly violate Canada’s "Hate Propaganda" laws (Sections 318 - 320) of the Canadian Criminal Code (CCC).
On May 16th, 2012 I was charged with a Sec. 319(2) CCC "Hate Propaganda" violation. I was arrested and jailed and my home was entered illegally by the RCMP’s "Hate Crime Team" who proceeded to steal all of my computers and electronic files. Since that date I have been involved in a protracted and onerous legal battle, first with the British Columbia provincial court and now with the British Columbia Supreme Court.
My trial, known as R v Roy Arthur Topham, finally got underway Monday, October 26, 2015 in Quesnel, B.C., twelve hundred and fifty-eight days (1258) after my arrest on May 16, 2012. The Indictment stated that I, Arthur Topham, did “willfully promote hatred against an identifiable group, people of the Jewish religion or ethnic origin, contrary to Section 319(2) of the Criminal Code.” The trial was presided over by Supreme Court Justice, Mr. Bruce Butler and consisting of a 12-member jury of my peers (8 women and 4 men).
Of primary importance in understanding the nature and outcome of the trial is the fact that I was charged TWICE with the same Sec. 319(2) criminal offence. The first time was the day of my arrest on May 16, 2012 and the second time was January 14, 2014. The wording of the second Indictment was identical to that of the first. The reason for the second charge, like that of the first, was so that Crown might try again to have my bail conditions altered in order to prevent me from publishing. These additional attempts (there were three in all) to increase the severity of the bail conditions were buttressed upon the questionable pretext by Crown that the police investigation was “ongoing” and therefore the second Indictment (Count 2) was merely a result of additional evidence gleaned from posts I had added to my website after my initial bail conditions ended on October 9, 2012.
Throughout the whole of the 14-day trial what stood out most for the defence (as well as many observers in the gallery) was the overwhelming volume of documentary evidence (all taken from the RadicalPress.com website) which the Crown downloaded on to the jury. Coupled with that fact was the additionally onerous presence of two bulky Binders which were of such poor quality they were virtually unreadable, thus making the task of comprehending the details of the evidence not only formidable but in all likelihood an impossibility for the jury to comprehend. In fact it wasn’t until the morning of Friday, November 6th, ten days into the trial, that new exhibits of Binders 3 & 4 were finally made available to jury members.
On the afternoon of Tuesday, November 10th, 2015 Supreme Court Justice Bruce Butler read out his Charge to the jury. On top of the other thousands of pages of online books and articles the jury was now given an additional 62-page document instructing them on how to go about deliberating on all of the evidence presented over the previous 12 days of the trial. After reading out the document to the jury Justice Butler then instructed them to retire and seek a decision on the two counts.
The decision was rendered on the morning of Thursday, November 12, 2015 at 11:27 a.m.
Count 1: Guilty
Count 2: Not Guilty
Once the initial shock of the guilty verdict in Count 1 had subsided and time allowed for a reconsideration of all of the events surrounding the trial it became apparent that the verdict of “Guilty” in Count 1 was, in reality, the key to opening the door for my (the Defence’s) ultimate objective which was to challenge the Constitutional legitimacy of the actual section of the Canadian Criminal Code (Sec. 319(2) now containing the infamous “Hate Propaganda” legislation which threatens freedom of expression for all Canadians.
After numerous delays on July 11th, 2016 a date was finally fixed for the hearing to be heard in Quesnel Supreme Court beginning the week of October 3rd to October 7th, 2016. As well, at that time the date of October 31st, 2016 was set by Crown for Sentencing should my challenge to this specious legislation fail to be overturned during the upcoming hearing.
As of this update (September 7th, 2016) there remains less than a month before the Charter challenge is set to begin. Should the challenge to Sec. 319(2) fail then my next and final option will take place during Sentencing on October 31st, 2016 when I will have to decide whether or not to appeal the guilty verdict in Count 1 or accept my fate.
All of the articles posted on RadicalPress.com are readily available on many other websites around the world. In fact there was only one post which I personally had composed and 99.9% of the text was copied verbatim from another book that I was writing a satire on.
If you value the fundamental right to be able to express your opinions and ideas on the internet without fear of being charged with phoney “hate crime” charges please take a moment to sign this petition and express your own views as well on the right to freedom of speech be it here in Canada or anywhere around the world.
"Digging to the root of the issues since 1998"