Update: see the Twitter thread below for Ezra Levant's recap of a phone call had with Pastor Artur Pawlowski after he was released from jail.
Pastor Artur Pawlowski is finally free. This morning, our legal dream team went to the Court of Queen’s Bench and argued for his immediate release from jail. That order was granted by Mr. Justice Germain — setting free both Pastor Artur and his brother Dawid, who was arrested in the same SWAT-team raid.
That should have been the end of it — the court order was signed by the judge, and then sent over to the jail, called the Calgary Remand Centre.And normally that would be that — prison guards do whatever a judge tells them to do. And in this case, that would be releasing Pastor Artur and his brother.
But they didn’t.
The prison guards refused. They went rogue — or more likely, they were ordered by the prison’s director to disobey.
I wish I were making this up.
I just got off the phone with one of Pastor Artur’s lawyers. She told me that the prison refused — they sent the order back, demanding that there be two separate release orders, one for each brother. And then they said the judge spelled Dawid’s name wrong.
Except he didn’t — that’s how his name is spelled. It’s Polish. Back and forth went the paperwork, with Pastor Artur languishing in his concrete cell.
But hang on. Since when do prison guards, or even a prison warden, tell a judge what to do? Since when do they have an opinion on the correctness of a judge’s court order? On whether or not a judge is correct?
When I spoke with Pastor Artur’s lawyer about this, I couldn’t even believe it. Neither could she — we’ve never heard of a prison simply telling a judge to stuff it. The fact that those guards or the prison director himself haven’t been immediately suspended shows that the Government of Alberta not only approves of that illegal move — they probably ordered it.
The Government of Alberta had its day in court — they lost. They were represented by Justice Department lawyers and Health Department lawyers. Pastor Artur’s excellent lawyers beat them, and won his freedom.
But some angry jailer thinks they’re above the law? How is that anything other than a police state? How is Pastor Artur anything other than a political prisoner?
I should also note that when our young reporter showed up to wait outside the jail for Pastor Artur’s release, he was repeatedly threatened by officers that they’d arrest him too if he didn’t leave. He held his ground, but it shows how malicious they are.
Pastor Artur's finally out now — these rogue jailers and their tantrum kept Pastor Artur in prison many hours longer than the law required. How outrageous.
But just another day in Alberta’s rapid descent into authoritarianism. Don’t think for a second any of this is just about a virus. It’s about power and fear. I promise we’ll keep you up to date on this important story.
We have two reporters in Calgary covering it around the clock.
For updates, please keep checking our website, at www.SaveArtur.com. And if you haven’t had a chance to chip in to the legal defence fund yet, you can do that on the website too.
Thanks for your help.
Update: Pastor Artur Pawlowski has been in contact with me now that he's gotten out of jail. Here's what he told me: