Pastor Artur Pawlowski has been incarcerated for 50 days for daring to visit and preach to protesters at the Coutts, Alberta border blockade.
He is facing a historically unprecedented charge under the Critical Infrastructure Defence Act, a charge which was not even levied against those who were actively blockading the roads. Authorities, however, sought to use the Act against Pastor Artur despite the fact that he was only at the border for a few hours in total and at no time did he obstruct any infrastructure.
Artur also faces charges in relation to conspiring to commit mischief, which the prosecution argues is what Artur was doing when he shared words of encouragement as a pastor with the protesters at Coutts.
Shockingly, while serious criminals are often granted bail even after serial offences, Pastor Artur was denied bail despite having no criminal charges in his history. Even if he was found guilty on all charges, the sanctions against him would very likely not merit 50 days of incarceration, especially considering the additional credit for time served pre-trial, so serious concerns about his continued jailing were mounting among friends and family.
Fortunately, thanks to the tireless efforts of Sarah Miller and her team at JSS Barristers and your donations at SaveArtur.com, we learned on Friday that the appeal of this denial of bail was successful, but Artur still had some legal matters to address before he could go home.
In addition to the strict curfew and house arrest terms of his bail and significant financial deposits to be made by Artur, his wife and his son to ensure his compliance with these terms, Artur would also have to await the courts agreement to grant him bail on other charges stemming from earlier incidents, including opening his church, feeding the homeless and attending protests allegedly in contravention of COVID-19 restrictions.
Yesterday, on Artur’s birthday, his legal team and the prosecution were also able to come to terms to secure his release and he will be returning home to his family on Wednesday afternoon.
I joined Sarah Miller to breakdown these victories and to discuss the legal battles that are still ahead of Pastor Artur Pawlowski.
It is certainly great news that Artur will be returning home, but he is far from free. He is still in for the legal fight of his life over the next few years. If you want to contribute to Pastor Artur’s legal fees, you can make a tax-receipt eligible donation to The Democracy Fund at SaveArtur.com. Your contributions will be used to keep Sarah Miller and her team hard at work fighting for Pastor Artur’s freedom.