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Tamara Lich released from jail again after a total of 48 days behind bars

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Mon, Aug 01, 2022

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Canadian freedom convoy leader was detained again for shaking hands with fellow freedom organizer, a supposed breach of bail

Tamara Lich released from jail again after a total of 48 days behind bars

As part of a series, Frontline News is featuring activists who were unjustly imprisoned for their fight against government extremism in the name of COVID. Many activists, scientists, and other professionals lost their friends, careers, or were censored for standing up, but a small few fought for freedom by sacrificing their own. These are their stories. 

Tamara Lich helped organize one of the most dramatic protests against COVID mandates – the Canadian trucker convoy in February 2022. The trucker convoy travelled across Canada, picking up more supporters on the way. Upon arriving in the capital city of Ottawa, the truckers parked their vehicles in peaceful protest. 

By the end of the month, the government violently cleared the protesters and the trucks with many arrests. Lich, 49, was arrested and charged with mischief, counselling to commit mischief, and obstructing police.

Prior to her arrest Lich and hundreds of other activists had their bank accounts frozen after the Trudeau government invoked the Emergencies Act for the first time - giving the government the unusual power to seize assets without a court order. 

At her bail hearing, it was made clear that Lich did not have funds available to leave Ottawa - due to the Government's freezing of her accounts, and that she was unable to fly back to her home in Alberta due to the government's prohibition on the unvaccinated from flying. 

Justice Julie Bourgeois denied Lich bail and said, "Your detention is necessary for the protection and safety of the public." And so Lich was remanded into custody until trial.

Appeal to reason

After 16 days in jail Lich's appeal was finally heard. 

Justice John Johnston found that the previous judge who denied Lich bail made errors in law. For example, she erred when weighing the seriousness of Lich's charges by comparing them to the seriousness of the impact of the "Freedom Convoy" and not to other criminal code offenses.

Johnston was concerned that Lich could spend more time in pre-trial custody than a sentence might deliver. An indication of how disproportionate the imprisonment was.

So the judge released Lich on condition that she not return to the province of Ontario or contact other convoy organizers unless she is meeting with her lawyers. 

In addition, she was instructed not to participate in other COVID-mandate protests or access social media. Despite the severe restriction on her basic freedoms, Lich agreed.   

Award-winning activism

Since her release, Tamara abided by her bail restrictions. On June 16th she attended a gala, where she accepted the “George Jonas Freedom Award” from the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms in recognition of her outstanding dedication to the cause of freedom

JCCF President John Carpay, told the Western Standard, "It’s important in dark and desperate times when freedom is under siege — when governments are blockading our Charter rights and freedoms — it’s important to act."

"What Tamara did was help to energize and mobilize Canadians to exercise those freedoms and the results were the lifting of vaccine passports in pretty much every province in Canada. Without the Freedom Convoy, we may have been locked down with a passport system for a lot longer.”

Tamara Lich Delivers a speech for receiving the George Jonas Freedom Award on June 16, 2022

Despite having been given permission to attend the event, police rearrested Lich on June 27 for breaching her bail conditions. What was the breach? At the gala event Lich shook hands and stood for a group photo with Tom Marrazo, one of the organizers that she was forbidden to communicate with.   

Back to jail

The defense argued that since she was given permission to attend, and that her lawyer was present at the time, there was no violation of the bail conditions. On July 8, Justice of the Peace Paul Harris dismissed the defense's arguments and sent Lich back to jail.

In a twisted irony, Tamara lost her freedom for receiving an award recognizing her work in promoting freedom.

In his decision, Justice Harris said that Lich “[violated her bail] in such a fashion as to flaunt her action under the misguided excuse of having her lawyers present. Even if Ms. Lich is able to provide proof of her lawyer’s presence, it’s important to reconfirm the spirit of the non-contact condition.”

The Justice continued, “your detention is necessary to maintain confidence in the administration of justice. That is my decision.”

Overturned again

On July 26, after a two-day hearing, Ontario Superior Court Justice Andrew Goodman ordered Tamara Lich released from jail after a total of 48 days.

“Ms. Lich is not charged with sedition or inciting a riot,” said Justice Goodman. “While the protests were of national import… the charges here relate to minor offences in the criminal code. I find it highly unlikely this 49-year-old woman with no criminal record… would spend any more time in jail.”   

The JCCF is raising funds and continuing to provide Lich's legal defense. 

________________________________________

Please see our previous articles in this series depicting political prisoners of COVID extremism: 

Pastor Artur Pawlowski

Monica Smit

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