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B.C. detention was bid to silence anti-war activists, American says

2007-10-16 04:43:44

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I think this is self-explanatory.  I thought we lived in a free and democratic society with free-speech but I guess not for anti-war protesters.

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B.C. detention was bid to silence anti-war activists, American says

Last Updated: Sunday, September 16, 2007 | 4:10 PM ET


An American peace activist, who was detained by immigration officials in B.C. for two days, is accusing Ottawa of engineering her confinement to silence critics of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Alison Bodine, 22, of Broomfield, Colo., was carrying anti-war pamphlets in her car when she was arrested Thursday at the Peace Arch border crossing in Surrey, B.C., which is the main crossing between Vancouver and Seattle.

Bodine, who studied physics at the University of British Columbia, said she works with an anti-war group based in B.C. called Mobilization Against War and Occupation.

When she approached the Peace Arch crossing, Bodine said Canadian border officials told her there was a Canada-wide warrant for her arrest.

She spent Thursday night in a jail in Surrey and then was transferred to a holding cell at Vancouver International Airport before being released Friday night. She told CBC News she still hasn't been told what crime she is accused of committing.

"All I've been told is that I have an admissibility hearing coming up on Monday at two p.m. at the immigration offices," Bodine said on Saturday. "I do not get to hear my full case until that hearing."

Bodine said other activists should worry she was arrested.

"This was a bit of a test, to see what happens when they arrest someone who isn't agreeing with their current foreign policy."

The Canada Border Services Agency said it could not comment on specific cases.

Canada has about 2,500 soldiers deployed in Afghanistan as part of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). Canada started the mission in early 2002, in the wake of the U.S. invasion that overthrew the Taliban government.

The United States has thousands of troops in Afghanistan and about 160,000 in Iraq.


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