From: Lauray" <>
Subject: Bruce Balfour
Date: Thu, 4 Sep 2003
Dear Stockwell;
Thank-you for your valiant efforts regarding my brother Bruce Balfour's ordeal in a Beirut prison. The end result has been very positive, but I certainly question the methods used to attain this end .
What do we as Canadians stand for?
What won't we stand for?
Kudos and our sincere appreciation go to Mebs Velji, (Consular official in Beirut). He went above and beyond the call of duty in support and defense of Bruce. Also he was kind enough to contact us directly to reassure us of Bruce's well being.
Myra Pastyr-Lupul, (Consular official in Ottawa), has been outstanding at keeping many of us informed by phone and e-mail almost on a daily basis. She was very co-operative when we requested direct contact with Mebs on September 01, (Labor Day). She was also very caring and considerate of our feelings. Our sincere thanks to you Myra for all you did for us.
As for Minister Coderre's efforts, we are grateful for the end result, that of course being my brothers release, but is he really "respectful of the judicial system" in Lebanon? According to the Canadian Lebanese Human Rights Federation "the judiciary in Lebanon is politicized and remains under the control of the Syrian occupier".
Minister Bill Graham said, "I am satisfied that due process has aquitted Mr. Balfour"! Was it due process that Bill Sampson recieved?
It is clear that Bruce was denied several of his human rights.
How can our government continue to overlook these things?
Was a secret deal cut?
How will that help the many Canadians and other citizens of the world that are unjustly detained?
Will our government cut them a deal as well?
Will our elected leaders at least speak out about the unjustness of these violations?
How can we as Canadians denounce terrorism, list the Syrian backed Hizbollah as terrorists last year, then dedicate 200 million dollars for humanitarian aid to the Lebanese government which is under Hizbollah control?
How will this help the "needy" Lebanese people?
What kind of message are we sending?
I believe that the media glare and public scrutiny is what REALLY kept Bruce safe.
History shows that its only when democracies stand up for what is right and speak against undemocratic regimes that we see positive results.
PLEASE let us learn something from this very unfortunate incident!
Yours sincerely;
Laura MacKenzie
A concerned Canadian citizen and a very grateful sister