It's not been a good year for the dissident indie press. Noted Scientology critic Arnie Lerma died this March, in May it was the editor and publisher of Feral House books, Kenn Thomas of Steamshovel is seriously ill and now in Canada Arthur George Topham is under arrest in Canada for violation of probation.
Topham's arrest is politically motivated according to the Canadian Association for Free Expression (CAFE). Topham and his wife Shasta had returned from his placer mining claims in early August and was arrested right outside his property in Quesnel, British Columbia. His disabled wife was held outside during the entire ordeal.
Arthur was detained at the local jail until a search warrant arrived. “They absconded with my computers and flash drives,” Topham told CAFE. Topham was a former publisher of Radical Press, initially a print tabloid and afterwards a website.
Topham's breach of probation comes as a result of an initial conviction in 2016 of one count of violation of Sec. 319 of the Criminal Code, Canada's "hate law." His probation included a provision that he would not publish anything critical of Jews on the internet.
Topham's court date is October 16. In the meantime there is absolute radio silence from him as all his electronic devices are in the hands of the Canadian authorities. Ironically, despite the claims of anti-Semitic hate, his wife Shasta who he has been married to for 40 years was born Jewish. She will be facing two operations soon due to her disability. Criticism of Israeli policy or Jews in general is illegal in several countries, Canada is one. Evidently actions that directly hurt a single Jew as in this case, are not considered as important as "online hate speech."
CAFE points out a further irony. The day of Topham's arrest was the same day that Saudi Arabia expelled the Canadian ambassador for speaking out on Saudi human rights violations. In the words of CAFE: "The Saudis should message Ottawa: Human rights? Clean up your own house! What about Arthur Topham?"
If you'd like to support Mr. Topham in his time of need you can <a href="https://gogetfunding.com/canadian-publisher-faces-jail-for-political-writings/">make a donation online</a>.