Anti – mask activist François Amalega will remain in prison until the end of his trial

by time news

Because he refuses to wear a mask at all costs and sees no way to release François Amalega under conditions without violating the sanitary decrees, the Municipal Court of Montreal will keep the anti-mask activist at the Bordeaux Detention Center until the end of his trial for obstruction.

Tristan Péloquin

“The Court was ready to release you on the condition of presenting you [au tribunal] with a mask to access the room, and you refused, so there’s no other option but [vous garder en détention], ruled Judge Annie-Claude Chassé Thursday morning. Otherwise, all the conditions I could issue are illegal, ”she added.

Mr. Amalega was arrested Tuesday at the end of the day, in the exterior stairs of the Municipal Court. An arrest warrant had been issued against him earlier today by Judge Marc Alain for refusing to wear a mask to stand trial for obstructing police officers, which stems from a protest he held in the spring in a Montreal grocery store.

Judge Annie-Claude Chassé was to decide this Thursday whether she would release Mr. Amalega under conditions pending the start of the proceedings. “The only question [à laquelle je dois répondre] is as follows: is the detention necessary to ensure his presence at his trial, “said the judge.

But as Mr. Amalega refuses any condition “however minimalist” to guarantee the court that he will appear at his trial in compliance with health rules, the judge ruled that he could not return his freedom.

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His ideological refusal “would necessarily place him in a situation of breach of ordinance”, explained the magistrate.

“How will my detention allow me to appear in court with a mask?” », Politely asked Mr. Amalega, who appeared once again without a mask, by videoconference from the Montreal Detention Center (Bordeaux).

“The court moved to my cell. I could come to my place, ”he suggested to the court.

“I am not going back on my decision,” the judge replied, but she ordered the trial for obstructing the police to begin this Friday, in order to limit his time in detention as much as possible. “We must take all measures to set the case for tomorrow otherwise we will infringe the rights of Mr. Amalega,” she said.

Mr. Amalega, who says he has a “condition of conscience” that prevents him from wearing the mask, requested exemptions from the health rules to be able to stand trial, but the judge considered that no such accommodation is possible. He does not suffer, by his own admission, from any medical condition that would exempt him from submitting to health decrees. “I could not issue an illegal condition that would allow you to move to a private place without a mask, because you do not meet any of the exceptions provided for in the decree”, explained the judge.

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