Calgary Pastor Artur Pawlowski was supposed to be released from the Calgary Remand Centre by now. Prison guards refused. After nearly six hours of guards haggling over semantics, the religious prisoners remained in custody.
Following a massive outcry online, the two were eventually released just after 6 p.m.
NEW: I interviewed Artur Pawlowski the moment he was released. "A mix between fascism and communism" he said, of his high profile arrest on the side of a highway. Read more here: https://t.co/8qcRavVINJ pic.twitter.com/jglSSlYRJJ
— Keean Bexte (@TheRealKeean) May 11, 2021
The release was conditional and Pawlowsky is now on bail.
In a very strange flex, guards had initially rejected court orders for the release of the high profile prisoners.
POLICE STATE: Rogue guards at Calgary's Remand Centre jail just refused to honour the court order granted this morning by Mr. Justice Germain demanding the release of Pastor Artur Pawlowski.
They literally sent it back to the judge and refused to comply.https://t.co/bMwAj1iNfP
— Ezra Levant 🍁 (@ezralevant) May 10, 2021
According to Ezra Levant, who is in close contact with Pawlowski’s lawyers, “the rouge guards said they demanded that the judge issue two orders — one for Pastor Artur, and a separate one for his brother Dawid. Apparently those guards are superior to Justice German of the Court of Queen’s Bench.”
The repeatedly delayed release seemed to revolve around the proper spelling of Dawid Pawlowski’s name – but is an obvious attempt to delay the release while the building is being closely watched by journalists.
The lawyers helping Artur Pawlowski and his brother are being paid for by The Democracy Fund.
Should Pawlowski be released, it is unclear what new restrictions the embattled religious leader will now face.
I can’t believe this is happening. Pastor Pawlowski lived under the communist regime in Poland in his youth. Today he is being arrested by a sanitary fascist regime in Canada and Alberta for holding a service. SHAME! pic.twitter.com/TbG2OpSdSe
— Maxime Bernier (@MaximeBernier) May 8, 2021
Pawlowski and his brother Dawid were both taken into custody during a high profile and dangerous arrest in the middle of a Calgary highway last week. The two Christians were arrested for hosting a church service service, an alleged contravention of the law.
Despite the Canadian Charter protecting the right to worship, draconian measures taken by Premier Jason Kenney have led to an open season on Christian leaders in the province.
Pawlowski is not the first Christian pastor to see the inside of a prison cell – Pastor James Coates met the same fate and was kept in custody for a month while prosecutors wrangled with bail conditions.
Shortly after Coates’ release, his church was surrounded and overtaken by federal officers. It’s unclear if Pawlowski’s place of worship will meet the same fate.
Strangely, Christians remain the only religion so mercilessly persecuted by police.