by this website]
spokesman for the German
embassy confirmed Wednesday
that Mr. Zündel is the
subject of an outstanding
Toronto, Thursday, February 20,
Americans don't want him, so Ernst
Zündel is back in Canada
denier wants refugee status, group
By COLIN FREEZE and CAMPBELL CLARK
Niagara Falls, Ont./Ottawa --
Holocaust denier Ernst
Zündel was forcibly returned to
Canada Wednesday from the United
Mr. Zündel spent most of the day
in a Fort Erie, Ont., immigration centre
after he was taken across the border from
the United States, where he had been
living for about three years.
Later, he smiled and waved to
journalists from a minivan that was driven
to a Niagara Falls detention centre.
Jewish Congress, which has been
fighting Mr. Zündel's anti-Semitic
rants for years, says Mr. Zündel is
pursuing a claim for refugee status.
Sources in Ottawa said Immigration
Minister Denis Coderre was
"furious" when he learned that Mr.
Zündel had returned to Canada.
Speaking to reporters Wednesday, Mr.
Coderre did not refer to Mr. Zündel
by name but decried those who would make a
"mockery" of Canada's refugee-protection
"I'm totally dedicated to making sure
that the legitimate people who are seeking
our generosity will be facilitated," he
said outside the House of Commons. "But
... those who are trying the system and
who give a bad reputation to our system
should be careful."
Immigration Department officials would
not answer questions about the status of
the German-born Mr. Zündel. The
Holocaust denier had been living in
Tennessee after leaving Canada, where he
had permanent-resident status for most of
He left Canada a bitter man, angered at
this country's many attempts to silence
Mr. Zündel was arrested by U.S.
Immigration and Naturalization Service
agents two weeks ago at his home outside
Knoxville. He is alleged to have
overstayed his visitor's visa.
The United States tried to remove Mr.
Zündel on Monday but he was refused
entry by Canadian officials, an INS
"I think that sometimes when there is a
transfer between two countries, issues
arise," Mike Gilhooly said. "But
they were addressed."
The United States says Mr. Zündel
was removed from the country under the
terms of a 1987 cross-border treaty with
Canada, and that he cannot return to the
United States for 20 years.
no longer considers Mr. Zündel a
permanent resident, so he has claimed
refugee status, Bernie Farber, a
spokesman for the Canadian Jewish
Congress, said in an interview. Mr.
Farber, who has been
Zündel for years, said sources have
told him that Mr. Zündel had applied
for refugee status.
A spokesman for the German embassy
confirmed Wednesday that Mr. Zündel
is the subject of an outstanding warrant
in Germany. In the early 1990s, Mr.
Zündel was fined the equivalent of
$9,000 for breaking Germany's antihate
laws during a visit to Munich.
A claim of refugee status by Mr.
Zündel would present a bizarre clash
of the principles of refugee protections
and hate-crime laws.
It would require an assertion that his
native country of Germany is going to
persecute him for his beliefs if he is
returned there. Germany has some of the
world's strictest hate-crime laws.
However, Canada's refugee laws also
have provisions to prevent people from
hiding from foreign criminal charges in
Canada by claiming refugee status,
although only in some circumstances.
When he left Canada, Mr. Zündel
was a landed immigrant with
"permanent-resident" status in Canada,
meaning he could stay as long as he
wanted. But that status can be lost if a
permanent resident leaves Canada for too
Under the old law, in effect when Mr.
Zündel left, spending more than six
months out of the country would force him
to prove he had not abandoned his Canadian
residency. Under the new law, in effect
since June 28, 2002, he would have to
prove that same claim if he has been out
of Canada more than two of the past five
years, which he has.
If Mr. Zündel pursues a claim for
refugee status, however, it would appear
he has given up on claiming that his
"permanent-resident" status in Canada is
In the past, Mr. Zündel was the
subject of many prolonged hearings in
In 1996, the Canadian Security
Intelligence Service deemed him a threat
to national security as he had attempted
to obtain Canadian citizenship.
Last year, the Canadian Human Rights
Commission ruled that Mr. Zündel's
Web site spread hatred. It cited 33
specific documents it considered
acting on behalf of the commission and the
Canadian Jewish Congress tried Wednesday
to present Mr. Zündel with papers
indicating that he could be found in
contempt of court because his Web site
continued to operate from the United
With a report from Estanislao
on Ernst Zündel]