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Letter from Inger Schörling,
Member of the European Parliament

Member of the European Parliament

Hon. Irwin Cotler, Minister of Justice
House of Commons
900 Justice Building
Ottawa, Ont.
K1A 0A6 Canada
Fax: 1-613-954-0811
E-mail: webadmin@justice.gc.ca

Brussels, March 18, 2004

Dear Honourable Irwin Cotler, Minister of Justice,

I am writing to you about the matter of John Graham, currently facing extradition to the USA, where he has been charged with the murder of Anne Mae Pictou-Aquash. Due to the high profile of this case, I assume that you are familiar with it. I am not taking a position on his guilt or innocence. I urge you, however, to rigorously examine any evidence brought against him. Further, it is clear to us that Anne Mae Pictou-Aquash's tragic death can not be investigated without scrutinizing of possibilities of FBI involvement. This is mainly because of the well-known poor record of the FBI in dealing honestly and humanely with the American Indian Movement during that period.

As a Member of the European Parliament, I am acutely aware of issues of national sovereignty. I want to express my support to you in exercising Canada's national sovereignty in the case of John Graham. If there is evidence against him, it is reasonable to me that legal proceedings against him take place in Canada.

As a European, I also have a special relationship to North America. Throughout history, Europeans have immigrated to Canada and the US seeking a better future. I am proud that many people succeeded. At the same time, I am ashamed that some Europeans went to North America to conquer and were brutal towards the Indigenous people there, and the land. However, though these violent acts dominated history, there have always been those that kept basic human rights and respect for others and the land close to their hearts. For too long people were forced to be secretive about such feelings, in fear of themselves being brutalised or killed. Fortunately, that is now in the past.

In modern times, it is generally believed that the violent treatment of Indigenous people is a phenomena of the past. The circumstances of Anne Mae Pictou-Aquash's death, sadly, show that is not the case. I urge you to do whatever is in your power to strive after justice in the case of Anne Mae Pictou-Aquash. This will at the same time show the world that Canada is trying to stop the violent treatment of Indigenous people. As Martin Luther King so succinctly stated in 1963, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."

Yours sincerely,

Inger Schörling

Member of the European Parliament
ASP 8G 142
rue Wiertz, Brussels,
e-mail: ischorling@europarl.eu.int