Amnesty International Canada is calling on the BC government to avoid unjustified criminalization of individuals defying an injunction against protests in the proximity of two worksites on the proposed route of Kinder-Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.
According to media reports, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Kenneth Affleck has called on the BC Attorney General to take over prosecution of pipeline protesters.
Individuals arrested for allegedly defying the current injunction currently face prosecution as a civil action. Justice Affleck, who issued the injunction against the protests, has reportedly called for criminal prosecution.
“We share Justice Affleck’s concerns that an important public policy issue -- how to respond to individuals who deliberately violate the protest injunction – should not be determined solely by whether or not a private corporation pursues enforcement. However, unnecessary criminalization of protesters is quite simply not the answer,” said Alex Neve, Secretary General of Amnesty International Canada.