Sûreté du Québec raids Montréal journalist Eric-Yvan Lemay's home

Friday, March 16, 2012

The Honourable Robert Dutil, Québec Minister of Public Security
2525, boulevard Laurier, 5e étage
Tour des Laurentides
Québec (Québec) G1V 2L2

Dear Mr. Dutil,

I am writing on behalf of Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE), a non-profit, non-governmental organization that works to promote and protect press freedom and freedom of expression around the world.

CJFE strongly condemns the heavy-handed raid by Sûreté du Québec on Thursday, March 15, against Journal de Montréal reporter Eric-Yvan Lemay. The officers arrived at Lemay’s home at 6:45 a.m. with a search warrant. They seized his computer and some of his clothing, and obtained fingerprints.

Lemay recently published a series of articles exposing the lack of privacy surrounding patients’ hospital records in Québec. They included information from, and photographs of, patient files that had been left open in public view.

CJFE believes this raid to be an attempt to intimidate Lemay and other journalists. This demonstrates a lack of protection and support for press freedom in Canada, and could have a chilling effect on the ability of journalists to provide fair and accurate reporting.

Canadian democracy is dependent upon journalists being able to report on issues in the public interest without fear or intimidation. CJFE calls for the immediate return of Lemay’s personal property, and a cessation of harassment and intimidation of journalists.

We thank you for your attention and I look forward to your reply.

Yours Sincerely,

Arnold Amber, CJFE President

Cc: The Honourable Jean Charest, Premier of Quebec