Letter of protests against the prison sentence of André Fürst.
Thank you for copying the letter here under, signing it and writing your name, profession, town or canton and country. You can send it to the addresses below as well as to the Swiss representation offices in your country and to any other person or organization that might be concerned. You should keep in mind that faxes and letters are more difficult to filter than e-mails.
Thank you in advance for your support,
Laurent Appel, Journalist, Strasbourg (France)
Text of the letter
Dear Sir (Madam),
I would like to express my indignation regarding the unconditional sentence of André Fürst, owner of Chanvre-Info, to 29 months of prison for his involvement in the promotion of hemp. Such an injustice is tainting the exemplary image of Swiss democracy. Mr. Fürst is the victim of a scandalous reversal in the Swiss cannabis policy due to hidden pressures. He is one more victim of the failed War on Drugs led by G.W.Bush, which is imposed on you in order to forget about Iraq, Afghanistan and other iniquities committed by the US government.
Since September 11, the US administration supported by an international religious, neoconservative and sectarian lobby is executing a strong pressure on governments, politicians and media of the countries favoring reform drug policies. President Bush’s intention is obviously to strengthen the prohibition and to decapitate the pro-cannabis movement. Another recent example of these totalitarian-like methods is an attempt of extradition to the USA of the Canadian hempseed seller Marc Emery. Both Canada and Switzerland should rather stick to the defense of their own sovereign policies, instead of following this dangerous madman.
The long Swiss process of elaboration of an efficient strategy could be considered as a model of expert approach and reconciliation. The majority of cantons were applying a preemptory tolerant policy towards users, hundreds of hemp shops and hemp producers. Switzerland should depenalize the consumption and regulate the market. All scientific or politic commissions, Federal Council and even the Parliament approved in the first lecture this new approach. So why are you now denying yourself and returning back to the brutal repression?
André Fürst respected the recommendations of your failed project of regulation. He invested in and promoted the biological hemp with multiple usages, which could be very useful either in order to help agriculture to become free of subsidies, or for the regulation of great social problems. His cause seemed to win until the reversal in the Parliament and its unacceptable judiciary consequences. André Fürst is guilty of having as many others anticipated a consensual reform, which was buried without any valid reasons. In Switzerland of the 21st century, a man should not be thrown to the jail for having tried to improve the society. Such proceedings resemble to a Stalinist purge - initiating a reform movement in order to better hang its leaders. You must intervene in order to reestablish justice and morality.
In order to stop this parody before it makes too many victims, you should use your influence to declare a moratorium, a general amnesty and exceptional clemencies for the cannabis cases of the period of 1996-2004. It is in your power to stop controversial activities until the vote of the popular initiative Pro-chanvre, instead of sentencing the activists that you were letting in peace for so many years. It is neither just nor moral and still less efficient and pragmatic. Bush’s wars are not our struggles. Go on with the reforms of drug policies, in Switzerland as well as in Canada or in the United Nations. Freedom to Farm!
Président de la Confédération Helvétique Samuel Schmid
Palais fédéral Est
CH - 3003 Berne
tél.: 031 324 50 33
fax: 031 323 57 82
e-mail: samuel.schmid at gs-vbs.admin.ch
For Swiss citizens
Conseiller fédéral, Chef du Département Fédéral Justice et Police Christoph Blocher
Palais fédéral Ouest
CH - 3003 Berne
christoph.blocher at gs-ejpd.admin.ch
Conseillčre fédérale, Département fédéral des affaires étrangčres Micheline Calmy-Rey
Palais fédéral Ouest
Tél. (+41) 031 322 21 11
Fax (+41) 031 324 90 47
http://www.calmy-rey.admin.ch/f/contact/cntrequest.aspx (copy the letter into the form)
For politic organizations NGOs and CSOs
Division politique III - Nations Unies, Organisations internationales, Environnement, Culture, Francophonie
Tél.: (+41) 031 323 23 46
Fax: (+41) 031 323 21 30
e-mail: PA3A at eda.admin.ch
Direction de la sécurité et de la justice (DSJ) du canton de Fribourg Claude Grandjean, Conseiller d’Etat
Grand-Rue 26, Case postale
Rue des Chanoines 17, Case postale
Tél: 026 305 10 45
Fax 026 305 10 48
http://admin.fr.ch/cha/fr/pub/meta_navigation/contact.cfm (copy the letter into the form)