|Posted on November 21, 2014 at 11:10 AM|
Last Monday, in council chambers, when I was thanking those who inspired me in my term, I mentioned my father's experiences in a Stasi prison and how he helped me understand the importance of fighting on behalf of the rights of others.
The local paper wrote about my speech but the article failed to provide context as to why my father was in an East German Stasi prison. He was not in prison due to anything that would be considered “criminal” by today’s standards. He was arrested for his involvement while trying to re-unite a family separated by the Berlin Wall.
Others with whom he served time with included university professors, priests, and hundreds of conscientious objectors to the soviet regime. The Stasis were brutal oppressors, particularly when suppressing basic human rights.
My father has since received an apology from the German government and I'm disappointed the paper has spun him being portrayed as a common criminal.
This isn't the first time the local paper, the Era, has attacked the integrity of my family. In one column, they printed an article portraying me as a criminal and were ordered to correct the record by the Ontario Press Council through mediation. In others, they questioned the integrity of my husband when he ran as a municipal candidate.
My father was a crusader for human rights and this is what led him to his stint in prison. The paper omitted that important detail in their story and have failed to respond to my request correcting the record.