Ron Shewchuk Consulting Inc.

April 26, 2011 15:07 ET

Second Public Rally Planned as Pavel Kulisek's Health Crisis Continues

Pleas for government help for jailed Canadian in Mexico go unanswered

NORTH VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - April 26, 2011) - The wife of jailed Canadian Pavel Kulisek has been denied up-to-date information about her husband's medical condition, and urgent pleas for help to address Kulisek's health crisis and end his Mexican prison nightmare continue to be ignored by the Harper government.

Worried about Kulisek's safety and frustrated by government inaction, Kulisek's supporters are organizing a second public rally to draw public and government attention to his cause on Wednesday, April 27 at Highland Church in North Vancouver. The rally will begin at 6.00 p.m. and is timed to coincide with a federal election all-candidates meeting at the church.

In 2008 Kulisek was falsely accused of having ties to Mexican drug lords. He has been imprisoned without a trial for over three years. On March 13, 2011, a desperate Kulisek tried to hang himself in his federal maximum-security prison cell and was transferred to a psychiatric prison in Mexico City.

North Vancouver family practitioner Dr. Ramona Penner was able to visit Kulisek in the psychiatric prison shortly after his suicide attempt. Based on her observations of Kulisek's mental state, Dr. Penner is concerned that his life may be at risk if his three-year incarceration continues much longer. She has called for his return to Canada on humanitarian grounds so he can receive proper medical care.

Meanwhile, Kulisek's wife Jirina has been unable to obtain current information about Pavel's health from Mexican officials, a situation that has made her even more deeply concerned for his well-being.

"I have been told that I cannot have access to Pavel's medical information out of respect for his privacy, but as his wife I should have a right to know how he is being treated and if his health is in danger," she says, adding that Canadian authorities have refused to intervene on her behalf. "I am worried and afraid. My family needs help. I feel as if our country is letting us down."

Second North Vancouver rally will draw attention to the urgency of Kulisek's situation

Community organizer Lauren Ellis says that although a North Vancouver rally on April 16 attracted over 300 enthusiastic supporters and included statements of support from local politicians, the public outcry did not resolve Kulisek's dire situation. "What we need is tangible action from Prime Minister Harper to ensure Pavel's safety and help bring his unfair imprisonment to a timely end," she says.

"It's now been over six weeks since Pavel's suicide attempt, and action to end this crisis is long overdue," says Ellis. "We have reached out to our Prime Minister in good faith, and he has not answered our pleas. We have no choice but to escalate our campaign and continue to draw attention to Pavel's cause."

Some background

Pavel Kulisek, an immigrant from the Czech Republic, arrived in Canada 20 years ago and worked hard to establish a successful building contracting company. He was on an extended and well-deserved family vacation with his wife and two young daughters in Mexico when he was the lone Canadian among several Mexicans arrested in a drug sting in March 2008. In the weeks leading up to his arrest, Kulisek had made friends with a local resident who shared his interest in dirt biking, unaware that the man was a high-ranking member of a drug cartel. Kulisek was arrested without a warrant and imprisoned for three months without being charged. His case has been delayed by red tape and legal wrangling ever since, with the chance of a trial at least eight months away. While Kulisek has languished in prison in Mexico, his wife Jirina and two young children have had only seven minutes per week of access to him by phone. Jirina and her daughters have had to move from their home into a refurbished garage to save money after spending over $100,000 to fund his legal defence.

Web site: www.pavelkulisek.com

Facebook page: "Support Pavel Kulisek"

Twitter feed: @JusticeForPavel

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