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Lev Tahor Searched
January 30, 2014 permalink
Police continue to harass the Lev Tahor group, which fled Quebec for Chatham Ontario last November. The search warrant came from a Quebec court and was executed jointly by Ontario and Quebec police. No one can say why the warrant was issued or what the police were looking for. The women and children were protected by being forced to wait for several hours outdoors in the Canadian winter.
Lev Tahor: Police search homes of Jewish sect members
Police searched two homes in Chatham-Kent belonging to members of the controversial Orthodox Jewish sect Lev Tahor, according to a member of the community.
Quebec and Ontario police searched two homes in Chatham-Kent belonging to members of the controversial Orthodox Jewish sect Lev Tahor, according to a member of the community.
Officers arrived around 5:30 p.m. with a search warrant for two of the homes, said Mayer Rosner, a spokesperson for the sect. Fourteen children in the Lev Tahor community have been the subject of a long child protection proceeding that originated in Quebec and moved to Ontario courts when more than 150 community members fled Quebec.
Rosner said the officers, who included both Quebec and Chatham-Kent police, did not disclose why they were executing the search warrant.
“It is simply discrimination and we are screaming to the world, ‘SOS’ ” said Rosner. He said late Wednesday that the officers removed baseboards in the home. He said that officers told him an Ontario court approved the search order.
“They sent women and children into the cold,” Rosner told the Star over the phone. The search lasted for several hours, he said.
An Ontario court is considering whether to enforce the child protection order, which would see as many as 14 children removed from the sect and sent to live with foster families in Quebec. Lev Tahor members fled the province shortly before the court made an order to remove 14 children from two families.
Ontario Court of Justice Judge Stephen Fuerth will issue a judgment on Feb. 3.
Chatham-Kent police confirmed that Quebec police executed the search warrant, but refused to provide any additional information.
“It’s a Quebec warrant, so you’re going to have to get the release from them,” said Chatham-Kent police Sgt. Rob Renders.
A spokesperson for Quebec provincial police had no information to add Wednesday evening.
Chris Knowles, the Windsor lawyer representing the sect in the proceeding, said he found out about the warrant only when a community member informed him.
“I don’t think it has anything to do with the child protection case,” he said.
Rosner would not say who the warrants were targeting, but Knowles said to his knowledge it wasn’t the families subject to the child protection order.
“It was very strange. I’m not sure what was going on,” said Knowles.
Quebec child protection authorities have documented what they say is evidence of neglect, psychological abuse, poor dental and physical health and a substandard education regime.
A former member of the sect testified that Rabbi Shlomo Helbrans — who is said to exert strict control over all members of the group — told him about visions of the group fending off an assault from the Canadian military.
Quebec authorities were concerned about a mass suicide pact within the group.
Members of Lev Tahor have denied the allegations from the former member and child protection authorities. They insist that the problem in Quebec was an incompatibility of their strict religious education with the province’s laws.
They have said that the allegations are the result of a smear campaign being waged by enemies of the anti-Zionist sect.
Source: Toronto Star