Controversial Calgary pastor released from custody

CALGARY — A controversial Calgary pastor and his brother have been released from custody after being arrested for organizing a gathering that violated Alberta’s public health orders.  

Artur Pawlowski and Dawid Pawlowski were released about 6 p.m. Monday after being arrested on Saturday and charged with organizing an illegal in-person gathering, including requesting, inciting or inviting others to attend an illegal public gathering, promoting and attending an illegal public gathering.

“First 24 hours on a slab with lights on and no sleep. You could tell they have an agenda,” Artur told reporters gathered outside the Calgary Remand Centre.

“They really wanted to make sure that we know that we are not welcome. That they don’t like us.”

Pawlowski’s organization, known as The Cave of Adullam congregation, has been gathering weekly at a daycare and preschool building located on 26 Avenue S.E., to practice their faith. He said he and his brother were “political prisoners” while in custody.

Police say the pair acknowledged an injunction, obtained by Alberta Health Services from the Court of Queen’s Bench on May 6, but chose to ignore the health guidelines.

The court order installed new restrictions on organizers of protests and demonstrations requiring compliance with public health orders including masking, physical distancing and attendance limits.

It also provides police with enforcement powers, including the power to arrest organizers of these illegal gatherings.

Calgary police say the order was served with the order prior to the church service and at no time did any officers enter the building.

When asked whether he would now stop hosting services in contravention of health orders, Pawlowski said he will first have to speak with his lawyers.

Pawlowski was also one of three people ticketed in December by Calgary police for organizing an anti-mask event that was declared illegal.

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