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Rally held for former Calgary teacher jailed in Indonesia

CALGARY – A rally was held on Wednesday to mark the one-year anniversary of a former Calgary teacher’s imprisonment in Indonesia.

More than 100 friends and former colleagues of Neil Bantleman attended the event, which was held outside Calgary City Hall at 5 p.m.

Bantleman was arrested and later found guilty of sexually assaulting students at the school where he taught. He has maintained his innocence since his arrest and has appealed the verdict.

Organizers say the purpose of the rally was to call on the Canadian government to increase their efforts towards Bantleman’s release and return to Canada.

Among those who spoke at the rally was former colleague Jennifer Leong.

“I know that Neil’s biggest fear is that we’re going to forget about him,” said Leong. “I want him to know that not a minute goes by when I am not thinking about him. We talk about him every single day.”

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Calgary philanthropist Brett Wilson, whose son was taught by Bantleman in Calgary, also spoke at the rally.

Wilson said he’s been reaching out to Indonesian business leaders in hopes of making a difference as well.

– With files from The Canadian Press

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Signs at a rally for Neil Bantleman on July 15, 2015 in Calgary. Jayme Doll / Global News
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Signs at a rally for Neil Bantleman on July 15, 2015 in Calgary. Jayme Doll / Global News
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People hold up a sign at a rally for Neil Bantleman on July 15, 2015 in Calgary. Jayme Doll / Global News

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