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Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Victoria, rights defenders, and organ harvesting

CW: Recently Falun Gong practitioners held a press conference in front of the British Columbia Parliament Building in Victoria, announcing the start of a van tour through the area to clarify the truth about the persecution. During the van tour, practitioners visited government officers and called upon every Canadian to condemn the crimes of harvesting organs from living Falun Gong practitioners. The Martlet reported on this event as follows:

Falun Gong practitioners protest in Victoria Chinese members alleged victims of organ harvesting

The demonstration to raise awareness of China’s alleged persecution of Falun Gong members by Alex Gillett

The Martlet: 07 September 2006 -Recently a small crowd gathered around posters displaying gruesome images of bloody, dismembered people at the steps in front of the legislature.

A handful of Victoria Falun Gong practitioners organized the demonstration to raise awareness of China’s persecution of human rights lawyers and the alleged harvesting of human organs from imprisoned Falun Gong members there.

Guo Ting Guo, the first Chinese lawyer to openly defend practitioners of Falun Gong (a spiritual movement banned in China since 1999), was present at the small demonstration.

He has been living in Canada as a refugee since late 2005, after his home was raided and his law firm was taken away by Chinese officials, he said.

“We have done nothing wrong,” Guo said, referring to himself and other Chinese human rights lawyers who are finding themselves under attack from Chinese authorities.

“Lawyers are being told not to defend Falun Gong,” said Marie Beaulieu, a local Falun Gong practitioner. “If even lawyers cannot defend those people, where can they go to appeal for justice?”

Westerners need to be aware of the slaughter that is occurring in China, said Beaulieu, as she motioned towards gory pictures of what she maintains are tortured Chinese Falun Gong practitioners.

A report released in July, composed by former Liberal MP David Kilgour and human rights lawyer David Matas, supports Beaulieu and other protesters’ claim that China is harvesting the vital organs of persecuted Falun Gong members for sale overseas.

The report concludes, “We believe that there has been and continues today to be large-scale organ seizures from unwilling Falun Gong practitioners. The allegations, if true, would represent a grotesque form of evil, which, despite all the depravations humanity has seen, would be new to this planet.”

Kilgour said China should put an end to organ harvesting immediately, or it will risk jeopardizing the success of its Olympic Games in 2008.

The Chinese Embassy in Ottawa, however, has denied the allegations. On their website, the embassy states, “The so-called ‘independent investigation report’ made by a few Canadians based on rumours and false allegations is groundless and biased. … We hope that the Canadian people will not be deceived by the disguise of the Falun Gong, and more people will be aware of the nature of ‘Falun Gong’ as an evil cult.”

Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, was first taught publicly in China in 1992. It combines meditation with Tai Chi-like exercises. The discipline has spread quickly in China and in other parts of the world.

In 1999, the communist Chinese government declared Falun Gong illegal.

“Chinese tourists walk past our display quickly to avoid it,” said Beaulieu. “Because in China people are told by the propaganda machine to persecute Falun Gong.”

Both Beaulieu and Guo hope to see Canada’s government take a firm stance against China’s human rights abuses.

Related Articles:

Times Colonist: Lawyer denounces China's tactics

Comox Valley Record - Courtenay: Fact or fiction?

Cowichan Valley News Leader: Island tour raises profile of Falun Gong

Nanaimo Daily News: Reports of torture pique MP's interest: Falun Gong

Cowichan Valley News Leader, Canada: Island tour raises profile of Falun Gong

Victoria News: Our View: Probing needed Leadership needed

Campbell River Mirror, Canada: Chinese persecution protested

Victoria News: Organ harvest allegations made public

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