Ottawa – The day prior to Foreign Affairs Minister’s departure for his trip that includes a China visit, Falun Dafa Association, and Canadians whose family members are incarcerated in China for their Falun Gong belief held a press conference on the Hill to call on Minister MacKay to raise the Falun Gong persecution during his visit to China.
“The persecution of Falun Gong is a key policy of the Chinese regime among its many severe rights violations. It is a serious issue that must be raised during any human rights talks with the regime”, said Mr. Xun Li, president of Falun Dafa Association. “We also ask help from Minister McKay to urge the regime to end the 8-year persecution-- killing and organ snatching of practitioners--and release imprisoned practitioners, including 15 Canadian family members”.
Meanwhile, Falun Gong practitioners staged an anti-torture exhibition on the Hill re-enacting severe methods of torture used on practitioners to coerce them to give up their belief. To this day these crimes are blatantly denied and systematically covered up.
According to a report by the UN Special Rapporteur on torture, Mr.Nowak said while “torture is systematic and widespread,” Falun Gong practitioners accounted for 66 percent of victims of alleged torture while in government custody. The US State Department’s Country Reports on Human Rights Practices released last month stated “Falun Gong adherents constituted at least half of the 250,000 officially recorded inmates in reeducation-through-labor camps, while the real number could be even higher.” Mr. David Kilgour, former secretary of State (Asian-Pacific) and David Matas, renowned human rights lawyer, released a revised report on January 31 that confirmed that a large-scale organ harvest of practitioners is happening in China as a “new form of evil on this planet”.
Four out of the 15 Canadian families that grieve for their loved ones incarcerated in China also spoke at the press conference. They are Mr. Michael Zeng from Toronto, whose mother Xin Huang is serving a 8-year jail term for distributing Falun Gong truth materials, Mr. Shenli Lin from Toronto, whose brother was sentenced to a 6-year jail term for distributing similar materials and Ms. Lian Yao from Montreal, wife of a French company’s Beijing branch manager, Mr. Jian Ma, who received a 2.5 forced-labour-camp term on April 18 simply for his belief in Falun Gong, and Mr. Shen You from Montreal, whose three aunts are incarcerated right now.
“Both my husband and I have been detained for multiple times, incarcerated and tortured. As Falun Gong practitioners, simply for following the principle of truth, compassion and forbearance, we are automatically labeled as ‘criminals’ or ‘class enemies’ by the regime, and do not have any safety”, said Ms. Lian Yao, wife of Mr. Jian Ma, a French company’s Beijing branch manager. According to Ms. Yao, “inside information from the public security bureau mentioned that all practitioners arrested this year will not be released until after the Olympic Games in Beijing in 2008”.
“My mother was jailed in Liaoning Female Prison and cruelly tortured. Policemen also forced to take large doses of psychiatric mental drugs twice a day for 8 months, although she has no psychiatric disorders. Now she cannot speak a single complete sentence due to over-dosed drug, has difficulty to walk and lost most of her memory. Her life is in great danger. Please help to rescue her,” said Michael Zeng from Toronto.
“Thanks to Amnesty International, and Members of Parliament Messrs. Cotler, Reid, Anders and many others, thanks to the Canadian government, I was rescued to Canada and re-united with my wife in 2002”, said Shenli Lin who spend more than 2 years in a Chinese forced-labour camp in 2000 for signing a petition for Falun Gong, “I hope Minister MacKay will also extend his helping hand to Falun Gong practitioners, including my brother Mingli and the 15 other family members of Canadians”.
Falun Gong is a traditional Chinese spiritual discipline that includes exercise and meditation. Its principles are based on Truth, Compassion, and Tolerance. However, In July 1999, fearing Falun Gong's widespread popularity was overshadowing his own legacy, the then-Chinese leader Jiang Zemin ordered the traditional Chinese practice "eradicated”. The arbitrary arrest, torture, killing, incarceration, brainwashing and demonization of Falun Gong have lasted till this day.