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Monday, February 06, 2012

Open letter to the PM on Falun Gong issues on eve of trip to China

Dear Prime Minister Harper:

January 20, 2012 - On your upcoming trip to China, we respectfully request you specifically and publicly call on Mr. Hu Jintao and the Chinese Communist regime to end the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners and to release the hundreds of thousands of Falun Gong prisoners of conscience— including the known 11 family members of Canadians who are serving jail terms of up to seven years in China for their beliefs.

We were encouraged, as many were, that under your leadership the Government of Canada announced its intention to form an office of religious freedom that would serve as a voice to protect and advance of the cause of religious freedom globally, and that China would be among the countries where the state of religious freedom would be monitored. We would like to remind you as you visit China that the persecution of Falun Gong believers is the most widespread and severe such persecution in China today, and indeed in the world. Your raising this grave matter with Chinese leaders is an excellent way in which to demonstrate our government’s commitment to religious freedom.

For over 12 years, the brutal and systematic persecution of Falun Gong has included imprisonment, torture, hate propaganda, brainwashing, murder and even organ harvesting from incarcerated practitioners — along with widespread censorship and coercion to cover up the atrocities that have committed. To date, the confirmed deaths number is in the thousands, though many more are believed to have been killed. Millions of families have been torn apart. Currently, Falun Gong practitioners are the largest group of prisoners of conscience in the world. They number in the hundreds of thousands at any given time in the past decade. According to a UN Special Raporteur’s report on torture Falun Gong practitioners account for 66% of torture cases in China.

We believe the humanitarian reasons to publicly and vigorously raise the persecution of Falun Gong with Mr. Hu are compelling. However, we also understand that despite the persecution being known to governments and widely reported by rights organizations that our leaders face pressure from the Communist regime — not to raise the persecution of Falun Gong. The regime wishes to make raising this brutal persecution a choice between human rights and basic human values on one hand, and money, trade and interest on the other. The communist regime wishes our leaders to choose silence over principle. We ask you not to forget the important Canadian values of human rights when doing trade. We kindly remind our government to beware of the Communist regime’s sly deception and to not fall into their trap.

History will abandon the Communist regime – please stand on the side of justice

The rapid changes that have come with the Arab Spring and with Hosni Mubarak on trial and the sudden passing of dictators such as Kim Jong-Il, Ben Laden, and Muammar Gaddafi in the past year are a reminder that in the course of history evil regimes will fall. Those brutal regimes that repress their people are also becoming more isolated on the world stage as more people stand up to demand their freedom.

The Chinese Communist regime also feels more alone and feels more internal pressure from its people—with the number of riots and protests in China (called “mass incidents” by the regime, now reportedly numbering more than 100,000 per year). Communism has no basis in Chinese tradition, values or culture. It is an evil spectre imported to China. Over one hundred million Chinese (current or former Communist members) have renounced their ties to the Chinese Communist Party and its affiliated organizations (the Youth League and Young Pioneers) online over the last seven years. Though it may seem strong today as Soviet Union once did, the CCP’s collapse may also come at any time.

The Canadian government would be wise to engage and support the Chinese people and their rights, rather than regard as an ally a regime that persecutes its people and that will most certainly be abandoned by history.

Our request

Mr. Prime Minster, we applaud the pledge you once made that Canada will put human rights as a priority in our relations with China and that Canada would not sell out to the almighty dollar. We believe that was your genuine and principled stance, and that your stance truly reflected Canadian values. It demonstrated the upright vision and insight of Canada’s leader on the world stage, and we believe it earned respect.

We sincerely thank you and our government for the support you have given thus far. We submit that the discussion on human rights with China cannot be considered complete without an unequivocal and publicly stated protest against the persecution of Falun Gong. We respectfully urge you to take the opportunity of your upcoming trip to express Canada’s opposition to this inhumane persecution and to request the release of all those imprisoned for their belief.

We look forward to your continuing upright stance and actions toward China, on behalf of Canadians.

Sincerely yours,

Xun Li
President of Falun Dafa Association of Canada

cc: Hon. John Baird, Minister of Foreign Affairs

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