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Monday, November 27, 2006

Canadian Parliament Committee Hears Evidence of Chinese Abuses

It’s high time that China’s abysmal human rights record drew attention from government officials and that some concrete measures be taken now.

Epoch Times Excerpt: Days after Prime Minister Stephen Harper made headlines by insisting on talking human rights with Chinese leader Hu Jintao, witnesses speaking before a parliamentary committee in Ottawa lent support to Harper's stance with vivid accounts of the state of human rights in that country.

The Chinese regime's crackdown on human rights defenders—particularly journalists and lawyers—was also on display Tuesday.

Li Xun, president of the Falun Dafa Association of Canada says,
"what is happening toward Falun Gong in China and other groups is not a normal human rights issue. It's an issue of crimes against humanity because of its systematic and widespread nature."

China is a large trading partner with Canada, but is a destination for only 1.6 per cent of Canadian exports. Last year, Canada ran a $22.5 billion deficit with the Chinese, according to Statistics Canada. The groups testifying before the committee included democracy activists, Falun Gong supporters, and PEN Canada, a group supporting the rights of journalists. All called for suspending the current dialogue with the Chinese regime.

Brock University professor Charles Burton authored a recent report highly critical of Canada's behind-closed-doors human rights dialogue with China. Burton testified before the same committee October 31. One of the findings of Burton's report was that the mandate of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs is to "defend China's interest abroad."

"It has no institutional interest in promoting respect for China's human rights domestically," Burton had said. (more)

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