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Friday, May 11, 2007

Falun Gong protesters lose court appeal to save their sidewalk structure

It sounds like somebody is really scared of the evidence that Falun Gong has in their hot little hands implicating other levels of government in this affair. Belowre is our response to the media:

"The Falun Gong feel compelled to respond to some misleading media reports about the recent ruling of the British Columbia Court of Appeal. Contrary to some media reports it is simply not true that the Court of Appeal has determined, in any final way, that the Falun Gong will not be entitled to a trial to defend their right to maintain their vigil in front of the Chinese Consulate.

The holding of the Court of Appeal is quite narrow and involved a quite technical point of legal procedure. It does not preclude our practitioners from still seeking to have a full trial instead of the summary-type process the City wishes to use to remove our vigil. The Court of Appeal essentially agreed with the lower court that our attempt to seek a trial now was premature and said this is a question we have to take up with the trial court after we have filed our formal Response (or pleadings) and affidavits that demonstrate that a trial is appropriate. Likewise the Court recognized that other avenues may be open to us short of full trial.

Our lawyers are considering all of our options. What is certain is that our practitioners are not going to relinquish their vigil - now in its 2091th day – instead, we remain very confident that no court truly upholding justice will order us to leave. Our vigil is not just about our constitutional freedom to express ourselves but to try to stop the killing and torture that Falun Gong practitioners have experienced and continue to experience at the hands of the Chinese Regime.

We again encourage the city of Vancouver to withdraw the case, to condemn the persecution of innocent practitioners and to truly stand by the Canadian values of integrity and principle."

Vancouver Sun: May 11, 2007- A B.C. Court of Appeal justice has dismissed an application by Falun Gong protesters to have a full trial over the City of Vancouver's order that they remove a permanent structure from outside the Chinese consulate.

Justice Mary Saunders' decision upholds an earlier court ruling.

She also ruled against an attempt by the Falun Gong to introduce new evidence.

Falun Gong has maintained a peaceful vigil for five years outside the consulate on Granville Street, protesting the persecution of Falun Gong members in China.

In June 2006, the city ordered demonstrators to remove their billboards and the small structure attached to the consulate fence, citing a city bylaw banning structures on public property without a permit.

The city says the Falun Gong can continue to protest against the Chinese government but without the permanent structure.

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