Canadian MPs and Falun Gong Urge Prime Minister to Condemn China?s Persecution at UNCHR

Ottawa – Before the annual United Nations Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR) convenes next Monday, a letter writing campaign among MPs and a Montreal signature collecting campaign to urge the Prime Minister to table a resolution condemning China?s persecution of Falun Gong have gained strong support.

More than 20 MPs from all five parties and an independent MP have written to the Prime Minister. In their letter they state, “The Canadian government should take a leading role to speak out for justice and the protection of religious freedom. We ask you to initiate a resolution to condemn China’s treatment of the followers of Falun Gong at the UNCHR.” This effort is gaining momentum among MPs. Meanwhile, Canadian Falun Gong practitioners are heading to Geneva to join the demonstration and appeal in front of the UN next week.

Jason Loftus, spokesperson for Falun Dafa association of Canada said, “The change in Canada?s approach in 1997, from tabling a resolution to bilateral dialogue, was something China welcomed. However, we don’t think anyone believes that China seriously wants to use the dialogue to improve its Human Rights. China is deathly afraid of any public criticism for its human rights abuses.” He adds, “Canada has done well in helping with individual practitioners. House of Commons Motion-236, asking the Prime Minister to urge China to free 13 practitioner relatives of Canadians, was passed unanimously last October; nine practitioners have been freed from wrongful imprisonment due to the great effort from Canada. However, the larger issue of persecution remains.”

“The exceedingly brutal persecution violating all 30 articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights has continued for almost four years, and we have not heard Falun Gong mentioned at the UN General Assembly or Commission on Human Rights by officials from Canada. If we continue to forgo speaking publicly and revert to this dialogue, it may be that we are deceiving ourselves. The Foreign Minister and other officials must address human rights violations in China with specific mention to Falun Gong,” said Loftus.

More than 600 are confirmed dead since 1999, while sources in the Chinese government admit that the true number is in the thousands. According to Media reports, more than half of all people in Chinese labor camps are Falun Gong practitioners. Millions have been forced out of their homes, expelled from schools, fired from their jobs, and forced to live as outcasts simply because they believe in the Falun Gong principles of Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance. The persecution is without limits.

For more information contact Lucy Zhou 613-599-7494 falun

Background of the brutal persecution
The reported death cases span 30 provinces in China, demonstrating that the persecution is systemic and nation-wide. In June 1999, Chinese leader Jiang Zemin established the so-called ?610 Office? in all national, provincial, and municipal bodies throughout China; its sole mandate is to eliminate Falun Gong. Its authority is absolute. Even compassionate non-practising witnesses lives are in danger for revealing the death or torture of Falun Gong practitioners and can be charged with leaking state secrets.