News Release: Imprisoned husband of Canadian Citizen Released in China;

  • From: Media-Update <media-update@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: Media-Update <dafa-news-ottawa@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 31 Jan 2002 11:27:49 -0500

News Release    For Immediate Release: January 31, 2002

---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Imprisoned husband of Canadian Citizen Released in China;
Alarm Expressed at Dramatic Increase in Death Cases of Falun Gong
Importance of Canada Taking the Lead in Pressing for Action at UN Evident
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Ottawa, January 31, 2002 ? On the occasion of the release of Shenli Lin,
husband of Canadian citizen Jinyu Li, from prison in China, Professor and M.P.
Irwin Cotler, international legal counsel to Jinyu Li, Mr. Alex Neve,
Secretary General of Amnesty International, and M.P. Scott Reid held a press
conference with Ms. Jinyu Li to call on the Chinese authorities to facilitate
her husband?s departure and reunification with her in Canada, and to end the
?alarming? increase in torture, imprisonment, and death cases in custody of
Falun Gong practitioners.

They also call upon the Canadian government to take the lead in pressing for
action at the annual meeting of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights
starting on March 18 in Geneva.

Ms. Jinyu Li expressed her gratitude to those who have worked hard for her
husband?s freedom. ?Over the last two years, Amnesty International repeatedly
launched nation-wide letter-writing campaigns to appeal for Shenli?s release,
I received over 50 letters from M.P.s and Senators, including the Prime
Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, I received over 100 letters from
professors, and more... I thank you all from the bottom of my heart. ?.
?Over two years of imprisonment as a ?prisoner of conscience? have come to an
end and we now await his arrival in Canada and eagerly anticipate his reunion
with his wife,? said Mr. Alex Neve.
 ?Shenli  is not the last, unfortunately, who remains in prison in China,?
said Mr. Scott Reid. ?Lizhi He is still imprisoned in China, serving a
3.5-year prison term for sending Falun Gong materials. He and his wife Li
Zhang are permanent residents of Canada.? ?It is important for ?the Chinese
authorities to realize that the negative publicity that is the fallout of the
kinds of activities the Chinese government carries on in relation to Canadians
and Canadian residents in China, the negative publicity is not going to go
away unless China embraces the quality that Falun Gong speaks to of
?Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance.? ?  ? I strongly urge the Chinese
authorities to release Lizhi He,? added Mr. Reid.

Mr. Irwin Cotler calls the dramatic increase in the persecution of Falun Gong
?alarming.?  ?We would be remiss if we did not make mention of, and indeed
sound the alarm about, the dramatic increase in the persecution of Falun Gong
in China, including the increase in the rates of arrest and detention, and the
increasing number of deaths of practitioners in detention. In the past month
alone, 30 Falun Gong practitioners were tortured to death. We would be remiss
if we did not mention the pervasive torture of Falun Gong detainees and the
use of atrocity propaganda to demonize Falun Gong practitioners in the eyes of
their fellow citizens. They are a group of people whose commitment is to
nothing else but the ancient Chinese and humanistic values of ?Truth,
Compassion, Forbearance.?

?The repression of Falun Gong in China continues to be a particularly pressing
human rights concern,? said Mr. Neve. ?One critical opportunity will soon be
upon us. On March 18, this year?s session of the United Nations Commission on
Human Rights begins its annual round of meetings. The United States has in
past years been one of the only states willing to raise these concerns at the
Commission. With the U.S. absent this year, the importance of Canada taking
the lead in pressing for action, rather than the silence that has marked
Canadian policy in this area for the past 5 years, is evident and pressing.?

Contact:        Grace Wollensak         613-225-4408, 613-762-2106 (Cell)

----------------------------------------------------------------

Appendix 1:

COMMUNIQUÉ

Cotler delighted with release of imprisoned Falun Gong practitioner
and husband of Canadian citizen.

But calls Dramatic Increase in Persecution of Falun Gong ?alarming?.

OTTAWA:  The following is the text of a statement released by M.P. Irwin
Cotler, International Legal Counsel to JinYu Li, on the occasion of the
release of her husband ShenLi Lin from prison in China.

We are all delighted to learn of ShenLi Lin?s release and the opportunity for
his reunification with his wife.

This delight is tempered by the realization that ShenLi Lin should never have
been arrested to begin with; that he should never have been imprisoned, held
incommunicado, and subjected to coercive interrogation for over two years; and
JinYu Li should never have been deprived of the companionship and the shared
life with her husband.

It would be too much to expect that the Chinese authorities will make
restitution for this false imprisonment, and unjust deprivation of liberty.
We do trust, that at the very least, they will facilitate his departure and
reunification with JinYu Li.

We would be remiss if we did not make mention of, and indeed sound the alarm
about, the dramatic increase in the persecution of the Falun Gong, including,
the increase in the rate of arrest and detention; the increase of deaths of
Falun Gong in detention; the pervasive torture of Falun Gong detainees; and
the use of atrocity propaganda to demonize them in the eyes of their fellow
citizens.


We call upon the Chinese authorities to:
?       Repeal the illegal ban on the Falun Gong;
?       Rescind any laws or regulations specifically criminalizing the Falun 
Gong as
an ?illegal association,? and prohibiting thereby the exercise of the
fundamental freedoms of their members;
?       Cease and desist from any policy or practice of torture or other 
degrading
punishment or treatment of prisoners in detention; and,
?       Release all Falun Gong members now detained in prison, forced labour 
camps,
or psychiatric detention.

For further information, please contact:

Irwin Cotler, O.C., M.P. or Tanis Gilbert, EA
(613) 995-0121

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Appendix 2:
Speech by Mr. Alex Neve, Secretary General of Amnesty International Canada, at
the press conference on parliament hill on Jan. 30, 2002

Good afternoon.

My name is Alex Neve and I am the Secretary General of Amnesty International
Canada.

Amnesty International welcomes the good news that Shenli Lin has been freed
from detention in China. It?s good news and we celebrate.

Over two years of imprisonment as a ?prisoner of conscience? have come to an
end and we now await his arrival in Canada and eagerly anticipate his reunion
with his wife, Jinyu Li. And that reunion must be allowed to happen.

That he was detained at all is a glaring abuse of his basic human rights.
Further injustice came, when his original term of imprisonment, 18 month in a
labour camp, was, at the time of his anticipated release, suddenly and
inexplicably extended by another 6 month. His release now is no more than what
is his right. Shenli Lin was imprisoned for reasons of conscience, the mere
fact that he is a practitioner of Falun Gong.

Amnesty International supporters right across Canada campaigned tirelessly for
his release over these past two years. We called on Chinese authorities to
allow him to be free. We urged the Canadian government to intervene forcefully
and actively on his behalf. I have in the past shared the podium with Jinyu Li
and others in support of her effort to bring her husband?s case to the
attention of Canadians. So we join her and others in celebrating Shenli Lin?s
freedom.

At the same time, however, as Irwin has pointed out, we must pause and
remember the countless men, women and youth who are unjustly imprisoned all
over China.  Scott has drawn attention to one particular case. There are many
other Falun Gong followers, pro-democracy activists, individuals who have
spoken out about minority rights in places such as Tibet and XinJiang, and so,
so many others.

For them, this campaign must continue.

The repression of Falun Gong followers in China continues to be a particularly
pressing human rights concern. Since the movement was banned by Chinese
authorities in 1999, Falun Gong followers have experienced a relentless
campaign of persecution, including widespread arrest and imprisonment,
frequent, serious torture and ill-treatment, and many instances in which that
torture has led to death in custody. Amnesty International and many other
groups and individuals concerned about basic human rights have consistently
maintained that the repression of Falun Gong followers in China must come to
an end.

Widespread human rights reform more generally is long overdue in China and
there is much, much still to be done. It bears emphasis at this point in time
that one such critical opportunity will soon be upon us. On March 18, this
year?s session of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, perhaps the
most important international human rights body, begins its annual round of
meetings. The Commission has consistently failed to tackle or take action of
any sort with respect to China?s dismal human rights record. The United
States, which is not a member of the Commission this year, has in past years
been one of the only states willing to raise these concerns at the Commission.
With the U.S. absent this year, the importance of Canada taking the lead in
pressing for action, rather than the silence that has marked Canadian policy
in this area for the past 5 years, is evident and pressing.

As Shenli Lin?s case has highlighted, the Canadian government and individual
Canadians can and must be part of the effort of pushing for a new human rights
reality in China. It?s an effort which seeks simply to ensure that the promise
of true rights protection becomes reality for all Chinese people regardless of
spiritual belief, ethnic background, or political views.

Thank you.

___________________________________________________________________________

For background on the spiritual practice and the crisis in China, please visit 
http://falundafa.ca/infocentre . To subscribe, unsubscribe or change the 
delivery mode, please visit http://mulist.cjb.net
___________________________________________________________________________

Other related posts:

  • » News Release: Imprisoned husband of Canadian Citizen Released in China;