Canadian University Student Missing in China

  • From: Falun Dafa Canada InfoCentre <info-centre@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: dafa-news-ottawa@xxxxxxxxxxxxx,
  • Date: Thu, 28 Mar 2002 23:07:15 +0000


Canadian University Student Missing in China 

TORONTO, March 28, 2002 -- 22-year-old Christine Loftus, a student at Brock 
University in St. Catharines, Ontario and a native of Barrie, Ontario, has 
disappeared while traveling in China with her boyfriend Jason Pomerleau, 24, of 

The two, who met at a Falun Gong experience sharing conference in 1999, were 
traveling in China to inform the Chinese citizens about the ongoing persecution 
campaign against Falun Gong and the true beneficial nature of the 
practice?facts that are completely shrouded in an intense government propaganda 
campaign against Falun Gong.  It is suspected the two were detained while 
distributing materials on their fourth day in China after both failed to call 
friends back home at agreed-upon times. 

Both Christine and her boyfriend Jason had called friends the day before and 
mentioned that their trip was going well.  They each set times the next day to 
call again but were not heard from after that.

Foreign Affairs of Canada was notified of Christine's disappearance at noon 

Raised in Barrie, Ontario, Christine is currently in her second year as a Child 
and Youth Studies major at Brock University. She has been very active in 
raising awareness of the persecution of Falun Gong in China in the university 
community.  In November, she completed a five-day walk from St. Catharines to 
Toronto visiting four universities and gaining much support from student 
governments to call for an end to the persecution. 

Christine started practicing Falun Gong 3.5 years ago after she and her twin 
brother Jason Loftus came across the practice at a Barrie health show. 

Jason Loftus, an engineering student at the University of Toronto, went to 
China himself in February and held a press conference in Beijing to disclose 
that the "self-immolation" tragedy on Tiananmen Square was a setup by the 
Chinese government intending to demonize Falun Gong and justify the persecution 
campaign.  Jason was detained for 27 hours by Beijing police and abused before 
being deported and sent home to Canada. 

Christine's trip to China comes at a time of extreme escalated persecution 
against Falun Gong in Changchun, China. Amnesty International issued an Urgent 
Action Notice on the situation in Changchun on March 15 noting ¡°Dozens of 
suspected members of the Falun Gong spiritual movement have reportedly been 
detained during a security crackdown in Changchun City, Jilin Province, and 
that Amnesty International believes they are at serious risk of torture or 
ill-treatment.  Since this time, reports of at least 5000 Falun Gong 
practitioners abducted over a two week time and, more alarmingly, at least 100 
deaths in police custody, have been received.  Orders have been handed down to 
cremate bodies without identification or notice so it is impossible to 
ascertain the true death toll. 
Jason Loftus had just this morning completed his 24-hour segment of the 
rotating hunger strike outside Foreign Affairs Minister Bill Graham's 
constituency office in Toronto, calling for Canada's voice to condemn the 
ongoing slaughter in Changchun.  Falun Gong practitioners in Ottawa, Quebec 
City and Vancouver are also doing hunger strikes calling for Canada's aid to 
rescue practitioners facing the crisis in Changchun, China.  Jason Loftus said, 
"Given the recent developments in Changchun, I am very concerned for my 
sister's safety.  I am asking that the Canadian government call for her 
immediate release as she has been detained unjustly.  I also ask that they 
condemn the ongoing massacre in Changchun, China.  China needs to know that 
slaughtering innocent people is unacceptable to the world community.  This is 
one thing that Canadians going to China have strived to accomplish.  
International support can help to stop this evil persecution once and for all."

Jason Loftus  416-977-4281 (home), 416-246-4071 (pager)  Cindy Gu       
416-419-9981 (cell)  Joel Chipkar       416-709-8678 (cell) 

Background on Falun Gong: 

Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a powerful self-improvement practice 
based on the universal principle of "Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance" and 
consists of gentle exercises and meditation. It was made public in 1992 by Mr. 
Li Hongzhi and quickly spread by word of mouth throughout China. Falun Gong is 
now practiced in over 50 countries. 

With government estimates of as many as 100 million practicing Falun Gong, 
China's President Jiang Zemin outlawed the peaceful practice in July 1999. 
Unable to crush the spirit of millions who had experienced improved health and 
positive life changes from Falun Gong, Jiang's regime has intensified its 
propaganda campaign to turn public opinion against the practice while quietly 
imprisoning, torturing and even murdering those who practice it. 

The Falun Dafa Information Center has verified details of over 380 deaths since 
the persecution of Falun Gong in China began in 1999. Government officials 
inside China, however, report that the actual death toll is well over 1,600. 
Over 100,000 have been detained, with more than 20,000 being sentenced to 
forced labor camps without trial.


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