MPs and Falun Gong Urge Prime Minister to Condemn China¡¯s Persecution at UNCHR

  • From: Media-Update <media-update@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: Media-Update <dafa-news-ottawa@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 13 Mar 2003 19:11:47 -0500

News Release                     For Immediate Release    March 12, 2003

MPs and Falun Gong Urge Prime Minister to Condemn China¡¯s Persecution at

Ottawa ¨C Before the annual United Nations Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR)
convenes next Monday, a letter writing campaign among MPs and a Montreal
signatures 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 ¨C from tabling a resolution to bilateral
dialogue  ¨C 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 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

¡°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

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 witness¡¯
lives are in danger for revealing the death or torture of Falun Gong
practitioners and can be charged with leaking state secrets.


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