News Release: Falun Gong Practitioners Hold News Conference on Launch of Law Suit Against the Sing Tao Daily Newspaper

  • From: Media-Update <media-update@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: Media-Update <dafa-news-ottawa@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 22 Dec 2001 05:28:55 -0500

News Release          For immediate release: December 21, 2001

Falun Gong Practitioners Hold News Conference on Launch of
Law Suit Against the Sing Tao Daily Newspaper

Toronto, December 21st, 2001 - Falun Gong practitioners, along with legal
counsel Mr. Rocco Galati, held a news conference today to give details of a
law suit that was filed on December 19th, 2001 in the Superior Court of the
Province of Ontario by 156 Falun Gong practitioners against one of the world?s
largest overseas Chinese language newspapers, the Sing Tao Daily.

On September 20, 2001, a full-page spread, entitled ?Radical religions
advocate destroying the world?, published and distributed worldwide in the
Sing Tao Daily, carried photographs and commentary placing Falun Gong with
many reportedly violent and doomsday religious cults as well as with the
September 11th terrorist attacks that had occurred only 9 days before.

The law suit, now filed, charges libel, slander, negligence and incitement of
hatred.  Plaintiffs include Falun Gong practitioners from different provinces
in Canada as well as those from Hong Kong who were shown in the article?s

Shortly after the article?s printing Falun Gong practitioners sent two letters
to the Sing Tao regarding the slanderous report. Lawyer Rocco Galati sent
another letter in October. The Sing Tao failed to respond satisfactorily.
Canadian law regarding slander allows only 3 months to file a law suit which
would give only until December 20th, 2001.

Lawyer Rocco Galati stated today, ?My clients have been very patient. They
have given the Sing Tao an opportunity to resolve this issue.  However, now
they have no choice but to take legal action.?

The Statement of Claim filed with the court states, in part, ?[the Sing Tao]
in publishing the expose did engage in inciting hatred against an identifiable
spiritual group which is contrary to the Criminal Code of Canada?[they] are
parties and co-conspirators in these hate crimes and crimes against humanity
for which civil liability arises.?

Falun Gong, was freely practiced in China before 1999 and was granted the
Award for Advancing Boundary Science, and Qigong Master Most Acclaimed by the
Masses in 1993. In 1996, Falun Gong?s main book of teachings, Zhuan Falun, was
a national bestseller in China. However, Falun Gong has been the target of a
large-scale persecution and propaganda campaign since July 1999, after the
number of practitioners outnumbered the Communist Party membership.

At the United Nations meeting in August 2001, International Education
Development (IED), a California-based human rights organisation stated, ?The
government?attempted to justify its State terrorism against the group [Falun
Gong] by calling it an ?evil cult" that has caused deaths and the break-up of
families. In our investigation, the only deaths have been at the hands of the
Chinese authorities; families have been broken up because family members have
been killed by the regime; people have been broken down, not by Falun Gong,
but by extreme torture, incarceration in mental hospitals with brutal
treatment, hard labour in labour camps and other such practices.?

At least 326 deaths of Falun Gong practitioners due to torture and
mistreatment in custody have been confirmed, while sources in the Chinese
government reveal the true number of deaths at the hands of police exceeds

Mr. Rocco Galati added, ?Falun Gong is practiced in at least 53 other
countries and only in China is it being targeted with persecution and
propaganda?The entire world has condemned this persecution.  The US Congress
and the European Parliament have passed resolutions. For the Sing Tao to stand
on the side of this persecution is unacceptable.?

In a November 2001 issue of China Brief, Washington DC based NGO, the
Jamestown Foundation, detailed efforts of the Chinese government to influence
Chinese-language media overseas in favour of the views and directives of the
Communist Party.

On December 10, 2001, the Superior Court of Quebec Province, Canada, issued a
Court Order to Les Presses Chinoises Chinese-language newspaper in Montreal to
immediately cease from publishing articles slanderous to Falun Gong.  It was
the first such decision in the world.

Contact:        Cindy Gu                416-419-9981 (cell)


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