As the annual meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Commission in Geneva approaches, the persecution of Falun Gong has caught the attention of the international community again. On the evening of March 9, 2005, Falun Gong practitioners in Canada gathered in front of the Canadian Parliament in freezing temperatures and called on the Canadian Government to take responsibility for respecting and protecting human rights and to condemn the Chinese Communist Party for its trampling of Falun Gong practitioners' basic human rights .
|Falun Gong practitioners in Canada appeal before the United Nations Human Rights Commission|
On the same day, during parliamentary discussions, Member of Parliament Scott Reid put forward a request that the Canadian Government allow Falun Gong practitioner Lin Mingli to come to Canada and join his brother Li Shenli, a Canadian resident.
Protection of human rights is the moral and diplomatic responsibility of the international community
One of the coordinators of the Canada Falun Dafa Association, Ms. Gongyu Dai, sent a letter to Members of Parliament on the same day, stating: "This occasion has given rise to deep pain and sorrow in my heart every year over the past 5 years, not only because of the horrendous human rights violations happening in China, but also because of the silence of most of the world's governments that comprise this prominent international human rights body."
She stated, "Over 100 horrific types of torture have been inflicted on Falun Gong practitioners in China in the past nearly 6 years. But with this letter I highlight another alarming fact, that in the past 3 months there have been over 300 reports of practitioners being tortured to death. Among the hundreds of thousands of detained and imprisoned practitioners are 14 family members of Canadian citizens and residents. The destruction of conscience and traditional moral values continues to escalate in China. Yet the Chinese communist regime has managed to keep a large portion of the global community quiet on the Falun Gong issue."
She continued, "Hence we highlight the international community as another victim of the killing of conscience. Through hate propaganda, blacklists of overseas practitioners, economic pressure, diplomatic intimidation, and enticement of profit and self-interest, this persecution is systematically attacking moral stability and the rule of law on a global scale. In the guise of friendship and good relations, we have seen that reactions of neutrality, indifference, and silence in fact undermine the conscience and efforts of all countries to incorporate human rights and moral principles in their policies and actions."
She urged, "Canada has a moral and diplomatic responsibility to take a just stand at the UNCHR and other international and domestic forums, for example by sponsoring or co-sponsoring a resolution censuring the Chinese communist regime for its gross human rights violations, or in Canada by publicly condemning the atrocities committed by this tyrannical regime. We respectfully request that you help Canada take such a just stand, for the future betterment of both Chinese society and Canadian partnerships with China, and for stability and prosperity for all."
Canadian MP: "I note that every single one of the practitioners who has been admitted to Canada has been a model citizen of this country."
In the meeting of Canadian MP on the evening of March 9, MP Scott Reid asked the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration to issue a ministerial permit to allow Mr. Mingli Lin to rejoin his family in Canada. Mr. Mingli Lin, a Falun Gong practitioner, was unlawfully imprisoned for two years for persisting in his belief. He is the brother of Mr. Shenli Lin, a Falun Gong practitioner in Canada.
|MP Scott Reid answers questions from reporters|
MP Scott Reid said during the interview, "I note that every single one of the practitioners who has been admitted to Canada has been a model citizen of this country." He said that the practitioners were kind, peaceful and courageous and would not be a threat to any society.
MP Scott Reid said that Mr. Mingli Lin was freed but still in a very difficult situation. Based on humanitarianism and compassion, the Canadian government should allow Mr. Lin to unite with his family in Canada.
After the meeting was over, MP Reid came to meet Falun Gong practitioners in the cold winter night, gave a speech and had a group photo with practitioners.
|MP Reid poses for a group photo with practitioners|
It was learned that after he returned from visiting China in February, Canadian Prime Minister Martin sent a letter to Mr. Xun Li, Chairman of the Canada Falun Dafa Association by express mail. The letter stated that during his visit to China, Prime Minister Martin mentioned China's human rights issue on many occasions, including when meeting with Chinese leaders and at business meetings, and urged the Chinese regime to face its obligations to protect human rights.
On December 2, 2004, a "Hearing of Victims of Persecution for Belief" was held in the Canadian Parliament. Representatives of the Canada Falun Dafa Association attended the hearing and presented witnesses. Members of the Subcommittee on Human Rights and International Development listened to the witnesses and passed a motion to protect and promote the right to freedom of religion and belief. The motion states, "That the ongoing International Policy Review examine ways in which the Government of Canada can make the protection and promotion of the right to freedom of religion and belief a central element of its efforts to defend human rights internationally, including in its international development assistance policy and programs; and, in particular, look at ways of making the receipt of Canadian aid conditional upon the absence of abuse of religious and other fundamental human rights." On December 10, the chairman of the subcommittee sent the statements of the practitioners' witnesses and the motion to Chinese President Hu Jintao, and urged Chinese leaders to investigate the severe trampling of human rights and provide responses.
On October 24, 2002, MP Reid put forward resolution M236 and the Canadian Parliament unanimously passed it. The resolution requested Prime Minister Chretien to ask China to release all 13 Falun Gong practitioners persecuted in China who are relatives of Canadian permanent residents or citizens. So far six of them have been rescued and brought to Canada.
Mr. Mingli Lin, a Falun Gong practitioner, was unlawfully imprisoned for two years for persisting in his belief. When he was incarcerated in the forced labour camp, the guards ruptured his oesophagus while punitively force-feeding him. He has endured a lot of suffering during the two years of incarceration. After his release on March 26, 2003, he was still kept under constant surveillance, routinely harassed and intimidated by the Chinese authorities. He has no personal freedom to speak of. He is the brother of Mr. Shenli Lin, a Falun Gong practitioner in Canada. Mr. Shenli Lin said that his brother was still in a very difficult situation, and his phone calls are being monitored.
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