July 20th will mark eleven years of inhuman persecution of the Falun Gong community by the Chinese party-state. It’s thus good to see so many Canadians of such varied cultural and religious backgrounds standing in solidarity today in our national capital. Officials in Beijing must end this horror begun in mid-1999. More and more people across the world are aware of this new crime against humanity and want it stopped now.
We call for the government of Canada to urge the government of China to end the persecution of Falun Gong and to release all Falun Gong and other prisoners of conscience immediately, including 12 with close Canadian ties.
The Communist Party has deployed the most vicious lies in state media to demonize Falun Gong and used all available means to persecute those who believe in its principles. In contrast, for 11 years, Falun Gong practitioners in Canada and around the world continue to use only peaceful means to raise awareness and expose the crimes of the regime, seeking to stop the persecution.
Nature of Falun Gong
Falun Gong is an ancient discipline which encourages ethical standards for cultivating body and character. It contains the essence of traditional cultivation systems, like Buddhism and Daoism (Taoism), combined with a set of gentle exercises. Its core principles are "truth, compassion and forbearance". It today reaches millions of people of diverse backgrounds in many countries.
In China where it first became public in 1992, Falun Gong grew to numbers greater than the membership of the Communist party within seven years (70-100 million by the government's own estimate). The party panicked on seeing nationals in the tens of millions engaging publicly in a form of exercise which had an underlying belief system different from communism. A dilemma for President Jiang Zemin in 1999 was not only that Falun Gong was authentically Chinese and growing across the country among citizens of all ages, regions and occupations, including party members; it was also that Marxism as a European ideological import into China is patently foreign. Communists saw a China-based philosophy cutting out from under them the thin ground on which they still stood.
Fearing Falun Gong's growth, the party has repressed it with a brutality since July 1999. Torture, rape, beating to death, detention in labour camps and brainwashing have become reality for many Falun Gong practitioners across the country. Today, they comprise two-thirds of the torture victims and half of the people detained in labour camps across China. The documented yearly arbitrary killings and disappearances of Falun Gong exceed by far the totals for any other victim group in China.
According to the research of David Matas and myself, set out in our book Bloody Harvest, practitioners have been killed in the thousands since 2001 so that their organs could be trafficked to both Chinese nationals and foreigners. Our report indicating that this grotesque commerce is occurring on a large scale across China. Our report is accessible in 18 languages at www.organharvestinvestigation.net
The details about the state of human rights in China can be found at many independent sources, including:Falun Dafa:(http://faluninfo.net).
Human Rights in China: http://www.hrichina.org
Human Rights Watch: http://www.hrw.org/en/search/apachesolr_search/china
Amnesty International: http://www.amnesty.org/en/region/china.
We respect the people of China. Canadians of origin there taught us much about the history, culture, inventions, economy, resilience and other strengths of their homeland.
It is concern for the Chinese people that moves so many of us to speak up for justice in China. The party-state in Beijing accuses its critics of being 'anti-China’, but it is the party which is 'anti-China' because of its continued exploitation of the Chinese people. Human rights advocates in China, such as the now “re-disappeared” Gao Zhisheng care deeply about improving the lives of the Chinese people. (http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/content/view/38853/)
Beijing should listen to the world, stop human rights violations and punish all who perpetrate them. One appeal was issued last year by the UN Committee against Torture (CAT). It demanded that China "immediately conduct or commission an independent investigation of the claims that some Falun Gong practitioners have been subjected to torture and used for organ transplants and take measures, as appropriate, to ensure that those responsible for such abuses are prosecuted and punished." www.ohchr.org/english/bodies/cat/docs/CAT.C.CHN.CO.4.pdf
The continuing failure to do so puts the government of China in violation of its international obligations under the Torture Convention, which it signed and ratified. It is rare for the UN system to call the Government of China to account for its human rights violations. CAT deserves much praise.
If China were to revive its traditional values, abandon political Leninism and adopt the rule of law, a free media and governance of, by and for all its people- a democracy with very Chinese characteristics-I believe the new century would bring harmony for both China and its trading partners. The Chinese people have the perseverance, self-discipline, entrepreneurship, intelligence, culture and numbers to make a better and more peaceful world for the entire human family.