Ottawa Falun Gong Rally Urges Release of Hunger Striker in China
Ottawa Falun Gong Rally Urges Release of Hunger Striker in China
Canada nationwide rally also marks 15-year anniversary of massive appeal in Beijing
Falun Gong practitioners gather at a rally outside the Chinese embassy in Ottawa, Canada, on April 25, 2014, to call for the release of fellow practitioner Ms. Yinghua Chen and to mark 15 years since the persecution of the spiritual practice began in China. The practitioners perform one of the standing exercises of Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, at the rally. (Pam McLennan/Epoch Times)

Falun Gong practitioners gather at a rally outside the Chinese embassy in Ottawa, Canada, on April 25, 2014, to call for the release of fellow practitioner Ms. Yinghua Chen and to mark 15 years since the persecution of the spiritual practice began in China. The practitioners perform one of the standing exercises of Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, at the rally. (Pam McLennan/Epoch Times)

Vancouver practitioners of Falun Gong hold a candlelight vigil outside the Chinese consulate on Granville St. on April 24, 2014, to mark the so-called Zhonghnanhai appeal in China 15 years ago. On April 25, 1999, over 10,000 practitioners of the spiritual practice, acting within their constitutional right to appeal, peacefully petitioned the central government in Beijing for the right to practice in peace after several instances of government harassment due to the growing popularity of Falun Gong. The practitioners also called on the Chinese regime to release Yinghua Chen, a Falun Gong practitioner in a detention centre in China who has been on hunger strike for over 37 days. Forty-year-old Chen, whose parents are Canadian citizens, was jailed for supporting her niece who was doing nothing more than holding a banner outside a prison saying she wanted to visit her father who was illegally arrested for his faith in Falun Gong. (Epoch Times)

Vancouver practitioners of Falun Gong hold a candlelight vigil outside the Chinese consulate on Granville St. on April 24, 2014, to mark the so-called Zhonghnanhai appeal in China 15 years ago. On April 25, 1999, over 10,000 practitioners of the spiritual practice, acting within their constitutional right to appeal, peacefully petitioned the central government in Beijing for the right to practice in peace after several instances of government harassment due to the growing popularity of Falun Gong. The practitioners also called on the Chinese regime to release Yinghua Chen, a Falun Gong practitioner in a detention centre in China who has been on hunger strike for over 37 days. Forty-year-old Chen, whose parents are Canadian citizens, was jailed for supporting her niece who was doing nothing more than holding a banner outside a prison saying she wanted to visit her father who was illegally arrested for his faith in Falun Gong. (Epoch Times)

Former Canadian member of Parliament David Kilgour urges the Chinese regime to release Falun Gong practitioner Yinghua Chen and to stop persecuting its own citizens, at a rally in front of the Chinese embassy in Ottawa, Canada, on April 25, 2014. (Pam McLennan/Epoch Times)

Former Canadian member of Parliament David Kilgour urges the Chinese regime to release Falun Gong practitioner Yinghua Chen and to stop persecuting its own citizens, at a rally in front of the Chinese embassy in Ottawa, Canada, on April 25, 2014. (Pam McLennan/Epoch Times)

A Falun Gong practitioner reads a statement at a rally in front of the Chinese embassy in Ottawa, April 25, 2014, calling on the Chinese regime to release fellow practitioner Yinghua Chen from a detention centre in China. (Pam McLennan/Epoch Times)

A Falun Gong practitioner reads a statement at a rally in front of the Chinese embassy in Ottawa, April 25, 2014, calling on the Chinese regime to release fellow practitioner Yinghua Chen from a detention centre in China. (Pam McLennan/Epoch Times)

Huang Jinling, whose daughter Yinghua Chen, a Falun Gong practitioner, is detained in China and is said to be close to death from a hunger strike, speaks at a rally organized by Falun Gong practitioners near the Chinese Consulate in Calgary on April 25, 2014. Chen was detained for supporting her niece who was doing nothing more than holding a banner outside a prison saying she wanted to visit her father, who was illegally arrested for his belief in Falun Gong. The rally in Calgary was held to commemorate the 15th anniversary of a 10,000-strong demonstration in support of Falun Gong on April 25, 1999, at Zhongnanhai, the seat of government in Beijing. (Wu Weilin/Epoch Times)

Huang Jinling, whose daughter Yinghua Chen, a Falun Gong practitioner, is detained in China and is said to be close to death from a hunger strike, speaks at a rally organized by Falun Gong practitioners near the Chinese Consulate in Calgary on April 25, 2014. Chen was detained for supporting her niece who was doing nothing more than holding a banner outside a prison saying she wanted to visit her father, who was illegally arrested for his belief in Falun Gong. The rally in Calgary was held to commemorate the 15th anniversary of a 10,000-strong demonstration in support of Falun Gong on April 25, 1999, at Zhongnanhai, the seat of government in Beijing. (Wu Weilin/Epoch Times)

Falun Gong practitioners in Edmonton hold a rally by the Gazebo Park in Old Strathcona on Saturday April 26, 2014 to commemorate the 15th anniversary of a 10,000-strong demonstration in support of Falun Gong on April 25, 1999, at Zhongnanhai, the seat of government in Beijing. (Shar Chen/Epoch Times)

Falun Gong practitioners in Edmonton hold a rally by the Gazebo Park in Old Strathcona on Saturday April 26, 2014 to commemorate the 15th anniversary of a 10,000-strong demonstration in support of Falun Gong on April 25, 1999, at Zhongnanhai, the seat of government in Beijing. (Shar Chen/Epoch Times)

Winnipeg Falun Gong practitioners hold an event April 25-26, 2014, at The Forks, a busy downtown meeting place, to raise awareness about the Chinese regime’s persecution of Falun Gong. Practitioners also gathered signatures for a petition to request that the Canadian government call for an end to the persecution and establish measures to stop the regime’s practice of forced organ harvesting. (W.W. Jiang)

Winnipeg Falun Gong practitioners hold an event April 25-26, 2014, at The Forks, a busy downtown meeting place, to raise awareness about the Chinese regime’s persecution of Falun Gong. Practitioners also gathered signatures for a petition to request that the Canadian government call for an end to the persecution and establish measures to stop the regime’s practice of forced organ harvesting. (W.W. Jiang)

Montreal Falun Gong practitioners raise awareness about their spiritual practice and the persecution by the Chinese regime on April 26, 2014, at Sun Yat-Sen Park in Chinatown. A young practitioner gives out materials about Falun Gong (also called Falun Dafa) to passersby. (Nathalie Dieul/Epoch Times)

Montreal Falun Gong practitioners raise awareness about their spiritual practice and the persecution by the Chinese regime on April 26, 2014, at Sun Yat-Sen Park in Chinatown. A young practitioner gives out materials about Falun Gong (also called Falun Dafa) to passersby. (Nathalie Dieul/Epoch Times)

About 75 Falun Gong practitioners gathered in Chinatown in Montreal on April 26, 2014, to commemorate the events of April 25, 1999, when practitioners in China appealed to the central government in Beijing for the right to practice their faith in peace. Montreal practitioners demonstrated the exercises of Falun Gong and presented speeches in French, English, and Chinese, while some distributed flyers to passersby. Despite the rain, many people stopped and learned about the spiritual practice and the persecution by the Chinese regime. (Nathalie Dieul/Epoch Times)

About 75 Falun Gong practitioners gathered in Chinatown in Montreal on April 26, 2014, to commemorate the events of April 25, 1999, when practitioners in China appealed to the central government in Beijing for the right to practice their faith in peace. Montreal practitioners demonstrated the exercises of Falun Gong and presented speeches in French, English, and Chinese, while some distributed flyers to passersby. Despite the rain, many people stopped and learned about the spiritual practice and the persecution by the Chinese regime. (Nathalie Dieul/Epoch Times)

Toronto Falun Gong practitioners hold a banner in front of the Chinese consulate on April 25, 2014, condemning the Chinese regime for its 15-year violent persecution of Falun Gong and its unethical practice of forced organ harvesting. Hundreds of practitioners gathered at the rally to commemorate the 15th anniversary of a 10,000-strong peaceful demonstration in Beijing on April 25, 1999, in support of Falun Gong. (Epoch Times)

Toronto Falun Gong practitioners hold a banner in front of the Chinese consulate on April 25, 2014, condemning the Chinese regime for its 15-year violent persecution of Falun Gong and its unethical practice of forced organ harvesting. Hundreds of practitioners gathered at the rally to commemorate the 15th anniversary of a 10,000-strong peaceful demonstration in Beijing on April 25, 1999, in support of Falun Gong. (Epoch Times)

Toronto Falun Gong practitioners re-enact a scene of organ harvesting in front of the Chinese consulate on April 25, 2014. Canadian lawyer David Matas and former Canadian Secretary of State for Asia-Pacific David Kilgour conducted an investigation in 2006 and concluded that the Chinese regime and its agencies throughout China have put to death tens of thousands of Falun Gong prisoners of conscience in order to seize their organs for sale high prices. (Epoch Times)

Toronto Falun Gong practitioners re-enact a scene of organ harvesting in front of the Chinese consulate on April 25, 2014. Canadian lawyer David Matas and former Canadian Secretary of State for Asia-Pacific David Kilgour conducted an investigation in 2006 and concluded that the Chinese regime and its agencies throughout China have put to death tens of thousands of Falun Gong prisoners of conscience in order to seize their organs for sale high prices. (Epoch Times)

A Toronto Falun Gong practitioner speaks at a rally in front of the Chinese consulate on April 25, 2014, at a rally to commemorate the 15th anniversary of a 10,000-strong peaceful demonstration in support of Falun Gong in Beijing on April 25, 1999, and to call for an end to the persecution of Falun Gong by the Chinese regime. (Epoch Times)

A Toronto Falun Gong practitioner speaks at a rally in front of the Chinese consulate on April 25, 2014, at a rally to commemorate the 15th anniversary of a 10,000-strong peaceful demonstration in support of Falun Gong in Beijing on April 25, 1999, and to call for an end to the persecution of Falun Gong by the Chinese regime. (Epoch Times)

OTTAWA—Falun Gong practitioners and supporters gathered in front of the Chinese Embassy on April 25 to call on the Chinese regime to release Yinghua Chen, a Falun Gong practitioner imprisoned in China. Chen’s parents are Canadian citizens.

Concerns are mounting for Chen’s health as she has been on a hunger strike for over 37 days to protest her incarceration. She was arrested for supporting her niece who was holding a banner in front of a prison requesting a visit with her father, who was detained for following his faith in Falun Gong.

Two MPs, Joan Crockatt, Calgary Centre, and James Lunney, Nanaimo-Alberni, have called on the Chinese regime to immediately release Chen.

The event was part of a nationwide initiative that also marked the 15th anniversary of a 10,000-strong demonstration in support of Falun Gong on April 25, 1999, at Zhongnanhai, the seat of government in Beijing. 

Acting in accordance with their constitutional right to appeal, the practitioners peacefully petitioned for the right to practice their beliefs in peace after several instances of government harassment due to the rapidly growing popularity of Falun Gong. 

Although the appeal was very orderly and serene, Chinese Communist Party leader Jiang Zemin misrepresented it as a “siege on the government.” In July 1999, Jiang launched a campaign of persecution across the country to systematically eradicate Falun Gong that continues today.

Yinghua Chen’s parents live in Calgary and her brother, Yingyi Chen, lives in Nanaimo, B.C. As each day passes, the family grows more concerned. Chen’s lawyer visited her in jail on April 13 and said she is very weak and her condition continues to deteriorate

“I am deeply worried. Yinghua’s life is in danger every single second,” said Chen’s mother, Jinling Huang.

Several speeches demanding Chen’s release were given in Chinese and in English. In a short speech former MP for Asia-Pacific David Kilgour thanked the Falun Gong practitioners for having the rally and said that the persecution of the spiritual practise has to stop.

“I just thought you would be interested to know that people in 130 countries, Falun Gong practitioners are protesting regarding the persecution in China and it is going to stop. It should never have started and it has gone on for 15 years,” said Kilgour.

In Kilgour’s opinion the Party will not be able to mistreat its own citizens for much longer. “You all know I am convinced that even the Government of China cannot continue to do this to its own people. I am sure this [cannot continue], and when it stops it is going to be because of the efforts of many, many thousands of people including yourselves,” he said.

Falun Gong is a traditional Chinese spiritual discipline of the Buddhist school. It follows moral teachings based on the values of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance and includes meditation and qigong exercises.

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