When a visiting Chinese official accused of torture and genocide in China meets Canadian leaders in Ottawa today, Canadian police will be going out of their way to ensure he is shielded from legal action over his alleged atrocities, a group protesting the official's visit said today.
Royal Canadian Mounted Police Constable M. Mongeon told the Falun Gong group on Sunday that he was under "high-level orders" to arrest anyone trying to serve visiting Chinese official Bo Xilai with legal papers, the Falun Gong group said in a statement. They say the police are restricting their right to seek legal redress and are going too far to appease a foreign tyrant.
Bo, who holds the title of Chinese Commerce Minister, has been sued in 10 other countries that he has visited over his role in the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China. A U.S. court entered a default judgment against him in a lawsuit claiming genocide and crimes against humanity against Falun Gong after Bo refused to enter a defense.
Bo rose to power in China as a close confidant of former Chinese communist leader Jiang Zemin, who is widely seen as having launched the persecution of Falun Gong in 1999. Bo's rise in power coincided with his vigilance in the anti-Falun Gong campaign.
Bo's name is on an RCMP watch list of officials alleged to have committed crimes against humanity. The Canadian authorities can bar someone on the list from entering Canada or investigate and file criminal charges against them if they land in Canada.
The Falun Gong group says they are concerned the police are not only failing to do this, but are now shielding Bo from justice.
"Canadians have rights to sue and serve legal documents on those who have wronged them," said Ottawa Human Rights attorney Lawrence Greenspon, who is representing the group to file a suit against Bo. "It is completely unacceptable that the RCMP would protect Bo Xilai from being served with proper legal proceedings."
Bo was the mayor of Dalian city in northeast China in 1999 when the persecution of Falun Gong began. In less than two years, Dalian had recorded one of the highest totals of torture deaths of Falun Gong adherents in China, at 15.
Bo was personally selected by Jiang to be the governor of Liaoning province in 2001. By the time he was promoted again in 2004, there were over 100 persecution deaths of Falun Gong practitioners recorded in Liaoning.
The United Nations had written to the Chinese regime with concerns with concerns over at least 15 specific persecution reports against Falun Gong practitioners in Liaoning province during Bo's rule there, including one shocking case at the Masanjia Labour Camp in which 18 female Falun Gong practitioners were stripped naked and thrown into the cells of male prisoners to be raped.
Liaoning province is also where reports first surfaced that Falun Gong practitioners were being killed for their bodily organs, which have been sold in a lucrative organ trade. David Kilgour, Canada's former secretary of state for Asia-Pacific authored a report probing these claims and wrote this week calling on the Canadian government to bar Bo's entry to Canada.
The Falun Gong group says it does not oppose Canada having ties to China, but they are concerned the government is playing host to officials with roles in persecution. For a government that had been credited with taking a relatively principled stand on Chinese human rights, they said it was an alarming about-face.
"We are shocked that our government who has recently shown some moral stand over human rights abuses in China is shielding a criminal of genocide and stopping Canadians from seeking legal redress for crimes against humanity," said Xun Li, President of the Falun Dafa Association of Canada.
Falun Gong is a Chinese spiritual practice that includes meditation. Founded in 1992, it was first endorsed by the Chinese authorities as a way to improve health. The communist regime's attitude changed after it was found that the number of practitioners outnumbered even communist party members in the officially atheist country.