At a press conference on Parliament Hill, led by One Free World International (OFWI), Xun Li, president of the Falun Dafa Association of Canada, called on Ottawa to sanction 14 current and former Chinese Communist Party officials under the Magnitsky Act for their human rights abuses, torture, and killing of Falun Gong practitioners.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a Chinese spiritual practice of ancient Buddhist traditions that espouses the universal principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance. Practitioners work on self-improvement and perform five sets of meditative exercises.
Under the Magnitsky Act (known as the Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Bill), the wealth and freedom of known human rights abusers is targeted.
“The atrocities committed by the 14 officials are part of the communist regime’s eradication campaign against our practice that has persisted for over 19 years, fuelled by relentless hate propaganda,” Li said.
“There is no safe haven in Canada,” he added, regarding the perpetrators.
MP Peter Kent, chair of the Parliamentary Friends of Falun Gong, said human rights abuses in China are worsening and the Magnitsky Act should be used to curb that trend.
“I agree with those in this delegation who have called on the Liberal government today to use the proven effective tools of the Magnitsky Act to impose sanctions against those individuals readily identifiable who have been involved in any number of violations of human rights,” he said.
Itibar Artis of the East Turkistan Association of Canada said the Chinese regime has been sending millions of Han Chinese to monitor Uyghurs by staying in their homes. Uyghurs are a Muslim sect in Xinjiang long repressed by the regime.
“The Chinese government is doing ethnic cleansing and genocide of Uyghurs,” he said. “There are no words to explain the severity of the physical abuses.”
Artis urged Canada to call on China to release all Uyghurs being held in detention centres.
Huawei Black Eye
The coalition’s appeal coincides with Beijing’s threats against Canada and the United States over the arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wangzhou who was detained in Vancouver on Dec. 1. The United States is seeking Meng’s extradition on allegations she violated U.S. sanctions against Iran.
Huawei is the world’s largest supplier of telecommunications equipment and a darling of the Chinese regime. Meng faces charges in the United States that carry 30-year sentences.
The Chinese embassy in Canada has strongly protested Meng’s arrest and wants her human rights protected. Meanwhile, the regime is accused of persecuting, torturing, and killing untold numbers of Falun Gong practitioners (since 1999), Christians, Tibetans, and Uyghurs—a far worse fate than Meng would ever face in Canada or the United States.
Sheng Xue, representing the Federation for a Democratic China, said the situation is getting worse and Chinese people need to stand up for their human rights. She urged the Canadian government not to make a deal with Beijing regarding Meng’s case.
“If our Canadian government were to make a deal with them, it’s not only to sell our principles but also to sell out the chance of the Chinese people fighting for human rights because the Chinese government, they are using their own people as the hostage,” she said.
Majed El Shafie, president and founder of OFWI, said Canada has to stand strong as a law-abiding society.
“I think this is a great opportunity to show the Canadians and the Canadian public that Canada is not a small little guy in the middle,” he said. “Canada is also a giant when it comes to human rights and we can make a difference.”
Li brought up the case of Sun Qian, a 52-year-old Canadian citizen being held in detention in Beijing for 21 months. He provided a list of 10 family members of Canadians currently incarcerated in China for their belief in Falun Gong.
Other groups accompanying OWFI on Dec. 10, which marked the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, included International Students for a Free Tibet and the Church of Almighty God.
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