Rally Marks 9th Anniversary of Falun Gong Persecution
Son of Chinese embassy defector urges embassy officials not to assist persecution
OTTAWA—At a solemn protest at the Chinese embassy on July 22 marking nine years of persecution, Falun Gong practitioners called on Canada to issue a public condemnation and urge China to stop the persecution.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a spiritual discipline that teaches the principles of “Truth, Compassion, and Forbearance.” Its practitioners have suffered an unprecedented level of state violence and state-incited hatred in China since the practice came under attack by the communist regime on July 20, 1999.
The 21-year-old son of a woman who defected from the embassy last year delivered a personal message to embassy officials.
“Recalling the four years living in the embassy, I have gained a lot of understanding from my everyday interactions with you. I know that under the pressure and coercion of the environment, the majority of you are doing things you don’t wish to do or take part in,” said Lu Yang, now in his third year studying at the University of Ottawa.
“From the bottom of my heart, what I most want to tell you is that ‘Falun Dafa is good.’…. Don’t participate in the persecution of Falun Gong,” he said.
Mr. Lu’s mother, Falun Gong practitioner Zhang Jiyan, defected in March 2007 to evade persecution. Her husband’s four-year term as a diplomat was ending and she made the decision to defect after learning that the embassy was monitoring her and planning to force her to return to China.
Falun Gong practitioner and artist Kathy Gillis read a statement from the Falun Dafa Association of Ottawa.
“For nine years the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) has defamed, slandered, beaten, raped, tortured, and murdered tens of thousands of men, women, and children whose only ‘crime’ was to believe in a faith that was not controlled by the communist regime…. CCP agents around the world continue to spread hatred against Falun Gong practitioners.”
Hate Campaign Fuels Persecution
Mr. Lu also noted that the communist regime uses state-controlled media “as a propaganda tool to spread ‘news’ that defames Falun Gong, distorts the facts, poisons people, and leads to misunderstanding and hatred against Falun Gong practitioners. The propaganda targets all Chinese people as well as the international community.”
One of the banners at the event called for support for the 40 million people who have quit the CCP. There has been a sustained wave of withdrawals since The Epoch Times published an editorial series in 2004 systematically documenting the CCP’s nature and its history of violence, deception, and killing.
Mr. Lu noted that the hate incitement against Falun Gong is a typical tactic used by the CCP that is documented in the “Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party.”
The Nine Commentaries details how the CCP advocates violent revolution and deception, and throughout its rule has instigated consecutive political movements by using hate to “stir up one group of people against another.”
Shizhong Lei recalled that “at an exhibition a year before the persecution, then-Chinese ambassador to Canada Mei Ping even shook hands with me and expressed appreciation to Falun Gong practitioners for bringing honour to traditional Chinese culture.”
However, after the persecution the attitude of the embassy completely changed. “I know they are very clear in their heart that Falun Gong is most upright and able to reflect China’s traditional morality. But they know the brutality of the CCP and dare not speak out,” he said.
‘Quit the Communist Party and Stop Helping to Persecute Falun Gong’
Mr. Lu urged his friends at the embassy to “withdraw from the CCP and stop helping the CCP persecute Falun Gong overseas.” He received a round of applause when he read out his phone number and offered his help if they have trouble using the Chinese-language Epoch Times website to quit the party.
Seventy-six-year-old Ms. Huang Daiming said that “confronted by the enormous price paid by Falun Gong practitioners, embassy officials are also facing a choice. . . I believe they will make the right decision.”
Gerry Smith held a two-week round-the-clock vigil in front of the embassy in July 2001. “I’m here to have more people know that the persecution should stop in China, especially before the Olympics. It should have stopped long ago,” he said.
According to the New York-based Falun Dafa Information Center, since January 1, 2008 over 8,000 Falun Gong practitioners have been arrested and over 130 have died under the CCP’s “strike hard” campaign to crush Falun Gong and other groups in the context of “successfully” holding the Beijing Olympic Games.
“When I was a kid I didn’t understand what was happening in Germany. And now I understand and I cannot stand by and watch this happening without saying something,” said Ms. Gillis.
Studies Corroborate Allegations of Organ Harvesting
The Falun Dafa Association statement noted that “For the past nine years the persecution of Falun Gong has been the no.1 human rights tragedy in China and against the Chinese people.”
In March 2006, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture Manfred Nowak reported that Falun Gong practitioners accounted for 66 per cent of the victims of alleged torture in China.
That same month The Epoch Times broke the story that the regime was harvesting organs from imprisoned Falun Gong practitioners.
This allegation has been confirmed by three corroborating studies. The most well-known is a report by Winnipeg-based international human rights lawyer David Matas and former Secretary of State (Asia-Pacific) David Kilgour. Their report, “Bloody Harvest,” called organ harvesting “a crime against humanity” and “a new form of evil on this planet.”
In a 2008 United Nations Human Rights Council report, Mr. Nowak reiterated his previous year’s request that the Chinese regime give a full explanation to respond to the charges of organ harvesting.