Rights Group Marks 7th Year Canadian Falun Gong Adherent Detained in China

Rights Group Marks 7th Year Canadian Falun Gong Adherent Detained in China
Sun Qian, a Falun Gong adherent who has been illegally detained in China since February 2017, in an undated photo. (The Epoch Times/Handout)
Andrew Chen

In the seventh year since the abduction of Canadian Falun Gong practitioner Sun Qian by China’s communist regime, a human rights organization led by former Justice Minister Irwin Cotler is calling for an end to her illegal imprisonment.

On Feb. 19, the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights issued a statement marking the anniversary of Ms. Sun’s arrest. A Canadian citizen, Ms. Sun was arbitrarily detained at her residence in Beijing in February 2017. In June 2020, she was sentenced to eight years in prison by a Beijing court for practising Falun Gong.

“We stand in solidarity with Ms. Sun and all Falun Gong [practitioners], and we call for her immediate release. We will not relent until she is freed,” the statement reads. “The culture of impunity and the criminalization of innocence in China must end.”

The Montreal-based group noted that Ms. Sun has been denied legal counsel and subjected to “torture and inhumane conditions” during her detention. In 2020, Ms. Sun reportedly renounced her Canadian citizenship and is suspected of giving a coerced confession under prolonged torture while in police custody.
Mr. Cotler, who served as minister of justice and attorney general between December 2003 and February 2006, has urged the Canadian government to continue considering Ms. Sun a Canadian citizen.
In a 2020 interview with The Epoch Times, he described Ms. Sun’s persecution as “a classic case of the criminalization of innocence … not for anything she has done, but for who she is: the bearer of the values of truth and compassion and tolerance, which reflect and represent the values of the Falun Gong community.”


For the past 24 years, adherents of Falun Gong, a spiritual practice rooted in Buddhist traditions, have been the target of brutal persecution by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). This campaign, aimed at eradicating Falun Gong, has involved some of the most egregious human rights violations, including torture, sexual abuse, and live organ harvesting.
Ms. Sun has reportedly endured prolonged physical and mental torture, including being shackled to a steel chair, pepper-sprayed in the face, and subjected to sustained brainwashing and psychological manipulation, as reported by the Falun Dafa Association of Canada (FDAC).
The persecution of Falun Gong was initiated in July 1999 by former CCP leader Jiang Zemin, who perceived the widespread popularity of Falun Gong and its spiritual and moral teachings as a threat to the regime’s atheist ideology. Despite Jiang’s death in 2022, the communist regime’s persecution of Falun Gong persists.
In a report published last October, the FDAC warned that the CCP has actively expanded its persecution of Falun Gong into Canada.
The regime’s tactics, primarily orchestrated by Chinese diplomatic missions, involve the co-opting or coercing of politicians, the Chinese diaspora, and CCP sympathizers, to harass, assault, and intimidate Falun Gong practitioners in Canada. It also uses disinformation or impersonation to discredit the group, seeking their exclusion from Canadian society.

“This report calls on the Canadian government to take action to ensure that the Falun Gong community in Canada does not have to face this shared threat alone,” the FDAC said.

Justina Wheale and Omid Ghoreishi contributed to this report.