"Together, We Can End the Persecution!" -- Speeches from the Press Conference at Canada's Parliament Hill Right before APEC (October 23, 2002)
Stockwell Day, Member of Parliament:
Thank you Irwin for your passion on this issue and thank you also for raising it directly with the Prime Minister; that is much appreciated by all involved. Mr. Antoine Dubé, Deputy from the Bloc Québécois.
Antoine Dubé, Member of Parliament:
Thank you, Mr. Day. If you permit, I will speak in French. I come here as a deputy from the Bloc Québécois, and also as a representative of the party to the Foreign Affairs and Human Rights sub-committee. And effectively, the matter concerns both foreign affairs and human rights. Personally, I also think that the APEC conference is an excellent occasion where in formal and informal meetings, the Canadian delegation, presided over by the Prime Minister, for raising this issue that concerns freedom of expression and freedom of association, which are rights recognized by the United Nations. And raise all that is brought up by the different movements, organizations, NGOs... and also the media. And, so, an organization, a summit of that scale, is a great opportunity because it has international scope, visibility from the media, and everything - so, an excellent means of pressure. Peaceful. Democratic. So I'm joining this initiative of my two colleagues and primarily Mr. Day, who started this, so that the Prime Minister and his delegation use this occasion to underscore.
Ladies and gentlemen, Scott Reid, Member of Parliament, Canadian Alliance. Scott Reid has been involved with Falun Gong initiatives for quite some time... has really been a champion of this cause, as have our other colleagues here. Scott Reid.
Scott Reid, Member of Parliament:
Thank you very much.
I've put forward a motion before the House. We anticipate that it will be reviewed and passed unanimously tomorrow on the subject of the Prime Minister's visit to Mexico. I thought I might read it first in English and then I'll repeat it in French: "That, in the opinion of this House, the Prime Minister should take advantage of his upcoming meeting with President Jiang Zemin of China at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Conference (APEC) to privately raise the issue of the continued imprisonment in China of thirteen Falun Gong practitioners who have close family ties to Canada, and to emphasize that Canadians would be more willing to strengthen existing trade and aid ties between Canada and China if these individuals (namely Lizhi He, Xiuzhen Lu, Tianxiong Peng, Zhanzhong Wu, Xiuchao Huang, Bo Qiu, Yueli Yang, Yangtao Jin, Jiangang Huang, Guangshou Huang, Mingli Lin, Zhou Zheng, and Changzheng Sun) were reunited with their families in Canada."
Now I should mention that this motion was put forward by myself, seconded by Stockwell Day. However, we are seeking seconders from each of the parties and unanimous consent in the House, and we anticipate that will take place tomorrow. I think this indicates the level of support that exists among all parties.
Stockwell Day, member of Parliament:
Ginette D'Aoust-Castonguay, Falun Gong representative.
Ginette, Falun Gong Practitioner:
We are grateful and truly honored, to be in the presence of MPs from major parties who made efforts and joined us, to call on our Prime Minister Mr. Chretien to speak out for Falun Dafa. We hope he takes this opportunity at the APEC summit in Mexico this weekend, when he meets Jiang Zemin, the head of the Chinese Communist Party.
Today, in Houston Texas, for Jiang Zemin's arrival, thousands of Falun Dafa practitioners from around the world, including hundreds from Canada, are gathered to peacefully deliver a simple message: "Falun Dafa is good, the persecution must stop!"
It's been over three years that Falun Gong has been systematically persecuted, through a constant demonization and defaming campaign, of which Jiang is the controller. At present, he has personally ordered the escalation of this horrendous persecution in both scope and violence.
Many Canadians are affected in various ways. We know of at least 12 practitioners who have Canadian ties, like Lizhi He, who are in jail for believing in Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance. His wife, Li Zhang a Landed Immigrant, is with us today.
The Falun Dafa Information Center has confirmed 505 deaths. Officials inside China, however, report that the actual number exceeds 1,600. Over 100,000 people have been detained, with more than 20,000 sentenced to forced labor camps without a trial. The persecution is not just towards practitioners; many Chinese people are simply deceived and are coerced to participate in a persecution sustained through aggressive demonizing propaganda against Falun Dafa.
This persecution is against the founding principals: the morals of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance and endangers the future of China.
Many of you have worked tirelessly in helping this noble and righteous cause. Your efforts have secured the release of Canadian citizen, Professor Kunlun Zhang, along with a few others. Your persistence and diligence have touched all of us.
We hope to utilize this opportune encounter, by respectfully requesting that our Prime Minister Jean Chretien, raise the Falun Gong issues with Jiang Zemin.
Inspired by Falun Dafa's peaceful teachings, and with determination filling their hearts, Li Zhang and Xun Li will fly to Los Cabos, Mexico this Friday, to join hundreds or even more practitioners. Everyone present will appeal to Jiang Zemin to end the torture, to end the killings and to end this unprecedented and inhumane persecution.
Truth and righteousness will never be defeated. Together, we can end the persecution!