Feedback from Canada: Attention from Overseas Media Results in Improved Detention Conditions for Our Relatives in China
(Clearwisdom.Net) The Voice of America reported on August 25, 2002, that under pressure from the overseas media and the international community, some Canadian Falun Gong practitioners' relatives in China have had their detention conditions improved.
Canadian practitioners thank various social groups for their attention to and support of the practitioners in China. Under pressure from the international community, 15 relatives of Canadians detained by China have had their detention conditions improved to varying degrees.
Yang Yueli Has Air-conditioning
Falun Gong practitioner Yang Zhendong from Toronto told a reporter that his 63-year-old mother Yang Yueli, an engineer who participated the launch of China's first satellite, had her detention environment obviously improved. Yang Zhendong said, "During the hottest period in Beijing, my mother was sent to an air-conditioned facility. Now she gets the same visiting privileges as other prisoners, and she can speak comparatively more freely."
Yang Zhendong also told the Voice of America that the labor camp where his mother is detained has created a registration procedure for Falun Gong practitioners. Yang said, "Now they record whether or not detained practitioners have overseas relationships, are above 60, and/or possess professional certificates and advanced degrees, because they're worried that detaining these people may cause intense international reactions."
He Lizhi Now Allowed to Make Phone Calls
Falun Gong practitioner Zhang Li from Toronto told a reporter that her husband He Lizhi, a 38-year-old architect engineer, had his detention environment improved just this month. Zhang Li said, "Recently, he has been able to communicate with his family. He can also make one phone call every month. Before, he was detained with other prisoners, but now he's detained with Falun Gong practitioners. Their heavy workload was reduced, too."
"Rescue Efforts Need to Continue"
Another practitioner Li Bo from Toronto confirmed that conditions for her 58-year-old mother Lu Xiuzhen in Liaoning Province's "Masanjia Labor Camp" have also improved somewhat, but she mentioned that this is still far below expectations. Li Bo said, "Through our appealing, her situation should have been changed for the better. But no matter what, she's still in jail. Therefore we still need to work hard to save them from any incarceration."
Canadian Foreign Minister is Concerned about Detained People
The rescue movement of Falun Gong got support not only from many communities and individuals, but also from the Government of Canada. Practitioner Li Zhuofu saw Canada Foreign Minister Bill Graham last week at an informal activity. Mr. Graham confirmed that when he participated in a conference with foreign ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, he spoke directly about the Falun Gong issue to Chinese Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan.
Increase the Effort of Appealing
Ms. Gu Siying said that these results have proved that overseas pressure is effective in improving the detention conditions of Chinese practitioners. But she also mentioned that most Chinese Falun Gong practitioners' fates are very miserable. "Not only do we appeal for relatives of Canadian practitioners, we also appeal for the thousands and tens of thousands of people in very poor conditions. Nobody knows anything about them. We will use all our strength to appeal for them, until the day that all Falun Gong practitioners are released." Gu Siying told Voice of America that, at the requests of the Canadian Government, three practitioners who have relationships with Canada have already been released.