The Chinese Consulate in Toronto Rejected My Passport Renewal Application
(Clearwisdom.net) I am a Chinese citizen and a permanent Canadian resident, living in the City of Kitchener in Ontario, Canada. On December 27, 2002, I went to the Chinese Consulate in Toronto to renew my passport.
When I submitted the renewal form, the clerk in the consulate told me to come back and pick it up in a week. Because of the distance between the two cities and the transport inconvenience, I asked a practitioner living in Toronto to pick it up for me in due time. When the practitioner went to the consulate for me, however, the officer in the consulate mistakenly thought he was me and interviewed him inside. After they learned he wasn't the applicant, the Chinese Consulate in Toronto requested to interview me in person.
On the morning of January 7, 2003 I arrived at the consulate. Two middle-aged officials met with me. Their first question was, "Are you a Falun Gong practitioner? Do you still practice Falun Gong?"
I answered, "Yes."
Then I asked them, "How do you know I am a Falun Gong practitioner?"
They went into an equivocation and said that the network was very advanced nowadays.
They then said, "[According to our observation] we seldom see you practicing the exercises or handing out information in front of the consulate."
I said to them, "That's right. Because I don't live in Toronto."
They said, "Your practicing the exercises and distributing information in front of the consulate are damaging China's image."
I said, "We wouldn't have come to practice the exercises and clarify the truth in front of the consulate if there were no persecution of Falun Gong."
Throughout the conversation I remained peaceful and calm, but my attitude was firm. The two officials did not say anything further to me. They just told me, "We cannot renew your passport, because this is the policy from home. It is not permitted to renew passports for Falun Gong practitioners."
I told them, "Perhaps you are not aware yet that at home, the authorities are sending representatives to make contact with Falun Gong, hoping to resolve the Falun Gong issue peacefully. I think you know what this means. And I think you should have known a lot of facts about Falun Gong."
One of them seemed very surprised, but the other quickly changed the subject. In the end I asked them, "When can I come back to renew my passport?" They told me vaguely, "Maybe next year."
The whole interview process took over twenty minutes. They returned my passport afterwards. When I checked it I found that they had originally put a renewal stamp on my passport, extending it to 2008 , but perhaps later on when they found my name on the Falun Gong practitioners' blacklist, they over-stamped "Canceled" on top of it.
After I returned, I sent a letter via certified mail to the Chinese Consulate in Toronto twice, to ask for a written explanation about their refusal to renew my passport, but I did not get any reply. Concurrently, I sought help from my parliamentary member's office. They have sent faxes to the Chinese Consulate twice, inquiring about the reason for the refusal of my passport renewal and didn't get any reply, either. The parliamentary member gave the original fax document to me later on.
So far, my passport is still not renewed.