AFP: Canada Demands Access to Citizen Arrested in China Falun Gong Crackdown
OTTAWA, Nov 18, 2000 -- (Agence France Presse) A Canadian government official said Friday that Ottawa was seeking access to a Canadian citizen reportedly arrested in China and sent to a labor camp without trial.
Reynald Doiron, a spokesman with the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs, confirmed that Kulun Zhang, 60, had been arrested by the Chinese authorities and that Beijing had refused to allow Canadian diplomats access to him.
Zhang's daughter Lindi Zhang said her father had been taken away to a labor camp two days earlier, without any trial.
Lindi Zhang told a press conference that her mother -- still a Chinese citizen but with permanent resident status in Canada -- was being held under house arrest.
She claimed her father, who had been arrested three times since July, had been subjected to electric shock torture and was "forced to write a confession denouncing Falun Gong."
He was released from an earlier detention, she said, after he and other practitioners of Falun Gong -- which combines martial arts, Buddhism and group founder Li Hongzhi's moral teachings, and which has been outlawed in China -- went on a six-day hunger strike.
She said her mother had been told that Kulun Zhang had been sentenced to three years in a labor camp even though he had not been formally tried or convicted.
Doiron told AFP that Kulun Zhang apparently had dual Canadian and Chinese citizenship and entered China with his Chinese passport. China, Doiron noted, does not recognize dual citizenship.
Doiron said Canadian authorities were "alerted to a potential problem a week ago," which was before Kulun Zhang was taken away.
However, at that time, Zhang's wife "declined consular assistance" when it was offered by Canadian diplomats.
"We are sending a diplomatic note to the Chinese authorities," said Doiron. "We are seeking information.
"One of the things we will request is consular access.
"We also want to know under what article of China's criminal code he was charged, when he was sentenced and why."
Lindi Zhang, now a student at Ottawa University, said her family moved to Canada in 1989 and her father lived in Montreal before going back to China as a professor of art at Shangdong Art University.
She said her family had been practitioners of Falun Gong for "about four years." ((c) 2000 Agence France Presse)
Category: Falun Dafa in the Media