FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, November 21st, 2001


OTTAWA -- Lanark-Carleton MP Scott Reid welcomed reports that jailed Canadian citizen Zenon Dolnyckyj is to be freed by Chinese authorities and returned to Canada later tonight.

International media reports surfaced yesterday morning, announcing the arrest of Dolnyckyj, a Toronto resident and Falun Gong supporter. He was detained yesterday in Tiananmen Square, while taking part in a peaceful demonstration against Chinese persecution of the spiritual movement. There was also word that he had been mistreated by police.

"I have received reports of Zenon's imminent release from my friends at the Falun Dafa Association of Canada. These reports are unofficial, but appear to be accurate," said Reid. "I know Zenon personally through our work together in raising awareness of religious persecution in China. He is a kind man and a devoted advocate of freedom of conscience. I was deeply troubled to hear of his arrest yesterday, and am relieved that he is coming home."

Dolnyckyj is reportedly scheduled for expulsion by China later today, with a five-year entry ban to the country. Two other Canadians remain under arrest in China for practicing Falun Gong. Shenli Lin, who is married to a Canadian citizen, has been detained since January 2000. Lizhe He, a Canadian landed immigrant, has been held by Chinese authorities since July of this year. Both were arrested for raising awareness of Falun Gong and resisting state propaganda demonizing the movement.

"I again call upon Prime Minister Chrétien to use his office as well as his international reputation as Dean of the G7 to stand up in defense of freedom of statement and freedom of conscience, and to appeal to the government of China for the release of these Canadian prisoners of conscience," concluded Reid.