April 23, 2001

The Brock University Students' Union (BUSU) represents the voice of 11,500 students at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada. We are writing to you on behalf of the students at Brock University to express our grave concern over the present persecution against Falun Dafa practitioners in China.

The Brock University Falun Dafa Club is a recognized club at the University. They have participated in many events on campus, such as, "Club Day" and the annual Health Fair. Students and staff have enjoyed having such a club be made available to them on campus and as a result, many have joined in to try out the tranquil Falun Dafa exercises.

We have come to learn of the brutal persecution against Falun Dafa practitioners that is presently taking place in China. We are shocked that such a peaceful group of people could be treated so harshly. Falun Dafa is based on the principle of Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance. These are qualities that are valued by the students and staff at Brock University and should be respected by all people around the world.

Currently the number of people that have died in police custody is reported to have reached 183 and the number is rapidly increasing. We are deeply concerned by Amnesty International's recent reports confirming the worsening of human rights conditions in China. We watch in disbelief as China imprisons Canadian citizens and their families. Ms. Jinyu Li, a Montreal resident, appealed for her husband who has been in a forced labour camp for 14 months. She has since lost contact with him. Her four other family members and relatives have also been detained many times and their home in China was ransacked.

The torture that Falun Dafa practitioners have endured in China is horrifying. In the Masanjia Labor Camp, a female practitioner was stripped naked and hit with several electric batons simultaneously for a long period of time. Her body was covered with so many blisters and reddish bumps that it looked like they were melted together. Yet Masanjia is said to have been recognized by President Jiang Zemin's regime as a model transformation camp. How can this be? How can we stand by and allow this type of viciousness to continue?

Despite this horrendous treatment, Falun Dafa practitioners have never fought back. They have continued to peacefully appeal everyday since the crackdown began in July 1999. They truly embrace the principle they advocate, that is, Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance.

We would like to join with the University of Toronto in supporting Falun Dafa practitioners in China whole-heartedly. We encourage other educational institutions to join with us and make our voice to China stronger. The persecution must be stopped. Basic human rights must be returned to these innocent people.

We would like to encourage the Canadian Government to step forward and speak out for the Falun Dafa practitioners in China. We feel Canada should co-sponsor a resolution for China's human rights at the U.N. Commission this April and continue to do everything in their power to help the practitioners in China. Canadians' voices can make a difference. We must let China know that their human rights violations cannot continue.

Rob Gilmour

President, 2000-2001

Brock University Students' Union