OTTAWA (May 31, 2001)- Members of Parliament Irwin Cotler, Scott Reid, Francine Lalonde, Libby Davies, and Bill Casey joined together today in calling for the release of Ying Zhu, a Canadian landed immigrant who was arrested in China two weeks ago for being a practitioner of Falun Gong.

The cross-party coalition of MPs held a news conference today, along with Xun Li of Falun Gong and Alex Neve of Amnesty International. They urged the Chinese government to release Ms. Zhu immediately and to return her safely to Canada, where she has been a landed immigrant since 1997.

"As Canadian members of Parliament, we feel that it is our obligation to stand up for the rights of all Canadians, and to ensure that they are not victims of arbitrary justice - or injustice - by foreign powers. Persecution for religious or spiritual beliefs is utterly unacceptable; we decry such abuse of individual civil liberties and human rights, and urge the Minister of Foreign Affairs to personally intervene," said the group.

The Montreal resident travelled to China earlier this month to visit her family, when she was arrested by the Public Security Bureau in Guang Zhou, Guang Dong province, on May 10. All sources of information indicate that she has committed no crime, and was arrested simply for being a practitioner of Falun Gong.

Ying Zhu is a prisoner of conscience and is being detained without just cause. MPs Cotler, Reid, Lalonde, Davies and Casey have stated that they will continue to raise awareness of her imprisonment, and urge all like-minded Canadians to join them in calling upon Chinese authorities to release her unconditionally.