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With Family Members Imprisoned in China for Practicing Falun Gong, Toronto Residents Launch Rescue Effort (Photos)

July 19, 2002 |  

(Clearwisdom.net) On the morning of July 16, 2002, with the help of Mr. Smith, a Member of the Provincial Parliament, eight Toronto residents held a press conference inside the Ontario Provincial Parliament Building, appealing to people from all walks of life in Canada to help rescue the practitioners' family members who are being persecuted in China for practicing Falun Gong. At 9:30 a.m., the press conference officially began. John Godfrey, Member of Parliament and Michael Pruce, Member of Provincial Parliament attended the conference and gave speeches. Ms. Zhang Li talked about her husband Mr. He Lizhi, who is being persecuted in China. Three Western media outlets and three Chinese media outlets including Ming Pao attended the conference. More than 20 Falun Gong practitioners demonstrated the Falun Gong exercises on the lawn in front of the Provincial Parliament Building.

The press conference Presenting handmade paper lotus flower to the Member of Parliament Display board depicting the persecution family members suffered in China

Falun Gong spokesperson Joel Chipkar briefly introduced the situation of the twelve family members of practitioners who are being persecuted in China. Joel said, "My mother and I have benefited a lot from practicing Falun Gong. We were shocked when we discovered that family members of Canadian residents are suffering persecution for practicing Falun Gong in China. We sincerely appeal to Canadians from all walks of life to help rescue our family members and allow them to be reunited soon."

Ms. Zhang Li said that she misses and worries about her husband, who is imprisoned in the forced labor camp. She said, "On February 20, 2001, six months after my husband had been forcibly detained in the forced labor camp, I was finally allowed to visit him. I found that he suffered edema and continued to cough up blood. He could hardly stand...I was heartbroken upon seeing my previously healthy, energetic husband being tortured to such an extent. I requested the camp officials to release my husband on bail for medical treatment, but my request was rejected. One month later I was permitted to visit with my husband again. At that time, he had been sent to the prison hospital for two weeks. The hospital diagnosed him as having kidney and lung problems. I once again requested that they release my husband on bail for medical treatment and I was rejected again. From then on, I haven't seen my husband." Ms. Zhang continued that her husband had changed from a physically weak person to become healthy and energetic after practicing Falun Gong. However, he was forced to do hard labor in the forced labor camp but not allowed to practice the Falun Gong exercises. She was very worried about his health condition.

Ms. Zhang Li's husband, Mr. He Lizhi, is 38 years old. He is widely regarded as sincere, honest, and talented; and he is well respected by his peers. He is a senior civil engineer, who once won awards at the national and departmental level. He made prominent contributions to China's architecture. Before his arrest, he had obtained the Canadian permanent resident status. Only because he practices Falun Gong, he was sentenced to three and a half years in prison. He is presently held in Qianjin Prison near Tianjin City and quite likely being tortured and abused.

Toronto resident Mr. Yang Zhendong's mother, Ms. Yang Yueli, is 63 years old. She was a senior engineer of the Chinese Astronautics Ministry and once participated in the research and launch of China's first satellite, Long--March No.3, and for her achievements had won many national awards. However, because of practicing Falun Gong, she was suddenly arrested and sent to jail on December 7, 2001. Mr. Yang Zhendong has not been able to contact his mother and is very worried about her situation.

These family members of the Toronto practitioners are law-abiding good citizens. Cultivating Falun Gong enables them to achieve well-being of both mind and body. There was only one reason that they were arrested and tortured: practicing Falun Gong and following the principle of "Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance."

Mr. John Godfrey said, "I'm only one of Members of Federal Parliament who support the cause of Falun Gong. Every Canadian political party is supportive of Falun Gong. We will continue to send messages to the Prime Minister and take measures to urge China to stop persecuting Falun Gong. I'm so proud that Falun Gong has won so much support."

Mr. Pruce said in his speech, "Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance espoused by Falun Gong is a reflection of the code of conduct that the people of Ontario have followed from generation to generation. The Falun Gong practitioners we have met with are all very good people. We cannot tolerate the persecution against them; we will tell the Ontario Provincial Governor: "We welcome Falun Gong practitioners who are suffering persecution in China to come to Ontario; we welcome them, and at the same time we will show the Chinese government that we welcome them! If China could also accept 'Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance,' China would become better."

After the press conference, reporters interviewed several of the victims' family members.

We believe that Canadians from all walks of life will do their best to rescue these practitioners and help stop the persecution, so that they can live out the wonderful life that "Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance" has brought to them.

With the help of people from all around Canada, three Falun Gong practitioners who suffered persecution in China have been successfully rescued. They are Zhang Kunlun, Lin Shenli and Zhu Ying.