(Clearwisdom.net) From July 14 to July 18, 2003, prior to the fourth year of the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners launched by the Jiang regime, Falun Gong practitioners from Ottawa and Montreal held a series of activities on Parliament Hill and the Chinese Embassy in Canada to oppose the persecution. They held a candlelight vigil, a signature collection drive with the theme "Stop inciting hatred toward Falun Gong," a press conference, a photo exhibit, a film-showing, march and a public rally.
Four years ago, on July 20, 1999, Chinese authorities began a nationwide arrest of Falun Gong practitioners. At the same time, Jiang mobilized the military and police to publicly beat Falun Gong practitioners including the elderly, women, and children. On July 21-22, 1999, Falun Gong practitioners who heard the news successively went to local appeals offices ended up being arrested. According to incomplete statistics, more than 300,000 Falun Gong practitioners were subjected to illegal detention and beatings at that point.
Falun Gong practitioners said in a statement published on July 18, 2003, "Four years of brutal persecution and genocide must be ended." Canadian resident Bill Liang presented to the local people and the media his 67-year-old mother Ms. Huang Xiuchao's experience. Ms. Huang benefited both physically and mentally because of practicing Falun Gong. After the persecution began, Ms. Huang was abducted for distributing Falun Gong truth-clarifying materials. Bill said, "Four months after my mother was illegal detained, and the authorities put on a ridiculous 'show trial' and sentenced her to four years in prison. There was no audience during the show trial; the time, location and judge were all kept secret. It was a farce. When my mother was in detention, an anonymous phone call to inform my family to hand in 30,000 Yuan [The average monthly salary of an urban worker in China is 500 Yuan.] to have my mother released. But my family and I don't know where my mother is now. I'm worried that I might lose the opportunity to see my mother again in the midst of such a systematic brutal persecution."
According to the Falun Dafa Information Center, during the past four years since the persecution began on July 20, 1999, there have been 778 confirmed deaths of Falun Dafa practitioners due to the persecution. Torture death cases cover more than 30 provinces, autonomous regions and cities across the country. Among those who have been tortured to death, 48% are women, and 26.5% were of ages from 50 to 70. In order to force Falun Gong practitioners to renounce their belief, the authorities used at lease 40 different torture methods against them. There are at least 6,000 Falun Gong practitioners who have been illegally sentenced to prison. Over 10,000 practitioners have been sentenced to forced labor camps. More than a thousand practitioners have been forcefully sent to psychiatric hospitals to be tortured with injections that are damaging to the central nervous system. Large groups of Falun Gong practitioners have been forcefully sent to local brainwashing classes, where they have been subjected to both physical and mental torture. Many more practitioners have been
severely beaten and had large sums of money extorted from them.
Ms. Lucy Zhou said, "Falun Gong, as a belief, has been widely spread to more than 60 countries, but only the Jiang regime has suppressed it in China. Four years of persecution has been entirely based on brutal torture, lies and incitement of hatred. In the face of huge pressure, Falun Gong practitioners have not yielded, nor have they taken extreme actions. Instead, they peacefully and rationally called for an end to the persecution and exposed the lies, and at the same time took legal action to seek justice. At present, Falun Gong practitioners around the world have or plan to sue Jiang and "610 Office"*, and put them on trial. According to International Criminal Court Stipulations, the persecution of Falun Gong imposed by Jiang and '610 Office' fits the definition of the crimes of genocide, torture and crimes against humanity."
*The 610 Office is an agency specifically created to persecute Falun Gong, with absolute power over each level of administration in the Party and all other political or judicial systems.