On January 20, 2004, representatives of the Falun Dafa Association of Canada, the World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong and Mr. David Matas, renowned international human rights lawyer, held a press conference at the Canadian Parliament.

The news conference announced how they have applied the Crimes Against Humanity and War Program (CAHWCP) to sanction those who persecute Falun Gong. Chinese officials (see http://www.faluninfo.net/DisplayAnArticle.asp?ID=8252) who are responsible for crimes against Falun Gong--if they attempt to go to Canada--would be subject to the CAHWCP process, which could lead them to be barred from entering, denied visas, deported, and prosecuted for crimes against humanity, and so on.

The initial list of 15 names, together with evidence of their crimes, was submitted to Canadian officials in the CAHWCP last September, with an additional 30 names submitted today.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) confirmed that a file has been opened with the War Crimes Unit. In the event that a perpetrator of atrocities against Falun Gong practitioners lands in Canada, prompt investigation would be conducted.

Background on Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Program (CAHWCP)

A very large number of immigrants have entered Canada since World War II. Among them are people who have committed war crimes or crimes against humanity.

Because of this, in 1985 the Canadian government established the Deschenes Commission of Inquiry on War Criminals and conducted investigations on 883 alleged war criminals. In 1997 the Canadian government ruled that these criminals should face criminal trials, revocation of citizenship and deportation.

Later, the Canadian government undertook significant measures, both inside and outside of its borders to break the cycle of impunity enjoyed by people who have committed atrocities (see http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/pub/war2002/section01.html). These measures include a new statute and amendments to three others to support and strengthen enforcement strategies, as well as the creation of specialized units in the three departments (the Judicial Department, the Immigration Department and the RCMP) which, through a coordinated effort, form Canada's Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Program.

In the late 1980's, for various reasons, modern day war criminals and personnel committing crimes against humanity increased significantly. Therefore, while offering protection to refugees, the Canadian government also amended the immigration laws in the beginning of 1989. They no longer offer protection to personnel who commit crimes against humanity. In February of 2003, Canada again changed the immigration laws by refusing to issue visas to criminals who had committed similar crimes.

This policy of the Canadian Government is unequivocal in saying that Canada is not, and will not become, a safe haven for people who have committed war crimes, crimes against humanity, or other reprehensible acts regardless of when or where they were committed.

According to Canadian Laws, there are several remedies available to deal with alleged war criminals and people who have committed crimes against humanity (see http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/pub/war2002/section02.html).

These remedies are:

  • prosecution in Canada under the Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act;
  • extradition to a foreign government;
  • surrender to an international tribunal;
  • revocation of citizenship and deportation;
  • denial of visa to people outside of Canada;
  • denial of access (exclusion) to Canada's refugee determination system and/or
  • inquiry and removal from Canada under the Immigration Act (The Immigration Act was in force for the period this report covers. This new Immigration and Refugee Protection Act was enacted on June 28, 2002).

According to CAHWCP's fifth annual report (see http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/pub/war2002), during the fiscal year 2001-2002 alone, 445 individuals were denied entry into Canada, 46 people were removed from Canada, and 3,983 cases were under investigation.

Also, the USA, Australia and the UK are known to have similar programs. Initially these programs were used to investigate war criminals from World War II. Later they have been used to target a wider range of serious criminals.