Ottawa Citizen: Falun Gong Practitioners Protest on the Hill
(Clearwisdom.net) Canadian newspaper Ottawa Citizen carried a story on July 14, 2007, about Lian Yao, who wonders if her husband is still alive. The 32-year-old transplanted Montreal resident, who is clinging to a refugee claim that for now keeps her beyond the reach of Chinese police, is worried her husband, Jian Ma, may be another statistic in an ongoing persecution of Falun Gong practitioners.
The story said that Yao was among a group of protesters who took to Parliament Hill today demanding that the Canadian government condemn the Chinese crackdown against Falun Gong. Up to now Canada has only broadly criticized human rights violations in China without touching on the plight of Falun Gong.
Yao gave a speech at the rally. "On February 28, my husband was arrested from his office and was seriously beaten. For 23 days we had no idea where he was," Yao said.
"We have since learned he has been sent to a forced labor camp for two and a half years."
Lucy Zhou, a volunteer with the Ottawa Falun Gong Group, said they regularly get emails that appear to be from close friends, but which turn out to be rife with planted viruses.
Zhou said that there has been a vigorous campaign against Falun Gong groups around the world. She said she regularly receives up to 20 phone calls per day in both English and Chinese, denouncing Falun Gong and its activities.
This seems to peak around certain events, such as the release earlier this year of a Canadian study into human rights violations against the Falun Gong.
A study by David Kilgour, Canada's former secretary of state for the Asia Pacific Region, and David Matas, an immigration, refugee, and international human rights lawyer based in Winnipeg, concluded that persecution of the group includes large scale and systematic organ harvesting from living, unwilling Falun Gong practitioners by state groups such as the military.
The report also concluded that since 1999, the government of China "has put to death a large but unknown number of Falun Gong prisoners of conscience."