The Chinese state-owned oil company looking to close a record-setting takeover of Calgary-based Nexen is one of China’s most abusive employers, directing its security forces to arrest and imprison Falun Gong practitioners.

The security forces of the China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) and its subsidiary, the Bohai Oil Corporation has persecuted over 100 employees for practicing Falun Dafa, says a spokesperson for the group.

Recently, the Falun Dafa Association of Canada has identified 76 people persecuted by CNOOC and its subsidiaries for practicing Falun Gong.

In several cases, security forces for Bohai directly detained adherents, sometimes ransacking their homes or detaining them for weeks at a time. In some instances, adherents who refused to renounce Falun Dafa were fired, but more often, they were taken by company security officers to detention centers and brainwashing facilities.

In January 2001, dozens of employees were sent to brainwashing centers; those who did not renounce the practice were subsequently sent to labour camps.

In 2000, the company issued a directive that Falun Gong adherents would be paid minimum living expenses only, with some employees losing up to 100,000 yuan (C$15,000) in wages.

CNOOC’s operations elsewhere also included a crackdown on Falun Gong.

In Beijing, Feng Zhiming, a general manager of CNOOC subsidiary Sea industrial Corporation Property Management Ltd., was sent to a brainwashing facility after his supervisors tricked him by saying he was being sent on a business trip on April 9, 2010. When he arrived at Haikou City, Hainan Province, he was abducted to the brainwashing class.

Zhang Wensheng from CNOOC’s Tianjin subsidiary The Mining Technical Service Production Engineering Research Institute was also taken to the same class, along with six others.

Party secretaries at CNOOC and its subsidiaries worked with an internal “610 Office”—a gestapo-like organization charged with eradicating Falun Gong—to trick and abduct staff to the brainwashing centre.

The federal government is currently reviewing Nexen’s proposed takeover by CNOOC Ltd. Lucy Zhou, a spokesperson for the Falun Dafa Association of Canada, says approval should be contingent on a guarantee from the company that it will no longer fire, detain, or participate in the ongoing torture and imprisonment of Falun Gong practitioners.

CNOOC’s Tianjin branch even established an office specifically to persecute Falun Gong, said Zhou, and the Bohai Oil Corporation set up a”Falun Gong Treatment Group” or “Special Case Group” to pressure employees who practice Falun Gong to renounce the practice.

Zhou said that since 1999, the group has tracked cases of CNOOC working in tandem with the CCP to detain, brainwash, torture, and imprison adherents in forced labour camps.

“The company also hands out huge fines and fires practitioners, sometimes ransacking their homes.”

David Kilgour, a former Canadian Parliament Member, noted “the conduct of Chinese state-owned enterprises globally is outrageous.” “They will demonstrate no more respect for the rule of law in Canada than they do in China — and will act always as agents of the party-state that controls them.”

Falun Gong practitioners held a press conference on Parliament Hill Thursday to call on the federal government to demand CNOOC guarantee to end such abuses before being allowed to take over Calgary-based oil company Nexen in a $15 billion deal now under review by Industry Canada.

At the press conference, Lucy Zhou expressed: “The government must demand CNOOC and all its subsidiaries to stop persecuting Falun Gong before approving any takeover.