Ottawa, Canada: Press Conference in Parliament to Request the Release of a Canadian Falun Gong Practitioner Detained in Beijing
(Minghui.org) At a press conference on May 9, 2017, several Members of Parliament (MP) called on the Canadian government to demand that the Chinese communist regime release Canadian citizen Qian Sun. They also called for an end to the persecution of Falun Gong in China.
Speakers at the press conference (left to right): Grace Dai and Xun Li, representatives of the Falun Dafa Association; Irwin Cotler, a former Minister of Justice; MP Cheryl Hardcastle of the NDP; MP Michael Cooper, a Conservative; MP Elizabeth May of the Green Party; Miss World Canada Anastasia Lin; and MP Peter Kent of the Conservative Party.
Ms. Sun is on the list of the wealthiest people in China. She has been detained since March for her belief in Falun Gong. MPs from three opposing parties participated in the press conference and called for Sun's release.
MP Peter Kent said, “Qian Sun is only the most recent Canadian citizen, along with many millions of Chinese citizens, to be persecuted for their belief in Falun Gong, a philosophical regime which espouses belief in peace and truthfulness and tolerance.
“I think everyone who has spoken here today sees a necessity for a strong message to the government of China to release Qian Sun, but at the same time we expect, and will call on the government, to speak up more forcefully in public.”
MP Micheal Cooper called on the Chinese communist regime to release Sun, saying it was unacceptable for Sun to be detained 10 weeks for living by Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, that it was time for the Canadian government to protect its citizens.
MP Cheryl Hardcastle said that it was unacceptable for the Canadian government to keep silent on this issue, that Canada needs to have good relations with other countries, but that the prerequisite is they must respect human rights.
MP Elizabeth May said, “The notion that practicing Falun Dafa, which is a non-violent spiritual practice, should put someone in the crosshairs of the authorities in the People’s Republic of China remains a deep concern to every Canadian concerned about human rights.
“We urge the Chinese authorities and the People’s Republic of China to restore a Canadian citizen her Canadian passport and let her return home. And on the other hand, we underscore once again that the larger issue of persecution of Falun Dafa practitioners must stop.”
Former Minister of Justice: The CCP Persecutes Innocent People
Irwin Cotler, a former Minister of Justice, compared Sun’s case to that of Professor Kunlun Zhang, a former colleague of his at McGill University who was detained during a visit to China because he practiced Falun Gong.
Zhang was arrested in 2000 and sent to a forced labor camp for three years. His case was widely publicized in Canada, and, due to a strong voice from elected officials and steady media coverage, he was released in January 2001.
Cotler spearheaded the effort to have Zhang released and acted as his legal counsel.
Cotler said that Sun's case was another such example, that she is a victim of the CCP's persecution and shows that the CCP arrests people based on unwarranted charges. He explained this was selective discrimination, based not on what a person has done but on who the person is. Under CCP rule: “We have such a crime. Give us a person, a Falun Gong practitioner. That's enough.”
He said the persecution of Falun Gong is a violation of the law and urged the Chinese regime to respect international treaties, release Sun, and stop the unlawful arrest, torture, and imprisonment of Falun Gong practitioners.
Qian Sun's Statement Made Public
Sun's statement was read out at the press conference. She wrote, “I started practicing Falun Gong in 2014 for my poor health. I recovered soon after. I believe and follow the Falun Gong principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. This is a basic human right that should be safeguarded by the Chinese Constitution, the Canadian Constitution and the United Nation's Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
“Because of my belief, I have been detained in Beijing since February 19, 2017. It has been over ten weeks. Today I call on the Canadian government, the Canadian Falun Dafa Association, and Minghui.org to help secure my unconditional release. At the same time, I have a right to read Zhuan Falun, the main book of Falun Gong, and do the exercises every day before I am released.”
Sun's mother, Yunxiu Li, who is nearly 80 years old, said in a statement, “My daughter has not committed any crime. Instead, she strives to be a better person. But under the violent control of the CCP, she is detained. I appreciate the Canadian government, the media, and people of conscience for rescuing and helping her.”