(Minghui.org) The Globe and Mail, one of Canada's major newspapers, reported on June 20 on the arrest and torture of Canadian citizen Sun Qian for her belief in Falun Gong. The article was titled, “Canadian arrested for her religion pepper sprayed, shackled in Chinese detention.”
As Canada's most widely read newspaper on weekdays and Saturdays, The Globe and Mail is based in Toronto and is regarded by some as Canada's “newspaper of record.”
The article describes Ms. Sun’s arrest and subsequent abuse in detention:
Early last month, detention house guards pushed Sun Qian to the ground and pepper sprayed her, before carrying her to a metal chair where they continued to spray her with the noxious substance until the bottle was empty.
Then, they placed her in handcuffs attached to foot chains. She was chained while she ate and went to the bathroom and also when she tried to sleep – with guards coming to check every 30 minutes and insisting they must inspect her restraints every time.
It was “a kind of unbearable mental torture,” Ms. Sun said in an account given to her lawyer, which she then signed as accurate. It’s not clear how long it lasted, but Ms. Sun’s family believes it was for many days.
Ms. Sun’s lawyer and his law firm was pressured by local Justice Bureau officials into dropping their representation of her.
The article also covers a response by John McCallum, Canada’s ambassador to China, who stated, “That doesn’t always help, for the person in detention, if we broadcast their situation in public, so I think for those cases, almost all the time, it is better to proceed in a low-profile way.”
Mr. McCallum’s remark has been criticized by human rights advocates as a failure to defend a Canadian citizen being mistreated in a foreign country. Anastasia Lin, Miss World Canada 2016, called on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to “do everything in his power” to secure Ms. Sun’s release. Ms. Lin also raised Ms. Sun’s case and the wider persecution of Falun Gong at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva this week.