Press Statement
Canada, 10/99

We were shocked and grieved to learn that Falun Dafa practitioner Ms. Zhao Jinhua, a kind person well-known for her kindness in her local community, was tortured and beaten to death on 7 October, 1999. News agencies AFP/AP/ABC/BBC reported that Ms. Zhao Jinhua was arrested on 27 September and tortured and beaten for several days in an effort to make her promise to stop practicing Falun Gong. On the 7 October she died from the severity of the beatings she received. An autopsy found the cause of death to be large areas of trauma from blunt objects. Her body was not returned to her family, only her ashes after cremation.

It is hard to imagine that a human being can be illegally beaten and tortured to death by the police in a country with a legal system and constitution that guarantees certain rights and freedoms. It is harder still to imagine that the human being tortured to death was a person of exemplary behaviour, who was seen as a role-model, and loved by all of the people around her. It is even harder to imagine that she was beaten to death only because she wanted to practice Falun Gong and wanted to be a person with a noble character and sterling integrity.

We know that other practitioners in many cities in China have also been severely tortured in order to force them to give up the practice of Falun Gong. Since the Chinese government regularly blocks the information channels, there are many incidents of brutality that we do not have detailed information about. Therefore, we are deeply concerned for the safety and well-being of all practitioners in China. The torture and ultimate death of Ms. Zhao shows the brutal measures the Chinese government is using to try to stop the practice of Falun Gong.

With evidence of the severity of the situation facing Falun Gong practitioners in China and the continued escalation of China's efforts to eradicate the practice, we appeal to the Canadian government, governments in the free countries of the world, and all kind-hearted people to join us in condemning the Chinese government. In order to prevent further tragedy and to defend the rights of practitioners, we urge the President of China to immediately

Falun Dafa is a Qigong practice that promotes "Truth, Compassion, Tolerance", universal virtues that are beneficial to everyone and do not pose a threat of any kind. Despite the extremely inhumane treatment Falun Gong practitioners have received, they demonstrate great compassion and tolerance and do not fight back.