(Minghui.org) On the special occasion of the 22nd World Falun Dafa Day on May 13, 2021, Irwin Cotler, former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada and longtime Member of Parliament, extended his best wishes to Falun Dafa practitioners through a video greeting.

Mr. Cotler said that although the practitioners, parliamentarians and supporters can’t gather for the celebration at Parliament Hill like they had always done in the past, he invites people to still join the celebration of Falun Dafa’s universal values of “Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance.”

Irwin Cotler, former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Cotler recalled that the first political prisoner whose case and cause he took up shortly after he was elected as a Member of Parliament in November 1999 was Falun Gong practitioner and professor Zhang Kunlun, one of his colleagues at McGill University.

Mr. Zhang returned to China to visit his family, only to be arrested, imprisoned and tortured for his faith. But with the help of parliamentarians from all parties, he was eventually released.

For the next two decades, Mr. Cotler actively worked with his fellow parliamentarians in the defense of political prisoners, especially in combating the Chinese regime’s forced organ harvesting from Falun Dafa practitioners.

He noted regrettably that this year marks the 22nd anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party’s eradication campaign targeting Falun Dafa. He said that the criminalization of Falun Dafa and the fundamental freedom it represents has led to state-orchestrated policies and practices of persecution and prosecution, arbitrary arrests, imprisonments, torture in detention, and forced organ harvesting of Falun Dafa practitioners, which has been characterized as a “crime against humanity” by Sir Jeffrey Nice QC of the independent China Tribunal.

Mr. Cotler shared that while the persecution is still taking place in China, he is delighted to see the Canadian Senate adopt legislation to combat international organ trafficking and how the bill has been sent to the House of Commons for deliberation by MPs before it can be passed into law. “We will finally have a legislative initiative to address and redress this illegal forced organ harvesting,” he said.

He wished at the end, “May the celebration mark not only an affirmation of these foundational values of Truth, Compassion and Tolerance, but may it also mark the beginning of the road to the celebration of these values in China and outside, in freedom. So that all can benefit, spiritually, physically, mentally, as have the millions who have been the beneficiaries of embracing these values of Truth, Tolerance and Compassion.

“In concert with these ancient Chinese and universal values we celebrate together, I look forward to many more celebrations and to this expression of that celebration in freedom for the Falun Dafa and the benefits of the Chinese people in China, internationally, and all of us who engage with the movement.”

Chinese version available

Category: Dafa Day Recognition