(Minghui.org) Tens of thousands of Canadians have signed a petition this year calling for sanctions against Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials for persecuting Falun Gong. These signatures have been presented to Parliament, and the Canadian parliamentarians are urging the government to take action on them.

Federal lawmakers across party lines have submitted the petition to Parliament and urged the Canadian government to take action to sanction CCP officials who participated in the persecution of Falun Gong.

Chair of the Parliamentary Friends of Falun Gong: Canada Should Advance Key Bill to Sanction the Criminals

In a video sent out on July 20, the 22nd anniversary of the persecution, MP Garnett Genuis, co-chair of the Parliamentary Friends of Falun Gong, said, “Many parliamentarians, myself included, have also tabled petitions in the House of Commons calling on the government to use Magnitsky sanctions against those involved in the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners. The Magnitsky Act passed in the last parliament, sponsored by my colleague MP James Bezan, provided the government with all the tools to sanction those involved in the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners, but it is ultimately up to the government, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, to actually apply those sanctions.”

Video: MP Garnett Genuis, co-chair of the Parliamentary Friends of Falun Gong, vice-chair of the Special Committee on Canada-China Relations, and Conservative Party shadow minister for International Development and Human Rights, highlighted in the video that the Magnitsky Act and bill S-204 are critical steps that the government of Canada can take to address and combat the ongoing horrific persecution of Falun Gong practitioners, which includes forced organ harvesting and trafficking.

He said, “We have worked to advance Bill S-204, a bill that would make it a criminal offense for a person to go abroad and receive an organ that is taken without consent. Canada can and must do more to address forced organ harvesting and trafficking, and the complicity of Canadians that can sometimes occur in terms of this horrific practice. That is why Bill S-204 is so important.”

“These are some critical steps that the government of Canada can take to address and combat the ongoing horrific persecution of Falun Gong practitioners, which includes forced organ harvesting and trafficking. I am pleased to stand in solidarity with you in these important efforts.”

Genuis sent Bill S-204, the act to combat organ trafficking, to the House of Commons on June 18 for second reading. The bill seeks to criminalize Canadians who undergo transplants of organs forcibly harvested from non-consenting prisoners of conscience, and to ban those involved in organ trafficking from entering Canada. Many MPs have submitted the petition in support of the bill, and Genuis himself has submitted the petition several times.

CO-Chair of the Parliamentary Friends of Falun Gong: Condemn Live Organ Harvesting in Strongest Terms

Veteran Liberal MP Judy Sgro, co-chair of the Parliamentary Friends of Falun Gong, expressed support for the bill and said that the legislation to combat live organ harvesting is long overdue. She said in the debate on June 18, “We condemn the illegal and exploitative trade of human organs in the strongest of terms, and that was shown in the previous vote on Bill S-240, and will be on this one as well. We continue to have very strong feelings on things like this, as I believe all Canadians do.”

She said that as chair of the Parliamentary Friends of Falun Gong, she was all too familiar with the issue of organ harvesting and how this bill could help put an end to this horrific practice. “I have seen many pictures and talked to people who have had their family go through this terrible process.”

“Similar bills have been sitting in Parliament for over 12 years, during which time many innocent lives have perished due to the organ transplant trade, something we all find completely appalling,” she said.

She stressed the importance of working together to get this legislation passed. “We need that ability to prosecute, in Canada, Canadian citizens or permanent residents who commit any of the proposed offences abroad.”

She added, “I was recently told about the number of Canadians who were going abroad, specifically to China, and getting kidney transplants and different things done. I would like to ask Canadians, before they do that, to think about where those organs come from... Imagine that for $5,000, someone can get a transplant, never asking where that organ came from.”

Sgro said that organ trafficking, the practice of extracting organs through coercive means to sell them for profit, is absolutely reprehensible and it is a global challenge that requires both legislative and policy responses. She is very much looking forward to seeing its passage by Parliament and then have very strong enforcement to end human trafficking in organ transplants.

“Everyone Agrees That It Should be Passed”

During the debate on June 18, MP Alexis Brunelle-Duceppe sought to move the bill S-204 quickly in the House, after it had already been unanimously passed twice by the Senate and once by the House. “Everyone agrees that it should be passed.” he said.

MP Gord Johns added that “This illicit and illegal organ-harvesting industry is hurting vulnerable people across the world,” and “A global shortage of organs has driven this illegal industry.”

“We just cannot go on like this. It is completely unacceptable and we as members of Parliament have to do something about it,” he said.

Cross-Party MPs Call To end Persecution and Punish Perpetrators

At least 32 MPs have submitted petition signatures from their constituents to the Parliament since the end of February 2021. More than 20 of them have spoken out in support of the petition, calling on the Canadian government to implement the Magnitsky Act to sanction those involved in the persecution, including freezing their assets and banning them from entering Canada.

MP Heather McPherson, of the New Democratic Party, said on March 10, “The petitioners call upon the Government of Canada to deploy all legal sanctions, including the freezing of assets and the barring of entry to Canada. My constituents look forward to receiving a response from the government.”

Liberal Party MP John McKay said on March 12, “The petitioners take note that the Magnitsky law, or the Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act, exists in Canada and sanctions officials for gross violations of human rights. They take note that for the last 21 years, China’s communist parties have tortured and killed large numbers of those who practice Falun Gong.”

Conservative Party MP Tom Kmiec remarked on March 26, “The petitioners are asking for the Magnitsky act to be applied to those who are persecuting Falun Gong practitioners in mainland China. They would like sanctioned under the Magnitsky act, Jiang Zemin, Luo Gan, Liu Jing, Zhou Yongkang, Bo Xilai, Li lanqing, Wu Guanzheng, Li Dongsheng, Qiang Wei, Huang Jiefu, Zheng Shusen, Wang lijun, Zhang Chaoying, Jia Chunwang—for their persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in mainland China.”

“For years, Chinese officials have orchestrated killings, torture and forced organ harvesting for the purposes of trade and transplantation.” said Denis Trudel, a member of Parliament for the Bloc Québécois Party on April 27. “The victims of this abhorrent practice include political prisoners, Uighurs, Tibetans and religious minorities such as Falun Gong practitioners. The persecution of ethnic and religious minorities in China needs to stop and the leaders responsible must be sanctioned.”

Former Green Party leader Elizabeth May said when presenting the petition on May 4, “The petition deals with the ongoing human rights abuses within the People’s Republic of China. Specifically, petitioners call on the government to apply Magnitsky sanctions to enforce human rights in the case of practitioners of Falun Dafa and Falun Gong, who are persistently persecuted within the People’s Republic of China by the Chinese Communist Party.”

Conservative Party MP Tamara Jansen stated on June 7: “The petitioners call attention to the former Chinese Communist Party leader, Jiang Zemin, and his cohorts whose eradication campaign against Falun Gong, including the extrajudicial torture and killing of Falun Gong practitioners in large numbers, has continued with impunity for the past 19 years.”

And Conservative Party MP Jasraj Singh Hallan also said on June 7, “For over 21 years, China’s Communist Party officials have orchestrated the torture and killing of large numbers of people who practise Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline promoting the principles of truth, compassion and tolerance. This includes the killing of practitioners on a mass scale for their vital organs to fuel the communist regime’s organ transplant trade.”

Government Response: Canada Continues To Focus on Persecution at Every Opportunity

Rob Oliphant, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, has responded to the petition in writing that Canada has consistently called on China to respect, protect, and promote freedom of expression, assembly, and association, as well as freedom of religion and belief.

He emphasized that Canada has publicly expressed concern about the intimidation and repression of ethnic and religious minority groups and Falun Gong practitioners, and will continue to do so at every appropriate opportunity.

In his response, David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, said that combating trafficking in human organs is a complex issue that involves legislative and policy responses. In Canada, organ transplantation and donation are governed by a comprehensive legislative framework at the federal and provincial/territorial levels, including health law and criminal law.

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Category: Voices of Support Worldwide