Falun Gong mark 13th anniversary of China's brutal crackdown
|Report an Error|
Share via Email
Meditating Falun Gong supporters gathered across from the Chinese embassy Friday to mark the 13th anniversary of a brutal crackdown on the religious group by the Chinese government.
"Minister Baird is in China right now and we hope he can make a statement on behalf of Falun Gong," said Lucy Zhou of the Falun Dafa Association of Canada. "We're hoping trade wouldn't override human rights."
In the run up to the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Amnesty International reported thousands of Falun Gong practitioners were arrested and hundreds imprisoned or assigned to Re-education through Labour camps, often subject to torture and sometimes death.
Standing with Zhou, Falun Gong practitioner Young Wang, who came to Canada from China for work in November 2011, said that he spent more than a year in a Chinese labour camp for the group's supporters in 2001.
"It was evil," he said. "They put us in a crowded room and we were forced to watch anti-Falun Gong propaganda and renounce the organization every day when we weren't working eight hour shifts to produce big chunks of steel."
Wang, a program manager in IT, said he was arrested after police began tracking the number of emails he sent out speaking up for the group. "They came to my home and arrested me and all my computers were confiscated," he said.
"Some of the other practitioners in prison were beaten very badly," he said, "even though they were 60 to 70 years old."
Zhou, who has been protesting across from the embassy for years, said that Chinese tourists who visit the embassy are shocked to see Falun Gong members protesting at all. "We are like a window for them to see the lies," she said
"Evidence that Falun Gong detinees have been killed for their organs," Zhou said, "has given rise to international investigations, and even a ban on China-based organ transplant surgeries by some countries."
In March, a Chinese health official announced that over five years the country will phase out the practice of transplanting organs from executed prisoners and create a national organ donation program.