Canada: House of Commons' Unanimous Motion Frees 3 Prisoners of Conscience

OTTAWA - A Private Member's Motion that was passed unanimously in the House on October 24th was debated in the House of Commons today. By adopting this motion last October, the House of Commons gave the impetus that resulted in the freeing of three prisoners of conscience, the improvement in the conditions of several others, and the rescuing of one Falun Gong practitioner who was about to be deported to China where she faced renewed imprisonment.

The motion was introduced by Scott Reid MP (CA, Lanark-Carleton). It has been recognized as a pivotal factor in ensuring the safe release of these individuals, and reads as follows:

That, in the opinion of this House, the Prime Minister should take advantage of his upcoming meeting with President Jiang Zemin of China at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Conference to privately raise the issue of the continued imprisonment in China of thirteen Falun Gong practitioners who have close family ties to Canada, and to emphasize that Canadians would be more willing to strengthen existing ties between Canada and China if these individuals (namely, Lizhi He; Xiuzhen Lu; Tianxiong Peng; Zhanzhong Wu; Xiuchao Huang; Bo Qiu; Yueli Yang; Yangtao Jin; Jiangang Huang; Guangshou Huang; Mingli Lin; Zhou Zheng; and Changzheng Sun) were re-united with their families in Canada.

"In adopting this motion, MPs of all parties provided the means to free several innocent people, but there are still many Falun Gong practitioners with direct family ties to Canada who remain in prison," Reid said. "We have to keep up the pressure until each one is released and reunited with his or her family in Canada."

Mr. Reid is available for comment on this issue.

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