Canadians Help to Rescue Seven Falun Gong Practitioners from Torture in China

Over the past three years the brutal reality of the illegal persecution of Falun Gong has become known throughout the world. The peaceful appeals of Falun Gong practitioners have motivated the public and the government to step forward to help those suffering in China and protect the universal freedom to believe in "Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance."

Below are stories of seven practitioners who were rescued by the efforts of Canadians. They have now been reunited with their families.

On November 15, 2000,

61-year-old renowned art professor Kun Lun Zhang was arrested in China and sentenced to three years in a forced labour camp for refusing to renounce his spiritual belief in Falun Gong. Due to overwhelming Canadian support he was released in January 2001.

"I am Kunlun Zhang. I am happy to be back in Canada. I was very moved when I heard how the Canadian people rescued me from the Chinese labour camp. I would like to thank the Canadian government, especially the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Amnesty International and other human rights groups, my legal counsel Liberal MP Mr. Irwin Cotler, other MPs, the Canadian media and especially the tens of thousands of kind-hearted Canadians who signed petitions and wrote letters for my release."

On May 10, 2001,

Ms. Ying Zhu, a 34-year-old student at Concordia University in Montreal disappeared when she travelled home to China to visit her sick mother. She was held by police and viciously interrogated and tortured because she was known as a Falun Gong practitioner.

Her arrest outraged the public. Student Unions united across Canada in campaigns to free Ying Zhu. A coalition of MPs from all five major political parties actively worked on obtaining the immediate release of Ying. Amnesty International repeatedly made public statements to assist Ying and condemned the cruel persecution against Falun Gong in China.

Because of the pressure they exerted, the Chinese government released Ying Zhu. She arrived in Montreal on June 21, 2001.

In February 2002,

After two years of imprisonment and much suffering in a Chinese labour camp, Mr. Shenli Lin, called a "Prisoner of Conscience" and victim of torture by Amnesty International, was finally freed largely due to Canadians' efforts and reunited with his wife Jinyu Li in Montreal. Lin's wife credited his release to the combined efforts of the Canadian Federal government, Amnesty International, and people from all sectors of society, and especially MP and human rights lawyer Irwin Cotler, who served as Lin's legal counsel. Lin is the third Falun Gong practitioner rescued by Canadian efforts.

In August 2002, an "Urgent Rescue our Family Members persecuted in China" campaign started in Canada. The efforts of this campaign, with the help of the Canadian people and the Canadian government, have resulted in the release of four family members suffering in China. The rescue campaign has now become a global effort.

59-year-old Zhaojin Qiu and 27-year-old Bo Qiu are husband and son of Yanying Wang in Toronto, Canada. In October 2000, both Zhaojin Qiu and Bo Qiu were sentenced to three years in a labour camp without trial for peacefully appealing for the end to the persecution of Falun Gong in China. Due to the "Urgent Rescue Campaign" efforts they were released in October 2002 and are now under house arrest in China.

In January 2001 Ms. Yanying Wu and her brother were secretly sentenced to 2 years each in labour camps because they were Falun Gong practitioners. Ms. Wu was recently released from a Chinese labour camp due to pressure from the Canadian campaign. Her sister recalls, "In September 2001 she was beaten so severely [by Chinese prison guards] that her face could not stand to be touched..." Yanxia Wu heard of her sister's release on September 7th. She said, "When I first heard her voice, I was very emotional. I thank the Canadian government and Canadian people for all their efforts. Their support has made all the difference." Unfortunately her brother, Zhanzhong, still suffers in a labour camp today.

46-year-old Ms. Yuzhi Wang was incarcerated in China's notorious Wanjia Labour Camp, where she faced brutal torture and witnessed horrific scenes. She fled to the United Arab Emirates where, because of the vicious propaganda and cruel pressure from the Chinese consulate, the United Emirates authorities detained Ms. Yuzhi and made plans to send her back to China. Thanks to round-the-clock emergency rescue efforts by practitioners, supporters and government officials in Canada, Ms. Wang received a special visa and was rescued to Canada on November 11th.

Ms. Wang said: "On behalf of my family, I sincerely thank the Canadian government and the Canadian Falun Dafa Association. I am merely an extremely lucky one among tens of thousands of victims. I hope other Falun Gong practitioners in China will regain their freedom like me as soon as possible."

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