Sharing the Burden of the Humanitarian MissionA Letter to Canadian Me
Sharing the Burden of the Humanitarian MissionA Letter to Canadian Members of Parliament and Citizens
Respected Canadian MPs and citizens:
We are professional lawyers from the People's Republic of China. We are legal agents and defense attorneys representing Canadian citizen Ms. Sun Qian, a Canadian citizen who is currently being charged by the Beijing municipal judicial system for "using a cult organization to undermine the law."
The Canadian Ms. Sun was arrested by law enforcement in Beijing on Feb. 20, 2017 because she practices Falun Gong. As a Falun Gong adherent, the predicament she faces is one typical to mainland China. To safeguard Ms. Sun's basic human rights, it is necessary to fully comprehend the actual circumstances that she and the rest of the Falun Gong community in China face. The outcome of this case does not just concern her fate, but also directly impacts millions upon millions of people. Ms. Sun’s case also concerns the matter of human rights and rule of law in China.
Canadian MPs and citizens must know that the biggest human rights crisis on earth today is occurring in China. And China's biggest human rights crisis is the Falun Gong issue. The unlawful suppression of Falun Gong practitioners has been going on for two decades and continues to this day. In terms of its scale and harm, the persecution of Falun Gong can be described as one of the biggest human catastrophes since World War II. The damage it has caused has surpassed that of some wars. Tens of millions of people suffer illegal discrimination and treatment, and hundreds of thousands (even millions) of people have been illegally sentenced, incarcerated, or made to do forced labor. Tens of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands, have been persecuted to death, disabled, or had their organs harvested. In many cases, organ harvesting was carried out when the practitioners were still alive. Torture is commonplace and surveillance is omnipresent.
The origins of this persecution lie with the decisions of a few political leaders. Starting in 1999, tens of millions of Falun Gong practitioners have been subjected to severe persecution just for keeping their faith in "truthfulness, compassion, tolerance." Countless families have been destroyed and countless lives ruined in a political campaign that not only violates the United Nations charter and the International Human Rights Convention, but is also in contravention of China's own constitution and laws. The use of Article 300 to charge and sentence Falun Gong practitioners for their faith and for appealing injustices is a misapplication of the law that blatantly violates the principles of criminal justice. While the persecution is neither the will of the law or the will spirit of the country, to this day there is little indication that the persecution will end. The authorities’ open trampling of beliefs and dignity has employed various means to twist and ravage human nature, bringing harm to humanity's progress as a collective civilization. People have become acclimated to shamelessness and evil as they respond to the persecution with cold indifference. The persecution’s evil fruits are corrupting and subverting many aspects of life and society, and are poisoning the human spirit.
The arrests, prosecution, and sentencing of Falun Gong practitioners are flagrant abuses of the law and violation of the Chinese constitution. This point is not only overlooked internationally and in the civilized nations of the West; people in China do not know that practicing Falun Gong and demanding redress for injustice is entirely legal according to Chinese law. We hope that people of the world come to realize that this crisis of humanity is something that is completely possible to change. Opponents of the law and justice in China and the world are not any government or nation, but the few criminals and evil elements embedded in the authoritarian system.
Below is the basic content of the message we sent to the Chinese authorities regarding Ms. Sun Qian's case.
Legal authorities in Beijing used the charge of "using a cult organization to undermine the law" to prosecute Ms. Sun Qian on the basis of her practicing Falun Gong. Falun Gong practitioners have been arrested simply for adhering to their faith, and are subsequently incur further persecution when they seek to redress or clarify the truth about their illegal detention. This sort of abuse is standard operating procedure in China. If at the beginning the ramifications of the persecution were not widely known, today the facts of the persecution are coming under greater scrutiny from both inside and outside the country.
This persecution violated the Chinese constitution and law from its very beginning and was not carried out by the will of the nation, the law, or the ruling party, but due to the wishes of a few individuals. Their agenda must be separated from the will of the nation, the law, and the ruling party. Not only do they not represent the nation or the law, but because of their unlawful acts, they can be said to be opposing the nation and the ruling party, as well as opposing society and humanity. We believe that our nation and people cannot pay the price for the errors of a few individuals. All of us citizens in this society, including Party members and government officials, should not only avoid executing the erroneous will of a few individuals, but also have the duty and responsibility to fight back against this erroneous will and acts. We have to safeguard the proper will of the nation, the law, and the ruling party, and not stand on the side of those who commit evil against the law, the nation, and humanity. Only in this way can the nation's interests and rule of law be protected. As citizens, officials, or as Party members, we must earnestly study the constitution, the law, and the series of policies, documents, and decisions made since the Cultural Revolution. We must reflect on history and observe the steps humanity has taken on the path to civilization.
For over a decade, public security authorities around China have all but thrown out the conventions governing normal criminal justice when they handle Falun Gong cases. In case after case, judiciary principles such as presumption of innocence, no penalty without a law, or “in dubio pro reo” have been roundly neglected. Meanwhile, large numbers of Falun Gong practitioners have been arrested with clear knowledge that there is no basis in evidence, reality, or the law to do so. Miscarriages of justice have been building up all the way to the present.
The persecution is a genocidal crime against humanity. Since the Chinese Communist Party's 18th Congress, the cruel and depraved persecution has continued. However, we believe it is unlikely that Mr. Xi Jinping would like to shoulder the burden for this massive crime against humanity. We believe that Mr. Xi and others currently serving in the state institutions are coming to understand in greater clarity the true situation of the persecution. Whatever the situation in the past, from now on, this persecution must be taken to task and ended as quickly as possible. It requires collective action of the Chinese people inside and outside the political system to call attention to and rectify these actions of illegal persecution. We do not believe that any official working at various levels in the state institutions would willingly and gladly burden himself with the responsibility for this historic crime. Though for 19 years a small group of inhumane and wicked criminal elements used their power to create many cases of injustice for Falun Gong practitioners around the country, in recent years there is a trend in Falun Gong cases for lighter sentences or even acquittals to be passed instead of heavy sentences. The throwing out of Falun Gong cases before prosecution also suggests a gradual awakening of conscience.
Separation of church and state is an international standard of civilized government, and China’s constitution guarantees freedom of belief and speech in addition to other basic human rights. Secular authority, including legislative, judicial, and executive branches, cannot infringe on a citizen's freedom of belief. Any legal policy targeting religious belief is inherently invalid since it violates the constitution. There is no legal basis or rational excuse for determining Falun Gong to be a cult, and using Article 300 to make arrests, bring charges against, and prosecute Falun Gong practitioners for supposedly "organizing and using a cult organization to undermine the law" is a misapplication of the law which violates the principles of criminal justice.