Ottawa, ON – David Anderson, Member of Parliament for Cypress Hills–Grasslands and Official Opposition Critic for Human Rights and Religious Freedom; the Official Opposition critic for Foreign Affairs, the Hon. Peter Kent, Member of Parliament for Thornhill; and Vice-Chair of the Sub-Committee on International Human Rights, David Sweet, Member of Parliament for Flamborough–Glanbrook, have issued the following statement ahead of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s visit to China from August 30-September 6, 2016:
“As the Prime Minister prepares for wide-ranging meetings with his Chinese counterparts, Conservatives urge him to keep the issue of human rights and religious freedom top of mind.
“The Prime Minister has said that he admires China’s ‘basic dictatorship.’ He must remember that this is a dictatorship that continually attempts to stifle the free expression of its citizens by repressing and nationalizing minority religions. Tens of thousands of Christians, Muslims and Buddhists have been persecuted and have had their places of worship destroyed.
“For decades, practitioners of the Falun Dafa spiritual practice have been harassed, killed for their organs, or imprisoned. We note that Chinese prisons currently hold hundreds of thousands of Falun Dafa prisoners of conscience, including 12 family members of Canadians. This needs to stop.
“The Prime Minister also has an opportunity to raise the matter of human rights in Tibet. The use of threats, unspecified criminal charges, torture and military violence to quell Tibetan dissent of Chinese occupation is not acceptable. The plight of Tibetans must come to an end.
“We also encourage the Prime Minister to specifically raise the imprisonment of Canadian citizen Kevin Garratt with Chinese officials. More than two years have passed since Kevin and his wife Julia were arrested on phony espionage charges. It is time for them to return home.
“The Chinese human rights record is an insult to Canadian values. With a prime opportunity to stand up for human rights on Chinese soil, Justin Trudeau must put personal image and extravagance aside and demonstrate leadership and action in defence of fundamental human rights.”
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For more information, please contact the office of:
David Anderson, MP: (613) 992-0657 or (306) 778-4480
Hon. Peter Kent, MP: (613) 992-0253
David Sweet, MP: (613) 996-4984