Ottawa/Vancouver – This week, 17 organizations and individuals wrote to the Minister of Foreign Affairs Lawrence Cannon requesting the government of Canada to declare Liu Shaohua, first secretary of the education section at the Chinese Embassy in Ottawa, to be persona non grata for his role in mobilizing Chinese students and scholars to suppress Canadian protesters.
Liu Shaohua was caught on tape asking Chinese students and scholars to fight a ‘political struggle’ during Hu Jingtao’s visit. He said “Falun Gong, Tibetan separatists, Uyghur separatists, and democracy people” were planning protests that would “sabotage” and “interfere with” Hu’s visit. He stated: “This is a battle that relates to defending the reputation of our motherland!” and whoever cannot come “must ask for leave from me.” He said the embassy will cover all expenses, but “do not talk about it outside.”
“The biggest danger of Liu Shaohua is that he is selling to the people a version of reality which is extremely wrong and extremely dangerous” said Mr. Michael Craig, Chair of the China Rights Networks, “When a diplomat encourages hate against a group of people in Canada, he is acting against the diplomatic rules”.
“The Chinese Embassy tried to influence public opinion by rallying these foreign students to make Canadians think that the Canadian Chinese community on a whole supports the Chinese communist party, but they do not. Many immigrants from China came here to seek freedom away from the totalitarian regime”, said Grace Wollensak from the Falun Dafa Association of Canada.
From June 23 to June 25, the embassy hired students tried to block the protesters banners on the roadside. At 2 a.m. on June 23, about 200 of them arrived outside the Westin Hotel where Hu was to stay. They moved to occupy the protesters’ area, cover the Falun Gong banners with red flags, push away Falun Gong practitioners and attempted to monopolize the entire area. One Falun Gong practitioner was hit in the head. On the parliament hill, their loud chanting included derogatory and threatening words such as “strike down Falun Gong.” The Canadian protesters felt very much threatened and intimidated.
Maggie Hou, a human rights activist who was jailed for her work in China, said: “I was assaulted and intimidated and called a ‘traitor’ by the Chinese Embassy recruited crowd for holding a sign that reads ‘Do not be fooled by Communist Party and learn the truth of China’.”
“The targets of these rallies and hate slogans were Canadian citizens, and the demonstrators attacking these Canadians were mostly Chinese citizens, acting completely under the direction of a foreign power. This situation is an affront to Canadian sovereignty and must be stopped”, said Clive Ansley
“There is more than enough evidence to justify expulsion of this official”, wrote David Matas and David Kilgour in their own letter, “Repressing democratic protest in Canada is an abuse of the embassy and consular functions as set out in the Vienna Convention” “The embassies and consulates of non-democratic states should not take advantage of democratic freedoms to attempt to expand their repression abroad. China should not be abusing Canadian freedoms to undermine Canadian democracy.”
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