Canadian sentenced to eight years in prison, renounces citizenship


Sun Qian, seen here in a photo on her Canadian citizenship card, also renounced her Canadian citizenship in the process – a move by her supporters says she does so under duress and torture.

A Chinese court sentenced a Falun Gong practitioner who holds a Canadian passport to eight years in prison for belonging to a spiritual movement that Beijing calls a “cult.”

Sun Qian also renounced her Canadian citizenship in the process – a move by her supporters says she does so under duress and torture.

“I believe she should always be viewed by us as a Canadian citizen, a” former Liberal justice minister, Irwin Cotler, said. Mr. Cotler, who worked on the Ms. du Soleil case, the defendants, the Chinese, on obtaining a false confession from him.

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“If someone is tortured in a false confession, that does not mean that we have to accept and accept them.”

China’s legal system made its decision only a few weeks after British Columbia, the judge ruled against Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou, who was arrested at Vancouver International Airport in late 2018 in the United States UNITED STATES of extradition request. Advocates of the Sun say they believe Tuesday’s decision is linked to the Meng case.

Ms. Soleil, a Chinese-born woman who immigrated to Canada in the mid-2000s, pleaded guilty to organizing and exploiting cults to undermine the implementation of the law, a charge often used against believing practitioners of Falun Gong, a spiritualist of the Chinese authorities tradition consider as a threat to his authority and have banned them.

Ms. Sun was sentenced to almost three and a half years after her arrest. Banned from using her own legal counsel in court, she appeared with a designated court lawyer and “voluntarily renounced her Canadian citizenship and waived her right to appeal,” said Xie Yanyi, a Chinese lawyer. human rights defender who followed his case.

Ms. Sun told a lawyer, she was mentally tortured in prison and the pepper spray while in detention. At a trial in September 2018, she said that she had done nothing illegal and described the ill-treatment in detention.

Two months later, she wrote a note saying that she was pleading guilty and no longer wanted to meet with her lawyer.

Mr. Xie expressed doubts that Ms. Sun acted voluntarily.

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He said she was threatened, intimidated, deceived and deprived of liberty, adding her decisions to confess, taking on a duty counsel, waiving an appeal and renouncing her Canadian citizenship do not add up. “All of these are against common sense and are just the results of his being deprived of his free will,” Mr. Xie said.

The Canadian government has refused to confirm whether Ms. Sun has renounced citizenship. And he refused to say if they were of the opinion that she received a fair trial. Ottawa also declined to say whether Canada sent Beijing, Dominic Barton, had protested this conviction and China’s conduct.

“Canada continues to closely monitor the case of Ms. Soleil and Canadian officials are providing consular assistance for herself and her family,” said Krystyna Dodds, a spokesperson for Global Affairs. “Consular officials attended the June 30 verdict. We raised his case directly with their Chinese counterparts in keeping with our commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights and to engage in consular cases in China. ”

Ms. Sun started practicing Falun Gong in 2014, and is credited with relieving health problems. Once, a billionaire, co-owner of the business’s biochemistry with her husband, her family said he suspects she was arrested in early 2017 as a ploy to seize her property.

But his conviction on Tuesday “is directly linked to Meng Wanzhou’s case,” Mr. Xie said. He pointed to the “growing contradictions between China and Canada” and at the time of sentencing, just over a month after the BC Supreme Court ruled against Ms. Meng, who sought to end the extradition procedure against him.

The daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, Ms. Meng, has been accused by US prosecutors of fraud related to sanctions violations against Iran. She says she did nothing wrong.

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Li Xun, president of the Falun Dafa Association of Canada, denounced China’s treatment of Ms. Soleil and asked the government of Canada to demand her release.

“We condemn the illegal detention and the condemnation of Ms. Soleil by the Chinese Communist regime. Ms. Sun is innocent [and] would never have been arrested in the first place, “Mr. Li said.

“The persecution of Falun Gong violates the Charter of the United Nations and other international human rights conventions. It also undermines China’s own constitution and laws. ”

Mr. Li said Ms. Sun “suffered at the hands of the evil Communist Party for more than three years,” and recounts her of the abuse. “She was detained illegally and physically and mentally tortured, with reports of her being chained, handcuffed to a steel chair, pepper spray in the face and underwent brainwashing and psychological manipulation.”

Ms. Meng was arrested at Vancouver International Airport in December 2018 in the United States for the extradition request. China has vehemently opposed his detention and accused Canada of being an accomplice to the US scheme to deliberately oppress the Chinese high-tech enterprises. “

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The Huawei executive is currently on bail in Vancouver fighting the US extradition request. She is accused of bank fraud in connection with the violation of the US sanctions against Iran. In late May, a B.C. judge rejected Ms. Meng’s first offer to strike the extradition case against her.

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