Mr. Speaker, as we prepare for the Christmas break, it is important to remember there will be political prisoners around the world spending this holiday season in prison, people who have committed no crimes other than to simply engage in practices or beliefs that the government where they are find threatening. Some of these people are Canadians.
In particular, I table a petition today drawing attention to the ongoing persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China. The petitioners note that Falun Gong is a spiritual practice that follows the principles of truth, compassion, and forbearance. However, 18 years ago, the Chinese Communist Party started a violent and illegal persecution against Falun Gong practitioners. The petitioners highlight this issue, and call upon the government to take strong action in response to it.
I personally had the opportunity to raise the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners with Chinese officials when I was in China two weeks ago. I encourage all members of Parliament to be seized with these issues, as well as other violations of fundamental human rights happening in the People's Republic of China, and continue to raise them at every opportunity.