Advocates of human rights in Canada have been increasingly threatened by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials and supporters in an effort to intimidate them and take away their voice, states a new report.

Anyone who is bringing awareness of the mistreatment by the CCP and persecution of Falun Gong practitioners, Uighurs, and Tibetans, along with anyone highlighting democracy and civil rights in Hong Kong, have themselves become a target of the CCP.

The report, Harassment & Intimidation of Individuals in Canada Working on China-related Human Rights Concerns, says the response by Ottawa has not been strong enough, allowing foreign interference to increase. “Chinese state actors have almost certainly become emboldened by the inadequate responses of Canadian officials,” the coalition wrote. They have requested urgent action by Canadian officials to prevent these concerning and escalating incidents.

Students at secondary schools and campuses at universities across Canada have become a target of CCP harassment, intimidation, death threats, and cyberbullying, reported the

“This deeply worrying trend is clearly part of a long-standing and systematic campaign to silence public debate on serious human rights concerns in China, which increasingly extends far beyond China’s borders,” said Alex Neve, secretary-general of Amnesty International Canada’s English Branch. “Canadian officials—including the federal government, intelligence agencies, and many law enforcement bodies—have been aware of these issues for many years but have failed to pursue effective action. It’s time for a coordinated government approach to protect the rights of those raising awareness in Canada of serious human rights issues in China.”

“So far, the responses from Canadian officials have been piecemeal, at best,” said France-Isabelle Langlois, director-general of Amnistie Internationale Canada francophone. “A number of individuals who have faced harassment and intimidation tell us they no longer bother reporting incidents of this nature to Canadian authorities—either because they think it will not help, or they fear it will make it worse, particularly for loved ones in China, if the Chinese government were to find out. This puts an unacceptable chilling effect on free expression and other fundamental freedoms in Canada.”

By contrast, on May 13 two flags were raised by a congressional lawmaker on U.S. Capitol Hill, one in honor of the spiritual group Falun Gong for World Falun Dafa Day, and the other in recognition of the founder of the practice, Mr. Li Hongzhi. May 13 happens to also be Mr. Li’s birthday and followers of the practice celebrated around the globe in his honor.

Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) had organized the flags to be raised, with certification in honor of Li that read: “Your legacy will continue to touch and instill confidence in our future generation of leaders around the world.”

Certification of the American flag flown over Capitol Hill on May, 13, in honor of the founder of Falun Gong, Mr. Li Hongzhi (screenshot the BL Daily)

Sam Brownback, the U.S. Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom spoke in support of World Falun Dafa Day on Twitter on May 13, “On World Falun Dafa Day, we strive to uphold the universal tenets of truthfulness, compassion, & forbearance, ideals that are fundamental to the expression of the Falun Gong faith.”