Falun Gong supporters urge Martin to confront Chinese leader

Ottawa, Canada - Falun Gong supporters are delivering petitions to Prime Minister Paul Martin urging him to raise human rights issues when he meets China's president in Ottawa next week. Followers of the Falun Gong spiritual discipline say their colleagues in China are the victims of major persecution.

They say Martin should protest this treatment when he meets Chinese President Hu Jintao, who will spend 10 days in Canada on a state visit.

Hu is to meet Martin and other cabinet ministers in Ottawa and will also travel to Toronto, Niagara Falls and Vancouver.

Martin made a state visit to China last January.

Falun Gong supporters say Canada could make a difference if Martin stresses human rights concerns in his meetings with Hu.