CBC to air controversial Falun Gong documentary

Ottawa, Canada - A controversial documentary, Beyond The Red Wall: The Persecution of Falun Gong, will be broadcast on the CBC documentary program The Lens Nov. 20 after it was pulled earlier this month following a complaint from the Chinese embassy.

The film follows the story of Canadian Kunlun Zhang, an artist and professor at McGill University, who was arrested and jailed for nearly three years in a Chinese labour camp. It examines the Falun Gong movement and attempts by the Chinese government to quash it.

Director Peter Rowe said he was only informed hours before his film was pulled from the lineup on Nov. 6.

The switch came after the Chinese Embassy contacted the CBC, said CBC spokesman Jeff Keay. He said CBC officials learned that a Falun Gong publication had been running stories that touted the broadcaster as a supporter of the spritual movement.

The CBC requested certain edits to the film and Rowe complied.

"We determined that there were opportunities to make [the documentary] more journalistically solid and therefore more credible," Keay said at the time.

The lobby group Canadians Against Propaganda criticized the move, saying the Communist Party of China should not be able to impose any demands on the CBC.