Citation: 2020 RLLR 134
Tribunal: Refugee Protection Division
Date of Decision: October 29, 2020
Panel: Avril Cardoso
Counsel for the Claimant(s): Nkunda I. Kabateraine
RPD Number: TB9-12791
Associated RPD Number(s):
ATIP Number: A-2021-01106
ATIP Pages: 000110-000117
REASONS FOR DECISION
 [XXX] (the claimant) claims to be a citizen of China and is claiming refugee protection pursuant to section 96 and subsection 97(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (“the Act”).
 The claimant’s allegations are fully set out in the Basis of Claim form (BOC). In summary, the claimant alleges a fear of persecution in China at the hands of the government due to his membership in the particular social group of Falun Gong practitioners.
 I find that the claimant is a Convention refugee pursuant to section 96 of the Act.
 The claimant’s personal and national identity as a citizen of China has been established on a balance of probabilities by his resident identity card, hukou and oral testimony.
 When a claimant swears that certain facts are true, this creates a presumption of truth unless there is valid reason to doubt their veracity.
The claimant practiced Falun Gong in China
 I find that the claimant was introduced to Falun Gong in [XXX] 2018. He testified that he went to a park near his family home on weekends when he visited and observed people doing exercises. He testified that after speaking with one of the practitioners he confided in him that he was diagnosed with Hepatitis B which was not responding well to treatment. During his testimony, the claimant testified that he spoke with the group leader in [XXX] 2018. When confronted with the discrepancy between his narrative where he states he was introduced to the group leader on [XXX] 2018 and not [XXX] 2018, the claimant said that he was not formally introduced in [XXX] but merely chatted informally with the group leader. I reject the claimant’s explanation. The claimant is well educated. He has a [XXX] in [XXX] and worked as an [XXX] and [XXX] in China. He is [XXX] years old. His narrative specifically states that he was approached by the leader on or about [XXX] 2018. There is no mention about any prior communication only that the claimant was watching people doing exercises. Taking into account, the claimant’s education and work history, his explanation for an omission about a central event in his claim is not credible. I draw a negative inference.
 The claimant testified that he joined the group practice in a corner of a park in his neighbourhood. When asked if he had any concerns about practicing in a public space considering that Falun Gong was banned in China, he testified that the group was surrounded by trees and it would be difficult to see what the group was doing and the group kept the size to six people. The claimant said he practiced with the group for about a month on Saturdays.
 I find on a balance of probabilities that the claimant was introduced to Falun Gong in China and joined the group practice. Although there are a couple of credibility concerns, the claimant described how he was taught exercise one in a very detailed and spontaneous manner which is consistent with the Falun Gong text and his testimony was generally consistent with his narrative. He submitted a medical record which indicates his diagnosis date and repeated treatments for persistent Hepatitis B which are consistent with his narrative. Therefore, the credibility concerns are insufficient to undermine his overall testimony about his introduction to and practice of Falun Gong in China.
The claimant feared arrest by the PSB in China
 The claimant testified that there was an incident on [XXX] 2018 which caused him to stop group practice. He testified that he was at a convenience store near the park where he practiced and saw PSB officers and vehicles outside. He said the store staff told him that some people involved in an evil cult were arrested at the park plaza and some escaped but the PSB said they would be caught and arrested. The claimant testified that he had no way to contact the group leader and since he had provided the leader with his name and address, he decided to stop group practice and instead practiced alone at home.
The claimant omitted his resignation from his job after [XXX] 2018
 The claimant testified that he resigned from his job but continued to live at his rented apartment which was close to his place of work. The claimant did not mention that he stopped working in his narrative. When confronted with this omission, he testified that he did not think this was an important detail. The claimant also failed to indicate that he stopped working in [XXX] 2018 in his immigration forms but instead indicated that he continued to work until [XXX] 2018 at which time he left China. When confronted with this discrepancy, the claimant testified that he made a mistake. I reject the claimant’s explanation. Deciding to resign from one’s workplace because of fear is a detail which is directly connected to the core of this claim. The claimant was very precise in completion of his immigration forms and he is well educated and worked as an accountant, a profession that is focused on details. I draw a negative inference from this omission and discrepancy.
The claimant travelled circuitously on route to Canada
 The claimant testified that an agent arranged for his departure from China. He said he left China on [XXX] 2018 and travelled through a number of Caribbean countries staying from a month to several months in each country before arriving in Canada on [XXX] 2019. When asked about this lengthy and circuitous journey, the claimant testified that he did not know the reason but was following the directions of the agent. The claimant was asked if he questioned the agent about this lengthy route and he said he did and was told not to ask too many questions.
 Since the claimant was reliant on the agent to secure his arrival in Canada, the nine-month delay is reasonable under these circumstances.
The claimant is also a genuine Falun Gong practitioner in Canada
 I find that the claimant continues his Falun Gong practice in Canada. He testified that he continued to practice Falun Gong in Canada. He said he attends group practice at Milliken Park, distributes pamphlets and attends group study. The claimant provided detailed testimony about his first practice at Milliken Park and described taking the bus there and hearing the Falun Gong music as he walked through the park. He said he purchased Zhuan Falun and the Great Consummation Way of Falun Dafa at Pacific Mall. The claimant testified that he attends group practice weekly except on rainy days and he said he stopped attending once the COVID-19 lockdowns occurred. Overall his testimony was spontaneous, detailed and he elaborated with additional details when they were requested. He also submitted photos and a letter from a fellow practitioner to support his testimony.
Claimant demonstrated knowledge of Falun Gong consistent with his profile
 I find that the claimant demonstrated Falun Gong knowledge commensurate with his profile. The claimant testified about jealousy being the most harmful attachment and explained in great detail how this attachment impedes cultivation and why it is prevalent in Chinese culture. He described the three principles and how they affect mind nature, explained the origins of karma and the purpose of the exercises. He provided an example of how he incorporates the principle of truth in his life and correctly explained that the exercises are not for the purpose of healing rather to purify the body. The claimant also explained the purpose of sending righteous thoughts and described activities such as attendance at a rally on World Falun Dafa Day and distribution of pamphlets to clarify the truth. The claimant’s testimony was very detailed, spontaneous and demonstrated in-depth knowledge about Falun Dafa.
 When asked if he would continue to practice Falun Gong if he returned to China, the claimant responded in the affirmative and explained that his energy level is low and must be increased and also if he stopped practice, his karma would return and create adverse affects on his health.
 The objective evidence is consistent with the claimant’s account of fearing persecution as a Falun Gong practitioner in China.
 At item 2.1 of the NDP, the US Department of State confirms that the People’s Republic of China, is an authoritarian state in which the Chinese Communist Party, the CCP, is the paramount authority. Repression and coercion persist, including against members of banned religions and/or spiritual practices such as Falun Gong.
 An IRB Response to Information Request or RIR on the treatment of Falun Gong practitioners contains information that further confirms there is a serious possibility that the practice of Falun Gong will be met with persecution.
 Chinese authorities continue to label Falun Gong an ‘evil cult’ in China. In particular, items 2.1 and 12.23 of the NDP reference the State’s use of harassment, intimidation, imprisonment and torture against Falun Gong practitioners. The 2019 Commission on International Religious Freedom, item 12.2, indicates that as of February 1, 2018 new regulations on religious affairs came into effect detailing strict registration criteria for religious organizations. The regulations ban unauthorized religious teaching and expands the role of local authorities in controlling religious activities. Further as of March 2018, jurisdiction over religious affairs was transferred from the State Administration of Religious Affairs (SARA) to the United Front Work Department (UFWD), an organ of the CCP. International criticism of China increased during the latter half of 2018 as the scale of government crackdown on religious freedom became widely publicized.
 I find that the claimant’s fear of persecution because of his Falun Gong practice has an objective basis and is well-founded, especially since he has credibly established that he was a Falun Gong practitioner in China and continues to practice in Canada.
 A state, unless in a condition of complete breakdown, is presumed to be capable of protecting its citizens. To rebut the presumption of state protection, a claimant must provide clear and convincing confirmation of the state’s inability to protect its citizens.
 Given that the state is the agent of persecution, I find that it would be objectively unreasonable for the claimant to seek the protection of the state in his circumstances, and that adequate state protection would not be reasonably forthcoming.
Internal Flight Alternative (IFA)
 Given that the state is the agent of persecution with control over the entire country, I find that there is a serious possibility of persecution throughout China and therefore a viable IFA does not exist.
 Having considered all of the evidence, I find that there is a serious possibility that the claimant would face persecution in China. I find that the claimant is a Convention refugee and I accept his claim.
 Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, S.C. 2001, c. 27, as amended, sections 96 and 97(1)
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 Exhibit 3, Item 12.7
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 Exhibit 3, Item 12.9