[Note: This letter is published on Morgunbladid, one of the most popular Icelandic newspapers on June 19, 2002]

Our Deepest Thanks to the People of Iceland

We would like to sincerely thank all the people and the press in Iceland who have supported Falun Gong and the human rights of Falun Gong practitioners. We hope your support deepens as your understanding of Falun Gong increases.

Falun Gong is a traditional Chinese meditation and exercise practice for the cultivation of one's body and mind. It is centered on the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. It is peaceful, non-political, and free of charge, being taught by volunteers in more than 50 countries around the world.

This ancient practice was first taught publicly in 1992 by Mr. Li Hongzhi. It was so beneficial for individuals and society that more than 70 million in China were practicing it by 1999.

Because of this unprecedented popularity, the president of China felt that Falun Gong was a threat to his dictatorship. He banned the practice in July 1999, and personally ordered a comprehensive campaign of defamation and persecution.

Since then, more than 100,000 innocent people have been sent to prisons, forced labor camps, and mental hospitals. More than 1600 have died as a result of torture while in custody. Millions of families have been torn apart by this illegal and inhuman persecution. Faced with brutal persecution, Falun Gong practitioners have consistently upheld the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance while mounting peaceful public appeals to end it.

This June, citizens of many nations took days away from work and family in order to travel to Iceland during the visit of the president of China. We came to appeal in solidarity with Falun Gong practitioners inside China and to bring forth the truth.

Through our unforeseen difficulties, it was you, the people and press of Iceland, who came together to stand beside us, to help protect the universal principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, and to help protect the fundamental rights of freedom of conscience, expression, and association. We appreciate the joint effort to show the Chinese dictator that the rule of law and these freedoms are respected in a democratic nation.

Your support showed the entire world that the persecution of Falun Gong is not only a human rights issue, but also a moral issue.

You showed the entire world that the people of Iceland will stand, under all circumstances, and protect what is right.

Your unbelievable support helped give a voice to all Falun Gong practitioners persecuted in China.

The kindness and strength of all those who went out of their way to help and support us moved us to tears.

Our memories of the people of Iceland will live forever in our hearts. The actions you took to support Falun Gong will shine forever in history.

With our deepest respect, we sincerely thank the people of Iceland. Upholding the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, together we can make the world a better place for all.

-- Falun Gong practitioners worldwideá