(Clearwisdom.net) BLOOMINGTON -- Leon Lemmons traveled to Illinois from Texas, and Emmy Pfister came all the way from Australia -- all to save a man they've never met.

They were in Bloomington on Thursday to spotlight University of Illinois alum Charles Li.

Li was arrested Jan. 22 in China for practicing Falun Gong, a lifestyle based on principles of truthfulness, compassion and forbearance.

Falun Gong is illegal in China, and Lemmons and Pfister feel fortunate to practice freely in their countries. They said that is why they are working for Li's release.

"When you see a fire, you raise an alarm," said Pfister. "In Falun Gong, we care for each other. I don't know Charles Li, but I care for him."

Li is sentenced to three years, and Pfister said he has been tortured and denied meetings with U.S. officials. She urged lawmakers to pressure China and discussed Li's request to be a plaintiff in a lawsuit Falun Gong followers filed in Chicago against former Chinese President Jiang Zemin.

Pfister and Lemmons have been to Rockford, Belvidere, Springfield and Peoria. They will present Li's case in Chicago this weekend at a convention expected to attract 2,000 people.

The lawsuit seeks damages against Zemin -- who remains powerful in China -- for "genocide, torture, crimes against humanity and a conspiracy to deprive U.S. residents of their constitutional rights."

Falun Gong was declared illegal in China in 1999 when its following swelled to more than 100 million and it was seen as a threat to Communism.