Falun Gong Practitioners Call for An End to the Persecution during Hu Jintao's Visit to the United Kingdom (Photos)
(Clearwisdom.net) On November 8, 2005, Hu Jintao arrived at London and began his 3-day visit to Britain. Falun Gong practitioners held peaceful demonstrations along his trip calling for an end to the persecution.
Falun Gong practitioners call for an end to the persecution of Falun Gong
Falun Gong practitioners sit-in to appeal
According to a BBC report on November 8, 2005, there were Falun Gong practitioners among the protesters. The rise of Falun Gong as a mass movement has been one of the most curious stories of modern China. It's a combination of spiritual meditation and exercise.
The report says, theirs were the biggest banners, written in Chinese and
English, calling for the release of followers arrested for their beliefs. The
Falun Gong followers mostly stood or sat in silent contemplation.
Michael Lee, one of the organizers of the Falun Gong contingent, said they were people seeking "compassion and forbearance."
"China has no human rights - how can it when our practitioners are imprisoned and tortured for simply seeking spiritual wellbeing," said Mr Lee.
"The Chinese Communist Party is persecuting our followers yet all we want to do is talk."
According to a report from Guardian (UK) on November 8, Amnesty International urged Mr. Blair to raise human rights issues during his talks with Mr. Hu. Stephen Bowen, Amnesty's UK campaign director, said China's economic progress should not "blind" the UK to the denial of basic rights. "China still massively restricts freedom of expression and information, still executes more people than the rest of the world put together and still harasses and detains people who stand up for human rights," he said.
Independent (UK) also reported on Falun Gong practitioners' petition on November 9, 2005. In particular, the article authored by Jonathan Brown told the story for Dr. Li Shao, now an academic at the University of Nottingham and a practitioner of Falun Gong. He has witnessed some of the worst of Beijing's repression.
According to the report, Dr. Shao said 2,800 of his fellow followers had died
as a result of the persecution of their beliefs. A further 200,000 had been
interned in labor camps. Among them is his sister-in-law, an accountant from the
province of Guangzhow, who was arrested after she gave a seminar on Falun Gong
in London. She now works 14
hours a day in a flower factory for no pay.
"When she was seen meditating by the guards she was handcuffed by her wrists and hung from a door frame," he said. "The British Government has never raised the issue with China. Tony Blair has never even uttered the words Falun Gong to a Chinese leader," he said. Falun Gong supporters will mount a vigil outside Buckingham Palace for the duration of President Hu's stay.
According to the report, Falun Gong tried November 8 to have the commerce minister, Bo Xilai, who is traveling with the party, arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to torture members of their religion in Liao Ning.
Hu Jintao will visit Germany and Spain after his visit to the United Kingdom.