(This article was translated from a report in Morgunbladid, the main Icelandic newspaper, on July 4, 2002)

A few words from a Falun Gong practitioner

I have been practising Falun Gong for about one year. Because of the extremely positive effects of the practice, I will continue to practice it. Perhaps my name has already been included on a name list of Falun Gong practitioners, which was created by the Chinese government. The name list was used for all the spying activities they have carried out against Falun Gong practitioners.

In relation to what has just happened (here in Iceland) I have been thinking about my own freedom to travel. Suppose that the President of China or another high-ranking official from the Chinese government was to pay a state visit to Denmark, and I decided to go there as well to point out the human rights violations in China, or for a completely different reason. At Kastrup [Copenhagen Airport] I was told that because Denmark did not have a sufficient police force, I was not allowed to enter Denmark this time, and the police would then try to make me take the next plane back to Iceland, or keep me as a hostage in a Danish elementary school. In a situation like that, would the Icelandic government offer me any support and help? If Icelandic citizens who had no criminal record whatsoever were being treated in such a manner, would the Icelandic government just accept it and stand by? In a situation like that, especially when Denmark had violated my rights of personal privacy (as it was obvious that Denmark had already obtained information about a kind of practice I do at home), I would naturally count on my own government to condemn the violation of my personal freedom of travelling by another democratic country on my behalf.

The Spread of Falun Gong

Falun Gong was first introduced to the public in1992. However, the practice was not invented in 1992. It has a very long history, only that it had never been introduced to the public before then, a phenomenon not uncommon in the culture where it originated. The practice of Falun Gong has profound and long lasting positive effects on practitioners and it was quickly embraced by the general public in China. Within seven years since its first introduction to the public, 70 million Chinese people had taken up the practice and did it on a regular basis. Falun Gong's wide spread was not a secret to the Chinese government. In fact, because of the positive impact Falun Gong had on individuals as well as society as a whole, Falun Gong and its founder Mr. Li Hongzhi, were honoured with two highly prestigious awards in China, and Mr. Li Hongzhi was also nominated twice for the Nobel Peace Price.

"Kill without Mercy"

In 1999, Jiang's regime started to worry that the popularity of Falun Gong was becoming a threat to their own power, especially after the number of practitioners exceeded the membership of the Chinese Communist Party. Jiang then decided to ban the practice of Falun Gong across China and started to persecute and slander the practitioners. The persecution includes murdering and torturing Falun Gong practitioners, as well as deliberate fabrication of lies in order to destroy the reputation of Falun Gong. Jiang's regime uses all kinds of evil means to achieve their goals, such as the staging of the so-called self-immolation incident. The fundamental principle of Falun Gong, namely "Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance," embodies a deep respect for all living beings, which in itself provides sufficient evidence to expose the Chinese government's slander and lies about Falun Gong practitioners alleged suicides. The cruelty of Jiang's regime is clearly shown in his recent order against Falun Gong practitioners: "Kill without mercy." When Jiang's regime tortures Falun Gong practitioners to death, they simply claim that those people committed suicide.

In spite of all this, it is not an easy task for Jiang's regime to eradicate the practice of Falun Gong in China. The facts have proven that nothing can be achieved through violence and brutality. Truth will always triumph over deceit; peace is always more powerful than war and tolerance is much stronger than revenge. Falun Gong practitioners will never adopt any means of violence, retaliation or lies, even when facing the most vicious persecution and torture, not a single case of practitioners using violence has occurred.

Peaceful and Steadfast Appeal

Falun Gong practitioners do not protest in the usual way. Their appeal to the Chinese government is peaceful and steadfast, and democratic countries in the world should respect such legal and peaceful appeals instead of interfering with them. The Icelandic government was not aware of the seriousness of this matter, and they undermined extremely important moral values. Falun Gong is not a religion, nor has it any churches. There is no worshipping of any kind; even less is it a political organisation or an organisation in a general sense. There are no "professional protestors" in Falun Gong nor is there any membership list as there is simply no such thing as "membership." Falun Gong is a personal cultivation practice that strives for self-improvement. There are approximately 100 million people in 50 countries in the world practising Falun Gong. Being such a positive and beneficial practice, Falun Gong has received numerous awards. For example, Falun Gong received around 600 awards in America alone, and there are also many in Canada, Australia, Germany, New Zealand and other places. Human rights organizations and governments all around the world have condemned the persecution against Falun Gong practitioners in China. The Committee on Human Rights of the U.S. Congress stated, "As we came to know Falun Gong our respect built up in our hearts. We find the horrible, cruel and bloody persecution against Falun Gong in China terrifying, intolerable and blameworthy." (Tom Lantos, co-chair of the U.S. Human Rights Committee.)

Spying on Practitioners

The means of the Icelandic government to ban Falun Gong practitioners from entering Iceland were unbelievable. How did they get a blacklist of the practitioners? As I mentioned earlier, Falun Gong is not an organisation of any sort, so practitioners do not need to sign their names anywhere nor do they need to go through any application procedures. Then people who are spying on them must have created the blacklist. They found out their names and kept a record of them. If the Icelandic government did not get the blacklist from Jiang's regime, where could they have got it? Which other country would have exhausted such a great amount of human resources in order to find out who practices certain Chinese exercises?

Toutiz, Haukz'dout

Teacher, BA in Philosophy