(Clearwisdom.net) (by Clearwisdom Reporter Liu Dong) On March 20, 2004, many student human rights organizations at the University of Virginia held an open-air human rights concert to focus attention on the human rights violations around the world. Falun Gong practitioners of Charlottesville were invited to give a speech on China's persecution of Falun Gong.

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From noon to 5 p.m., the concert was held at the open-air theatre at the University of Virginia. Though it was windy, many teachers and students concerned about human rights came to the concert. The band also attracted many students. The teacher and students of a dance class came to present a folk dance to the audience.

The organizer knew a lot about Falun Gong. He even took photos of Falun Gong appealing in front of the Supreme Court in Washington DC. He enthusiastically invited the Falun Gong practitioners to participate in the concert and arranged the time for practitioners to introduce Falun Gong and the persecution.

Falun Gong practitioner and post-doctoral student Cui Fushuang introduced Falun Gong to the audience, "The Chinese government supported Falun Gong before 1999, but because of his jealousy, the former president, Jiang Zemin, banned Falun Gong on July 20, 1999. Since then, thousands of Falun Gong practitioners have been arrested, detained, sent to forced labor camps, jailed or even tortured to death. The persecution is not limited to China. Jiang's regime has extended the persecution across the world. For example, in America, the officials of the Chinese Embassy and Consulates frequently put pressure on the American government not to support the human rights of Falun Gong practitioners. They harass Falun Gong practitioners, and instigate hatred against Falun Gong in Chinese communities."

Dr. Cui told the audience an experience of his own. He said, "During the Human Rights Summit between China and America in 2001, a few friends and I participated in an appeal in Washington DC. After I returned to Florida, I called my parents in China. To my surprise, my parents were very worried and frightened, especially my father. This worried me because my father has a severe heart disease. My father said that Chinese police told them that I had been appealing in Washington DC. The police also said they recorded all the phone calls I made to China and they knew about all my activities in America. The police asked my parents to stop me from participating in any Falun Gong appeal. Otherwise, the consequences would be severe. The police also mentioned that my passport was going to expire soon. In early 2002, I applied for a passport extension. Just as they warned in China, an official at the Houston Consulate called me and asked me to give up practicing Falun Gong. I refused. After that, my passport extension was denied. This brought me a lot of trouble in my study and work."

Dr. Cui continued, "because of this persecution, I haven't met my parents for five years, and they can't see their grandson. But compared to the experiences of many other Falun Gong practitioners in China and overseas, the persecution I experienced is relatively minor. I hope all people can be aware of the persecution and help to end it. You can contact the Bush Administration and ask them to sponsor a human rights resolution at Geneva United Nation Human Right Commission meeting. You can also call your congressperson and ask them to support House Resolution 304."

The audience gave a warm response to the practitioner's speech. Many people came to the Falun Gong desk to ask for materials and sign their names on the petition form asking for the release of American citizen Charles Lee, who has been illegally detained for over one year.

One lady came up to the practitioner and said, "Thank you for your sharing!" Another Korean student introduced himself and said he was working on a human rights project. He would like to invite the practitioner to give a speech about Falun Gong.

There were three Israeli practitioners in south Virginia participating in the event. They drove one hour to join the concert. Though they practiced only a short time, they were very active in introducing Falun Gong and exposing Jiang's brutal persecution. Days ago, they drove 3 hours to join the St. Patrick's Day parade in Norfolk. Practitioner Alon said, "I remind myself every day: I am a Falun Gong practitioner, I will do well what I ought to do."