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Czech Republic: Thirty-Six Hour Vigil at the Chinese Embassy in Prague Marks Five Years of Persecution Against Falun Gong in China (Photos)

August 15, 2004 |  

(Clearwisdom.net) The 20th of July 2004 marked exactly five years since the Chinese regime, then under the leadership of Jiang Zemin, began a systematic persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China to destroy their belief in the values of Truthfulness, Compassion and Tolerance. Practitioners from the Czech Republic marked this date with a thirty-six hour peaceful protest including meditation and exercises in front of the Chinese Embassy in Prague.

The vigil began on Friday July 23 at 8 a.m. with the Czech media present, and continued through the night until Saturday evening. Over twenty practitioners from different regions of the Czech Republic took shifts to maintain a strong presence during the vigil.

Practitioners were interviewed by the media about the reasons for the persecution, its five-year development in China and how Jiang has attempted to export the persecution to other countries.

These interviews were broadcast by State Television and the regional media. Photographers from CTK (the main Czech press agency) and from the national daily Lidove Noviny took pictures which later appeared in the papers.

As in other countries where Chinese officials have tried to block demonstrations and stop Falun Gong practitioners from revealing the facts of the persecution, the Chinese Embassy in Prague also attempted some underhanded dealings. At first they contacted the Foreign Ministry of the Czech Republic and insisted that the vigil should not be allowed. They were firmly rejected.

Later when the vigil started, Chinese Embassy officials called the police and asked them to forbid the vigil. The reason given was that the practitioners were too noisy. As the Embassy is located in the Diplomatic Protected Area, the police had to investigate their complaint. When they arrived, they found several practitioners meditating along with the quiet Dafa music. Soon they understood and laughed at the malevolent attempt of the Chinese Embassy to disrupt the vigil.

The practitioners did not allow the interference from the Chinese Embassy nor the high temperatures of the summer heat wave to disturb them, and quietly continued their meditation and exercises. Passers-by stopped to study with interest the information display about the persecution in China. Some showed their support by signing the petition to condemn the persecution. One woman even supported the practitioners by bringing a pack of water bottles to help them in the very hot weather.

In the afternoon, some passers-by mentioned that they had learned about the vigil from the morning program shown on State Television. After the vigil finished peacefully, practitioners cleaned up the street and headed to their homes in different parts of the Republic.

Peaceful appeal Handing out leaflets to passers-by