(Clearwisdom.net) On the evening of April 25, 2008, Falun Gong practitioners in Paris gathered on the Parvis de la Liberté et des droits de l'homme, opposite the Eiffel Tower, to commemorate the ninth anniversary of the historic event on April 25, 1999, when over ten thousand Falun Gong practitioners peacefully appealed for their rights in Beijing. A candlelight vigil commemorated those practitioners tortured to death by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Practitioners demanded an end to the persecution and strongly protested the CCP's recent mass arrests of Falun Gong practitioners in the run-up to the Olympic Games.

On April 25, 1999, over ten thousand Falun Gong practitioners peacefully appealed in the center of Beijing, demanding the release of the forty-five practitioners who had been arrested in Tianjin. They also requested a guarantee of the right to practice and permission for the publication of Falun Gong books. The Premier at the time held talks with Falun Gong representatives, which brought about basic resolutions to those issues. This was the famous "April 25 peaceful appeal," from which Falun Gong practitioners' rationality, discipline and moral sense won praise worldwide. On July 20 that year, however, the peaceful appeal was twisted into an "attack of Zhongnanhai (the central government compound)" and used as an excuse to begin Jiang Zemin's and the CCP's nearly nine years of brutal persecution of Falun Gong. Since then, Falun Gong practitioners have been subjected to the most evil persecution in human history, which still continues.

"April25" was also the beginning of large-scale rational anti-persecution efforts on the part of Falun Gong practitioners. For nine years, under their firm belief in Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance, practitioners inside and outside China have persisted in clarifying the truth in a peaceful and rational manner. The principles of Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance have spread to more than eighty countries around the world, while the evil CCP has sealed its demise as a result of its persecution of the true heavenly law. As a result of practitioners' continuous efforts in truth clarification, more and more people have started to ponder, understand, and eventually see through the evil nature of the CCP, and many have denounced the Party, choosing a bright future for themselves.

The Parvis de la Liberté et des droits de l'homme is a symbolic place. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was passed and issued at the Palais Chaillot next to the square. A stone slab at the entrance to the square is engraved with Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: "All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights." Since the CCP started the persecution of Falun Gong on July 20, 1999, practitioners in France have been holding anti-persecution events here for the past nine years.

At the gathering, a representative of Falun Gong said, "We strongly protest the CCP's nine years of persecution of Falun Gong, especially the atrocities of organ harvesting from living Falun Gong practitioners for huge profits. We demand an immediate stop to the persecution and incarceration of practitioners, and strongly protest the CCP's mass arrests under the pretext of the Olympics." Through exhibits, leaflets, banners, and exercise demonstrations, practitioners have exposed the CCP's brutal persecution.

The event on April 25 attracted large numbers of tourists and local residents. After learning about the persecution, many signed a petition to call for its end. Some commented that people should have the freedom of belief and speech, and that citizens should have the right to appeal to the government and uphold their rights. Many people strongly condemned the persecution, especially the atrocities of organ harvesting from living Falun Gong practitioners.

Mr. Patrick Orni, a French insurer said, "What the CCP regime is afraid of is the truth being exposed, which is the reason why it tries so hard to it cover up. I know about Falun Gong being seriously persecuted in China. I have no doubt about the existence of concentration camps and organ harvesting, which is truly horrific. I support you (Falun Gong practitioners). There should be a global effort to stop this, using the Olympics to push for progress in China."

Social welfare consultant Mr. Patrick Schaffner said, "Having just learned about this (the persecution), I think this is extremely evil. The fact that this kind of thing still exists in the 21st Century is indeed serious. I hope people will react quickly. The truth must be heard so that everybody knows about this. The fact that this kind of thing exists today is a shame to our times. I hope our government will react to such an intolerable persecution. The organ trade has to be exposed. Everyone must know about it. The media needs to get involved. These people have to be saved immediately."

Using candles, practitioners formed the numbers "3145," the number of practitioners confirmed to have been tortured to death by the CCP. Photos of deceased practitioners were surrounded by candlelight. A gigantic "Remembrance" added a heavy atmosphere of sadness. Practitioners sat silently in memory of fellow practitioners. Many people were moved. They stood silently to join in commemoration of the deceased. Some gestured as if praying, some shed tears. Some laid flowers on the portraits of the deceased, and some even sat with practitioners.

A man named Tony from Australia lit a candle for the deceased. After carefully reading all the exhibits, he sat silently among the practitioners, hands held tightly, weeping silently. He said that his grandfather was murdered in the Second World War for political reasons. He prayed for all killings like this in the world to stop as soon as possible.

The Falun Gong practitioners' commemoration was accompanied by the song "Candlelight:"

A little candlelight is like a sad song, singing about practitioners' tragedy,
A little candlelight is like an epic, describing practitioners' tenacity,
A little candlelight is like a bridge, bringing together kindness in the world,
A little candlelight is like hope, spreading around "Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance" beauty.
Light a candle to spread kindness. Light a candle to light up the world.

During nine years of anti-persecution efforts, with their tenacity and compassion, practitioners have spread Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance all around the world. Upon learning the truth about the persecution, more and more people are extending a helping hand. The conscience recalled is lighting up the world like candles.

Category: Rallies & Protests