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Irish Times - Chinese embassy protest over Falun Gong ban

July 22, 2009 |  

Tue, Jul 21, 2009

A PROTEST was held yesterday outside the Chinese embassy in Dublin by the Irish Falun Dafa Association to mark 10 years of a Chinese government ban on the Falun Gong spiritual movement.

The protest was the third event in as many days which commemorated 10 years of the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China, said event organiser Ming Zhao. Yesterday's protest was preceded by a rally in Dublin city centre on Saturday and a candlelit vigil held outside the embassy on Sunday night.

The Irish association claims that hundreds of thousands of Falun Gong practitioners have been arbitrarily arrested and imprisoned in China.

The movement says that "detention facilities and prisons all over China have been used to mainly detain Falun Gong practitioners" and that members constitute up to 90 per cent of detainees in a number of women's prisons.

Mr Zhao said the association wanted to mark the 10-year anniversary of the countrywide arrest of Falun Gong centre co-ordinators and "take the opportunity to look retrospectively at what happened in China". The Falun Gong members detained "were not persecuted for any of the reasons claimed by the authorities".

The protesters say the group's website, www.minghui.org, has recorded more than 3,280 cases of death by torture of Falun Gong members by Chinese authorities. Mr Zhao said that Falun Gong, though not a political group, was now in a position where it had no choice but to protest in defence of members' human rights.