London, UK: Series of Activities Call for an End to the Persecution of Falun Gong in China
(Minghui.org) Several events were held in London on October 10 gathering support for lawsuits against China's former president Jiang Zemin and for other efforts to bring the persecution of Falun Gong in China to an end. A news conference was held in front the Chinese Embassy, as well as a march through downtown London and Chinatown, and a rally at Plaza San Martín.
China's current president Xi Jinping will visit the UK later this month. “Through these activities, we hope to send three messages to Xi: That Falun Gong practitioners are innocent; that the persecution in China has persisted for over 16 years; and that over 180,000 criminal complaints have been filed against Jiang Zemin for persecuting Falun Gong,” said Liu, coordinator of the Falun Dafa Association in the United Kingdom.
John Dee, Vice-Chair for European Friends of Falun Gong, said Jiang started to persecute Falun Gong in 1999. He said Falun Gong practitioners have no political agenda and they are simply seeking the freedom to practice Falun Gong, including its principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.
“We fully support all efforts to sue Jiang and his regime.” He was glad to see Jiang had been brought to court in Spain and Argentina with charges of genocide and torture. “Jiang should be held responsible for his crimes.”
Truth Is the Most Powerful
Keith, a photographer in London, was drawn to the march. He took many pictures of practitioners dressed in white carrying memorial photographs of practitioners who had died in the suppression.
After thanking practitioners for telling him the facts, Keith said it is important to raise awareness like this. “A dictator will kill people when he or she loses control of the people. We need to expose the brutality and stop it. Truth is the most powerful.”
Jim from Scotland was watching the march in a wheelchair. He was shocked by the brutal suppression in China, “This has been going on like this for 16 years?”
Upon hearing more details from a practitioner, Jim said he would look into it on the Internet, “There should have been more new reports on this—people are being persecuted for doing a peaceful meditation.”
Human Rights Violations Are a Universal Issue
John, who teaches law at Cambridge University, met practitioners at Plaza San Martín. He asked about the situation of Falun Gong in China and signed a petition to support Falun Gong.
Recognizing human rights violations as a universal issue, John said it is important to educate the public through events like these. This is especially the case because it is difficult for outsiders to obtain information from countries like China or North Korea.
“Any effort that reduces persecution and torture in China should be encouraged.” He added.
Romanian tourists Zoden and his wife saw the march in Chinatown, and stopped to find out more. This was the first time they heard about Falun Gong, but they were not surprised by the brutality in China.
“We used to live in a communist country where people had no freedom of belief. In fact, anyone with independent thoughts could be arrested or detained,” said Zoden.
He said it was critical for people to know that such a tragedy still continues in the 21st century. “People need to be aware of this. They need to know many are still suffering for no reason.”
“Jiang Deserves the Same Punishment as Hitler”
Joe from Bristol was visiting London with his friends. He said he knew Falun Gong practitioners were mistreated in China for their beliefs. As a French descendant, he heard about the Holocaust from his family and relatives. “To me, Jiang deserves the same punishment as Hitler,” he said.
Many local Chinese and tourists from China also learned about Falun Gong through these activities. Human rights advocate Yan Chanbiao has been living in the UK for more than 10 years and he thanked practitioners for their efforts on the lawsuits against Jiang.
“We know it is wrong for Jiang to ban Falun Gong, let alone the atrocity against innocent practitioners. That's why we support lawsuits against Jiang and we hope justice will be addressed soon.”