(Minghui.org) Nearly 1000 Falun Gong (also known as Falun Dafa) practitioners and democracy activists held rally in Hong Kong on Sunday, July 16, 2016, as this month marks 17 years since the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) began persecuting Falun Gong. A rally was held in San Francisco last weekend for the same reason.

The CCP initiated the brutal persecution of Falun Gong on July 20, 1999. The then CCP head Jiang Zemin ordered the state machine to carry out the persecution against innocent practitioners. The 17-year-long persecution has led to many deaths and countless imprisonments. The CCP perpetrators even conduct live organ harvesting from incarcerated practitioners for lucrative profit. Facing the brutality, Falun Gong practitioners throughout the world have been conducting peaceful protests and demanding an immediate end to the persecution.

Nearly 1000 Falun Gong practitioners hold a rally in Hong Kong protesting the CCP's brutal persecution.

Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported on July 18 about the event in Hong Kong marking 17years of Falun Gong practitioners protesting the persecution. The rally was attended by nearly 1000 practitioners from Hong Kong, Taiwan and Southeast nations.

Hong Kong has been under the arrangement of “One Country, Two Systems” since the transfer of the territory to China from Britain in 1997. This has meant that Falun Gong could freely hold public events. However, practitioners say that the Hong Kong government has increased pressure on Falun Gong in recent years due to the administration's pro-China policies.

Several democracy activists showed up to support Falun Gong. Rally speakers stated that the former CCP head Jiang Zemin was the main perpetrator and must be brought to justice.

A long march from the King's Road Playground to China Liaison Office was held after the rally.

San Francisco: Falun Gong Practitioners Demand the CCP to Stop the Persecution

RFA reported on July 18 that Falun Gong practitioners held a rally in Portsmouth Square Garden in Chinatown, San Francisco on July 16. The Divine Land Marching Band performed before the rally.

Falun Gong practitioner Bu Dongwei said in his speech that he and other practitioners had their blood drawn during incarceration and might have faced forced live organ harvesting at any time. Bu raised the question, “Why has the number of organ transplants in China sky-rocketed since the persecution began? The CCP denied taking organs from death-row inmates initially. But in recent years, they have admitted that 95% of organs for transplantation were from death-row inmates. Apparently they are attempting to cover a bigger crime with a lesser one.”

Several Chinese democracy advocates and human rights activists attended the rally. Fang Zheng, Chair of the Chinese Democracy Education Foundation, whose legs were crushed by the CCP's army tanks on June 4, 1989, spoke in the rally. He said that the June 4th Massacre and live organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners are both against basic human morality.

Fang said, “Any people with conscience would not do such things. But the cruel CCP regime can do that. People would not know the crimes if no one spoke out. I appreciate Falun Gong practitioners to raise awareness of the CCP's crimes in the international community for years. Among all the groups that the CCP persecutes, Falun Gong group has done the best job speaking out.”

Before the rally, the practitioners did the exercises in front of the City Hall and held a march from the city hall through downtown San Francisco and Chinatown.

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