(Minghui.org) As July 20 approached, Falun Gong practitioners in Europe held activities to commemorate the 18th year of efforts to end the persecution of Falun Gong by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
On July 16, 2017, Falun Gong practitioners in Paris, France held activities on Human Rights Plaza near the Eiffel Tower, including a demonstration of the Falun Gong exercises, poster boards explaining the persecution taking place in China, and photo displays. Many pedestrians signed a petition calling to end the Chinese regime’s harvesting of organs from living Falun Gong practitioners. Some people learned the Falun Gong exercises on the spot.
Khabat Zahia, a nurse, said, “I'm against inhuman torture. Let's work together to stop this crime! The persecution must stop!” A gentleman named Olivier Perquet signed the petition and said with determination, “The Chinese Communist Party is intolerable! They must stop the persecution of Falun Gong!”
Falun Gong practitioners in Spain held a series of activities in Madrid on July 15, 2017, including a photo display, a peaceful protest in front of the Chinese Embassy, distributing Chinese and Spanish flyers to passersby, and collecting signatures on Callao Square to support the prosecution of Jiang Zemin, the former head of the CCP who ordered the campaign against Falun Gong.
Urbano Fernández, a retired lawyer, told Falun Gong practitioners that this crime cannot be ignored. Another lawyer who was with him said more people should know about the atrocities committed by the CCP.
Practitioners in Austria held an Information Day at Heldenplatz in Vienna on July 14. Their exercise demonstration attracted the attention of tourists, including those from China.
A husband and wife told practitioners, “This kind of conduct signals the end of the CCP. It has been proven by history. The CCP will collapse.”
A Chinese student from the U.S. said, “The Chinese government slanders Falun Gong. I don't believe what they say, and neither do other Chinese people I know in the States.”
Austrian officials have written letters to Falun Gong practitioners to express their support for this special commemoration.
Faika El-Nagashi, MP and human rights spokesperson of the Austrian Greens, wrote in her letter that more than 80 million people in China were practicing Falun Gong 18 years ago; since the persecution started, they have faced imprisonment, torture, and murder, especially for the purpose of harvesting their organs. She called on the international community to strongly protest the CCP’s persecution of Falun Gong.
Nadine Papai, Director of GFBVö, wrote that the human rights situation in China has been deteriorating in every respect, especially freedom of belief for ethnic minorities and Falun Gong practitioners. She called for the international society to take further action and put on the agenda the issue of brainwashing centers used by the Chinese regime to force practitioners to renounce Falun Gong.
Falun Gong practitioners in Prague held activities and distributed information on Hradčany Square near Prague Castle on July 17.
A senior Chinese Communist Party official was visiting the Czech Republic at around the same time. Liu Yunshan, a member of the Politburo Standing Committee, was one of the chief perpetrators responsible for the persecution of Falun Gong. Liu never appeared in the public during his visit. However, Falun Gong practitioners took the opportunity to collect signatures on a petition calling to end the persecution.
Many Chinese tourists expressed their support and admiration to practitioners. Some had learned about Falun Gong in their countries of residence.
Two young tourists from mainland China initially opposed the practitioners, having been influenced by Communist Party propaganda attacking Falun Gong. After a practitioner explained Falun Gong and the persecution to them, they took informational materials with them to learn more, happy to read the content that is censored in China.
Practitioners in Cyprus held commemorative activities in Limasol on July 16 to introduce Falun Gong and raise awareness of the persecution.
A Vietnamese lady was very excited to see the practitioners. She said, “I have finally found you! I came here a year ago but didn't know how to contact you!” She had wanted to learn Falun Gong for a long time; her wish finally came true.