RFA: Falun Gong Practitioners Appeal in Front of United Nation Headquarters in New York to Call Attention to China's Human Rights Violations
(Clearwisdom.net) According to Radio Free Asia reporter Zijin, Falun Gong practitioners from Washington, D.C. and New York appealed at the United Nation headquarters plaza on March 24, 2004. They rallied to call attention to China's human rights record, particularly the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners.
A U.S. government spokesman announced on Monday that the U.S. would sponsor a resolution to condemn China's human rights record. Shortly after this, an official from China's Department of Foreign Affairs announced the suspension of China's human rights dialogue with the U.S.
Some Falun Gong practitioners said they had been coming to Geneva since 1999 (when Jiang Zemin began the persecution of Falun Gong) for the annual meeting of the UN Human Rights Commission,. This was their fourth Geneva trip, as the suppression of Falun Gong has not improved. On the contrary, it has been getting worse, and more than 900 people have died as a result of torture.
Other practitioners came to the UN headquarters in New York to echo the appeal in Geneva. Beijing Industry University lecturer Ms. Ye Mingyan had just returned from Geneva from her 5th Geneva trip. In 1998 she went to Geneva and heard Falun Gong founder Mr. Li Hongzhi's lecture in the Palais des Nations. She was one of more than 40 Falun Gong practitioners attending from Mainland China. Ms. Ye said that since the onset of the persecution of Falun Dafa in 1999, few practitioners from Mainland China have been able to participate in activities such as the appeal in Geneva.
Asked for her motivation to travel to Geneva multiple times to appeal, she said, "A number of those 40 practitioners have been forced to become homeless to avoid persecution; some have been tortured to death and others were forced to give up their belief. A few have gone to the opposite side and have helped the evildoers do bad things. I felt very sad when I heard that."
Ms. Ye continued, "In the beginning, everybody knew that Falun Gong is good. Falun Gong was spreading very rapidly. Had Falun Gong not been persecuted, these Falun Gong practitioners would all be healthy, both physically and mentally. They helped society to improve its morality, and they would never have done things that betrayed their own conscience against Falun Gong, because they had truly gained benefits from practicing Falun Gong."
The petitioners read the appeal letter, which was addressed to The Honorable Mr. Kofi Annan, Secretary General of United Nation. They requested that the international community investigate the persecution in China and put Jiang Zemin on trial.