Italy: Clarifying the Truth at the University -- Rome Officials Refused to Bow to Pressure from the Chinese Embassy (Photos)
(Clearwisdom.net) Between the 10th and 17th of July 2005, a series of important cultural activities were held in Rome's renowned University of La Sapienza. Falun Gong practitioners from Italy and Germany joined the activity by invitation. This cultural activity included various performances such as sports, arts, general science and human rights issues. Many organizations, including Amnesty International, were invited and joined the activity.
During the weeklong activity, the host allocated a fixed stand for Falun Gong practitioners. Videos were screened, showing a demonstration of the five sets of Falun Gong exercises by the practice's founder Mr. Li Hongzhi. Other Falun Gong materials were also available. Also displayed on the stand was a banner reading "Falun Dafa is Good" and photos exposing the brutal persecution of Falun Gong by the Chinese Communist regime. The combination was very effective in helping visitors to learn about both the beauty of Falun Gong and the brutality of the persecution against practitioners in China. The practitioners in Italy also prepared other information and posters along the walkway just opposite the stand. Many visitors were shocked and signed the petition to condemn the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners by the Chinese Communist regime.
According to the arrangement by the organizer, practitioners demonstrated the Falun Gong exercises twice in front of the University's main building. In the other three evenings, practitioners played the exercise video through a big TV screen in the square in front of the Physics building, also displaying materials exposing the brutal persecution of Falun Gong in China.
Many visitors were youngsters. Some were students studying oriental literature. At the beginning they seemed to have difficulty understanding the persecution. In their studies, they used textbooks produced by the Chinese Communists and therefore were confused. After practitioners explained to them the evil nature of the Chinese Communists, they were very shocked. Nobody had told them before the real situations occurring in China under the Communists' control and how so many people have been killed during their reign, including several thousand Falun Gong practitioners. After learning the truth, these students gladly signed the petition to show their support for Falun Gong and to condemn the persecution.
On Saturday night, a very popular local TV station set up a moving interview vehicle. They interviewed Falun Gong practitioners, who took the opportunity to tell the viewers about Falun Gong and the violence committed by the Chinese Communist regime.
We learned that the Chinese Ambassador in Rome exerted pressure on the mayor of Rome and the president of the university, trying to force them not to let practitioners join the activity. However, they did not bow to the pressure and still supported the involvement of the Italian Falun Gong Association. For this, we sincerely thank the mayor of Rome, the president of the university, as well as the organizers. We are very pleased to see that in the face of pressure from the Chinese Communist regime, they showed wisdom and respect to the principles of democracy and freedom. Their honorable and moral behavior will surely win them respect from people.
The Italian Falun Gong Association donated Italian editions of introductory text Falun Gong and the main text of Falun Gong practice Zhuan Falun to the library at the Department of Oriental Languages of the University. They also donated the UN's human rights report and the book Witness detailing the human rights violations against Falun Gong practitioners in China.
The Roman provincial government, city government and Rome University jointly hosted this activity. The Italian Falun Gong Association also received a "thank you" letter personally signed by the president of the university.