Switzerland, Hungary, and Spain: Rallies and Candlelight Vigils Held In Commemoration of Practitioners Who’ve Died During the 20-Year Persecution
(Minghui.org) Falun Gong practitioners all over the world organize peaceful rallies, parades, and candlelight vigils to inform the public of the ongoing persecution in China of their faith. This year, 2019, is particularly significant. Twenty years ago, on July 20, 1999, Jiang Zemin, former head of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), launched the brutal persecution of Falun Gong, a peaceful mind-body cultivation practice based on the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance.
The Minghui website has confirmed the deaths of over four thousand Falun Gong practitioners as a direct result of the persecution over the past 20 years. However, the actual number is suspected to be much higher. More have been imprisoned and tortured for their faith. There is concrete evidence that the CCP is an active participant in the harvesting of organs from detained practitioners, who are killed to supply the organ transplant industry.
Rally and Awareness Raising in Bern, Switzerland
Falun Gong practitioners in Bern held a rally in front of the Chinese Embassy on July 20, 2019. A practitioner read an open letter to the embassy officials advising them to learn about Falun Gong and to help stop the persecution.
Practitioners gathered on Kornhaus Square in downtown Bern in the afternoon. They introduced Falun Gong and talked about the CCP’s persecution, especially the state-sanctioned live organ harvesting.
Their exercise demonstration drew the attention of many passersby. Some accepted fliers, others talked to talk, and several signed the petition urging the Swiss government to help stop the live organ harvesting.
Practitioners demonstrate the exercises on Kornhaus Square in downtown Bern.A passerby learns about Falun Gong.People sign the petition to protest the persecution.Practitioners introduce Falun Gong and tell people about the CCP’s persecution.Hannelore Weber said she believes in Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. She called for an end of the CCP’s persecution and live organ harvesting.Belen Jecklin called on the international community to work together to stop the persecution.Lea Krause stopped to sign the petition and said she wished to learn more about Falun Gong. She thinks freedom of speech is important.
Raising Awareness in Zurich, Switzerland
Falun Gong practitioners held activities near the Chinese Consulate in Zurich on July 22, 2019. They demonstrated the exercises, distributed fliers, and read an open letter to the consulate officials. Many passersby stopped to ask questions. Several people signed the petition to protest the persecution.
Practitioners demonstrate the exercises near the Chinese Consulate in Zurich, Switzerland on July 22.Drawn by the activities, many people wished to learn more about Falun Gong.Several people expressed their dismay when they learned the details of the persecution and signed the petition to condemn it.Sandra Stern called for an end to the CCP’s persecution. She condemned it, especially the live organ harvesting.
Budapest, Hungary: Events Held to Protest the Persecution
Heroes Square is a popular tourist attraction in Budapest. To let people know about the ongoing persecution in China, practitioners from Hungary demonstrated the exercises and talked with tourists in the small park next to Heroes Square on July 20, 2019.
Practitioners demonstrate the exercises in the small park next to Heroes Square in Budapest, Hungary on July 20, 2019.Several tourists expressed their curiosity and learned the exercises.A practitioner talks with a passerby about the persecution in China.
The parking lot for tour buses is adjacent to the small park where practitioners held their activities. Many Chinese tourists were surprised to see Falun Gong practitioners. Some said that they had been to several countries and saw practitioners doing the exercises, something they cannot see in China.
Afraid of repercussions from the CCP, most Chinese tourists did not dare to accept any information. However, they listened to the practitioners’ explanations. When they saw so many Westerners practicing Falun Gong, they took photos and videos.
Candlelight Vigil and Rally in Madrid, Spain
Falun Gong practitioners held a candlelight vigil on Callao Square in downtown Madrid on July 19, 2019. They also held a rally in front of the Chinese Embassy on July 20.
In the heart of the bustling city, the somber candlelight vigil was peaceful and moving. Several people stopped to learn about the event. Some joined practitioners and participated in the vigil.
Marta is a college student from Granada. She was born in China but grew up in Spain. While she was vacationing in Madrid she noticed the events on Callao Square. After she learned about the persecution of practitioners in China, she signed the petition to condemn it.
She decided to join the candlelight vigil and stayed for four hours. After the event, she said that the vigil was a unique experience for her. She felt inner peace and calm.
She hopes that everyone works together to stop the injustice. She said, “Falun Gong practitioners are only meditating. This is their belief and should be respected.”
Tourists Marta (left) and Alberto (right) participated in the candlelight vigil in Madrid on July 19.Tourist Vivian Acosta participates in the candlelight vigil on July 19.Practitioners meditate as part of the awareness-raising events in Madrid on July 19.A peaceful candlelight vigil was held to let people know about the 20-year-long persecution in China.
Human Rights Lawyer Warns CCP Officials Against Persecuting Practitioners on Spanish Soil
As part of the weekend's events, practitioners held a rally in front of the Chinese Embassy on July 20, 2019. They held banners with information about the persecution.
In speaking at the rally, human rights lawyer Carlos Iglesia condemned the CCP’s crimes against humanity committed during the persecution of Falun Gong over the past two decades and called on the CCP to immediately stop the persecution.
He warned those CCP officials in Spain not to follow the regime's policy of persecuting Falun Gong and not to violate human rights on Spanish soil. He said that any violation of Spanish law would be investigated.
Human rights lawyer Carlos Iglesia warned CCP officials against carrying out the persecution on Spanish soil during the rally on July 20.Practitioners demonstrate the second exercise.Falun Gong banners line the street.Demonstrating the Falun Gong exercisesTelling people about Falun Gong and the persecutionPeople sign the petition to condemn the persecution during the events on Callao Square.