(Minghui.org) Falun Gong practitioners in the Greater Los Angeles area held a “7.20 Candlelight Vigil” rally in front of the Chinese Consulate on the evening of Tuesday, July 18, 2023, to draw attention to and oppose the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) brutal, 24-year, ongoing persecution of Falun Gong. Practitioners lit candles to commemorate those who have been persecuted to death by the CCP over the past 24 years.
Global Protest Against the Persecution and Call for the End of the CCP
Li Youfu, president of the Falun Dafa Association in the southwestern United States, said, “Over the past 24 years, Dafa disciples have been fearless in the face of the evil persecution, always adhered to Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, and told the truth, so that people all over the world can see the truth of Dafa.”
“On the other hand, since 20 July 1999, the CCP has brazenly launched a crackdown on the Falun Gong group, that believes in Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. Whereas the CCP opposes the divine, mankind, and universal values. The madness of the evil spirit and evil Party has become a joke.”
“Today, many good people in the world believe in Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, practice Dafa (Falun Gong), break away from the CCP, and oppose the persecution of good people.”
Calling on the Public to Continue to Pay Attention to and Stop the Persecution
Professor Wu Yingnian, spokesman for the Falun Dafa practitioners in Los Angeles, said, “Today we also mourn the Falun Gong practitioners who have been persecuted to death in the past 24 years, and many of them have been subjected to very cruel torture in prisons, detention centers, labor camps, and brainwashing centers.”
He called on the public to remain concerned about the CCP’s persecution of Falun Gong.
According to incomplete statistics from Minghui.org, since July 20, 1999, 4,974 Falun Gong practitioners, whose names can be verified, have been persecuted to death.
Wu said that even if they encounter injustice, Falun Gong practitioners always clarify the facts in a peaceful and rational way. “This is because Falun Gong teaches people to be good, and we are all people who benefit physically and mentally from Falun Gong, so we also want the public to know the real situation, and we have no interest in [replacing or attacking] the regime.”
Community Leaders Condemn the CCP’s Crimes
Many community leaders and democracy activists attended the rally to support Falun Gong practitioners and condemn the CCP’s persecution of Falun Gong.
Zheng Cunzhu, vice chairman of the National Joint Headquarters of the China Democratic Party, paid tribute to Falun Gong practitioners. He said, “In the 24 years since the Communist Party persecuted Falun Gong, Falun Gong has not only not yielded, but more and more practitioners have bravely stood up to expose the evil nature of the Party, so that more Chinese can forever cut off their ties with the evil Party by ‘quitting the Party’ after they have awakened.”
Jie Lijian, executive director of the China Democratic Party and one of the heads of the China Democracy Platform in Los Angeles, said, “Every time I see Falun Gong practitioners holding the portraits of countless victims who were persecuted to death by the CCP, my heart aches. The world cannot imagine how much inhuman torture and ill-treatment these Falun Gong practitioners experienced before they died. Over the past 24 years, the CCP has continuously carried out various kinds of torture and persecution of Falun Gong. In order to have a high success rate in the industry of vital organ transplantation, they did not use anesthesia when harvesting the organs from living Dafa disciples.”
He also said that the persecution is an act of genocide and a crime against humanity that continues to this day, and is a horrific evil that is unimaginable to the civilized world.
Jie Lijian also expressed his admiration of Falun Gong adherents. He said that during his rights defense in Beijing, he contacted some Falun Gong practitioners and found that they did not get angry in the face of misunderstanding by people who did not know the truth [facts about Falun Gong], and even helped these people with good intentions.
Young Chinese Students Support Falun Gong
When Zhang Junjie, a student from Shanghai, heard that Falun Gong practitioners would hold a rally, he decided to show his solidarity.
He told a reporter that many mainlanders misunderstand Falun Gong practitioners because they have been brainwashed by the CCP propaganda. However, he felt that since the persecution began, everyone has fallen victim to the CCP dictatorship. “Imagine how terrible it would be if a society lacked faith and morality, where people reported and exposed each other for power and self-interest, and where different positions and views had to fight against each other’s lives.”
He therefore decided to stand up and protest the CCP’s persecution of good people.
Rescuing Family Members Detained by the CCP
Falun Gong practitioner Lei Yingqun exposed the CCP’s cruel persecution of her family when they refused to give up their beliefs. She and her husband Wu Ruirong were illegally arrested and detained more than ten times. They were dismissed from public office, and their loved ones were intimidated and threatened. Among them, a brother, who did not practice Falun Gong, was kidnapped by the CCP twice, and died under duress and in fear.
“Once, I was illegally sentenced to four years in prison. While there, I was tortured by being made to do hard labor, not allowed to sleep, forced to stand for long periods of time, beaten, and subjected to electric shocks. My husband was brutally beaten while suspended in the air. When he passed out, he was awakened with cold water and the torture began anew. We both almost died in prison.”
She hoped that all CCP officials “would never again follow the CCP and do these things that hurt nature, defied reason, and violated their conscience.”
Zhang Yiyuan, a Chinese resident in the United States, said that on October 9, 2021, his sister, Zhang Yibo, and her fiancé, He Binggang, were abducted by police. After two years of extended detention, they were illegally sentenced to five and six years in prison, respectively, and their health was severely damaged. During their incarceration, their lawyers’ repeated applications for medical parole were rejected without explanations.
Zhang Yibo, a former commercial manager of a company, was illegally sentenced to one and a half years in prison in 2009.
He Binggang, a graduate student and software engineer at Fudan University in Shanghai, was illegally sentenced to six and five years in prison in 2001 and 2010 respectively, and was severely beaten by the police, which caused spinal cord compression and a resultant disability.
Zhang Yiyuan said, “I solemnly call on all relevant institutions and personnel involved in the persecution to immediately stop all such activities. Immediately acquit my sister Zhang Yibo and brother-in-law He Binggang. We will pay attention and help them every moment until they are free!”
Los Angeles Falun Gong practitioner Li Yingxuan demanded that the CCP immediately release his mother, Liu Gangli. During the pandemic, Liu Gangli was illegally sentenced to four and a half years in prison and fined 10,000 yuan by the CCP for distributing information to help people survive the plague
Liu Gangli was transferred to Liaoning Provincial No. 2 Women’s Prison on December 16, 2022, for illegal detention. Even after she was there for eleven months, Li Yingxuan was not allowed to talk to her mother. “My heart is very pained. I have woken up from nightmares many times. I am sure my mother must be severely persecuted in prison.”
Falun Gong practitioner Karen Kang called for the urgent rescue of her family members who are still illegally detained and persecuted by the CCP. On April 25 this year, Ms. Kang’s nephew, Hou Lijun, was abducted by officers of the Xiaojingyu Police Station of the Wanbailin Branch of the Taiyuan City Police Department in Shanxi Province, and detained in the Taiyuan No. 1 Detention Center. Later, Gao Aiping, a judge of the Wanbailin District Court, hastily and illegally sentenced Hou to ten years in prison. Ms. Kang’s sister, Kang Shumei, and nephew, Zhang Gu, were also persecuted by the CCP.
Kang Shumei and Zhang Gu were abducted on October 31, 2022 by the Food and Drug Environmental Investigation Brigade of the Gujiao City Police Department in Shanxi Province. Both are still illegally detained. Kang Shumei is in the No. 4 Detention Center in Gujiao City, Shanxi Province, and Zhang Gu is in the No. 1 Detention Center in Taiyuan City, Shanxi Province.
Don’t Hesitate to Quit the CCP
Li Hailun, head of the Los Angeles Global Service Center for Quitting the Party, said that as long as the persecution continues, the good deeds of Falun Gong practitioners to raise awareness about the persecution and protect their conscience will not stop.
“Falun Gong practitioners’ fight against the persecution is not just for themselves, but through various forms, they show the truth of Falun Dafa and Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, expose the evil nature of the CCP so that good people can make the right choice between good and bad, good and evil, and get peace and have a better future.”
Li Hailun said that more than 416 million people around the world have proclaimed their withdrawals from the CCP, the Youth League, and the Young Pioneers organizations. The situation of “heaven destroying the CCP” has already appeared.
“The CCP evil Party will disintegrate in an instant. If you have not yet announced your withdrawal from the CCP, do not hesitate. Quickly declare that you withdraw from the CCP organizations. It is for your own life.”
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