(Minghui.org) The persecution of Falun Gong in China began on July 20, 1999. On the occasion of the 25th year of the ongoing suppression, practitioners from various parts of Australia gathered at the capital city, Canberra, from July 1-4, 2024 to hold activities including peaceful protests and a rally. They called on the Australian government to censure the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) for its continuous persecution of Falun Gong and to stop its crimes against humanity including forced organ harvesting, by passing a motion or similar legislation.

It’s winter in the Southern hemisphere and practitioners braved freezing winds and low temperatures during the four days of activities in the city center, holding banners and collecting signatures on a petition to call for an end to the atrocities. A press conference was held outside Parliament House on Tuesday afternoon, July 2.

At the rally, several practitioners from China described the brutal torture they and their family members endured over the course of the persecution. They called on the government to help rescue their loved ones who are persecuted in China and demand that the CCP release all detained practitioners.

Practitioners in Australia held events in Canberra from July 1-4, 2024 to call attention to the 25-year-long persecution in China.

Practitioners displayed messages and collected signatures on a petition to stop the persecution.

President of the Falun Dafa Association of Australia: We Hope the Australian Government Will Take Action to Stop the Persecution by the CCP

Dr. Lucy Zhao, President of the Falun Dafa Association of Australia said in a speech at the rally, “We hope our government can speak out for Falun Gong, for human rights, for common values of human rights, life and freedom that we cherish.”

Dr. Lucy Zhao, President of the Falun Dafa Association of Australia addressed the rally.

“We come here not only for Falun Gong practitioners but also for those who continue to suffer in China.” She emphasized that only when the CCP respects human rights can China become a truly beneficial trading partner to Australia.

She also said that the U.S. House of Representatives recently unanimously passed the Falun Gong Protection Act. The EU passed a similar resolution to punish CCP officials and perpetrators who participated in the persecution of Falun Gong and the forced organ harvesting. She emphasized, “Australia is not alone in opposing the CCP’s persecution and supporting human rights.”

Practitioners Call for Help to Rescue Detained Family Members

During the July 2 press conference, several practitioners from China talked about how they and they family members were persecuted in their home country.

Ms. Hao from Melbourne said her aunt Ms. Liu Xiaohua is currently detained at Jilin Province Women’s prison and her life is in danger due to intense torture.

Ms. Wei, who taught at a secondary school in Heilongjiang Province, described the brutal torture she suffered while she was illegally detained for over nine years because she refused to give up her belief.

Ms. Yang from Melbourne spoke of the persecution her mother Liu Min endured.

Ms. Zhuang from Sydney said her husband, who graduated from Shanghai Jiaotong University with honors, was sent to a labor camp for one year and six months for practicing Falun Gong. He was brutally tortured. The CCP refused to approve his application for a passport because he refused to give up his faith. To date, the couple has been living apart for a decade. She hopes the Australian government can help reunite families like hers.

Ms. Chen from Sydney called on the government to help rescue her 76-year-old mother Tan Zezhen. She was arrested five times, her house was ransacked more than 20 times, she was sent to labor camps twice and locked up in various brainwashing centers multiple times. This older woman went through unimaginable torture and mistreatment while in custody.

On December 19, 2020, Ms. Tan was once again arrested and her family was not allowed to visit her because she refused to give up her belief. To date, no one knows if she is alive or dead.

A Remarkable Effort

Members of the public stopped by the rally to find out more about Falun Gong, the persecution in China, and the ongoing efforts to end the persecution.

Carlos Reve is a ballet dancer who has performed in many countries in Europe and the U.S. He is now the principal artist at the Queensland Ballet. 

Carlos Reve, principal artist at the Queensland Ballet, praised practitioners for their peaceful, rational protest against the persecution.

Mr. Reve saw practitioners’ peaceful protest on the way to Parliament House on July 2 and said he felt inspired.

“Well, I feel like the process is quite unique. It’s so peaceful and specific. I feel good that you guys are protesting for human rights. I’ve never seen anything like this. I feel inspired. I’ll research about it and get more knowledge on it.”

When he learned of practitioners’ continuous efforts to call on the Australian government to pass legislation to stop the CCP from persecuting Falun Gong and carrying out crimes against humanity, he said, “If the Australian government gets involved, they will push for it. It’s a good thing. Especially in Australia, they respect human rights.”

When he was told practitioners have been holding peaceful protests like this for 25 years, Mr. Reve said, “I think it’s a great effort. It’s a great way of responding to persecution with peaceful protest as well. It shows a lot of what you guys are trying to say, of trying to bring peace and human rights.”

When asked what he thought of the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance that Falun Gong is based on, Mr. Reve said, “Following these values, I think we can make this world better, especially the current world.”

I Appreciate Your Efforts

Joseph is an administration staff for the Federal government. He spoke at length to practitioners who were handing out brochures during the rally on July 2.

He told the Minghui correspondent, “ I really enjoy seeing you come out and protest here, especially in the mornings. I sometimes drive past the Chinese embassy and I see you protesting there. I think it’s really good because obviously the Chinese Communist Party is one of the greatest evils in our world and I think more needs to be done for people to recognize that and the effort that you go to, to come out and spend the whole day out here for four days doing this. Bad weather, freezing cold, you know it takes a lot and I appreciate that. I think it’s really good.”

Joseph signed the petition calling on the Australian government to censure and help stop the CCP persecuting Falun Gong. He thought a motion similar to the petition is “really important.” “For Australia particularly, it is really important that we as a large nation in the South Asia Pacific area put forward those kinds of motions.”

He also thought it was important to spread the values of Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance in today’s world. “I think these kinds of things should be practiced by everyone, to a degree. I think it helps you become a more humane person.

“It is also important in the global situation that we have at the moment. Having a cultural thing like Falun Dafa that people can get together and collectively, consciously have a change in some way or some form. It’s a lot of effort that is not going to waste. I think it is doing real good for the world.”

Everyone Should Strive Towards Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance

Stuart is a reporter for an Australia mainstream media, and has been based in Canberra for several years. He saw practitioners meditating in the freezing wind to raise awareness of the persecution on July 4 and said, “It’s always pleasant to work with people who are so peaceful and quiet.” “[As a reporter], I always have a distinctive look and style. You’re always nice every time I see you.”

He added, “Sometimes silence is louder than noise.”

He remarked that while raising awareness of the persecution, practitioners are spreading the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance at the same time. Stuart said, “Even as a human, everyone wants peace and compassion. We would hope that everyone strives towards that.

“These values are vital, it seems obvious. It would be a much better world if everyone was more compassionate.”

He also said that he thought practitioners’ efforts to get the Australian government to pass a motion, thereby sending a strong, powerful message, is encouraging. “You have to start somewhere, so any progress is good progress,” he affirmed.