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Falun Gong holds rally at UN
James Fish, The Epoch Times
NEW YORK - More than 1,000 Falun Gong practitioners from across the nation and as far away as Taiwan and Australia assembled in front of United Nations headquarters in New York City to call for an end to the persecution of Falun Gong in China.
As heads of state from around the world gathered for the 59th Annual General Assembly debate, the Falun Gong practitioners sought to raise awareness of the five-year long crackdown on the meditation practice in China, which has seen hundreds of thousands of Chinese practitioners arrested, incarcerated in slave labor camps, and tortured; many have been tortured to death. Because of the Chinese government’s stranglehold on Chinese media, and its enormous influence on Western media covering China, many people still do not know Falun Gong is or what is happening in China.
Falun Gong is a meditation and exercise practice based on the principles of Truth, Compassion, and Tolerance. When a 1999 government survey revealed that 70-100 million Chinese were practicing, far outnumbering Communist Party membership, then-dictator Jiang Zemin, acting against the advice of many in government, ordered a nationwide crackdown aimed at eradicating Falun Gong in China, coupled with a worldwide propaganda effort aimed at vilifying Falun Gong in order to justify the increasing violence of the persecution.
The Falun Gong practitioners displayed banners and posters calling for an end to the persecution and displaying some of the torture methods used on practitioners in China, as well as photos of practitioners who had been tortured and murdered. Practitioners also demonstrated the exercises and sat peacefully in meditation.
The rally began with a press conference featuring many practitioners who have directly experienced the persecution in China.
One such speaker was Jane Dai, whose husband was murdered by the Chinese government because he wrote a letter asking the government to reconsider its decision to outlaw Falun Gong. Mrs. Dai and her infant daughter Fadu fled to Australia, and now travel the world telling their story in an effort to prevent more loss of life.
Also speaking was Amy Lee. Ms. Lee was arrested, tortured and forced into slave labor in a Chinese prison for practicing Falun Gong. Her husband was forced to divorce her, and after she was released from prison, she was forced to flee the country, leaving behind her ex-husband and young daughter, to avoid re-arrest and possible death from torture.
Also present was Yeong Ching Foo, fiancée of American Dr. Charles Lee. Dr. Lee has been in prison in China since January 22, 2003, because of his practice of Falun Gong. Dr. Lee was arrested as soon as he set foot on the ground in Guangzhou airport in China, and has been abused, force-fed, and subjected brainwashing while in detention. He is currently in a slave labor camp in central China.
After the press conference, practitioners formed the “Great Wall of Courage” in tribute the practitioners in China who refuse to renounce the practice and its values despite duress. Stretching all the way to 58th street, the line of practitioners in their trademark yellow t-shirts formed a colorful contrast to the grim tale told by the pictures they carried, depicting scenes of the persecution.
In the afternoon, practitioners set up several anti-torture exhibits throughtout the downtown area. The tableaux graphically depict the various abuses used against practitioners in China. Meanwhile, practitioners distributed information and answered the many questions of the curious passersby, and also demonstrated the five Falun Gong exercises.
The Falun Gong practitioners have displays and other events planned for the rest of the week throughout the downtown area.
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