On the 18th of June, Falun Gong practitioners from the Czech Republic and Slovakia gathered on the Staromestkse Square in Prague. On this occassion we were pleased to welcome Ms. Xiong Wei from Germany, who came to support our activities and tell the Czech media and people her story of how she had been persecuted in China for simply informing the people with the facts about Falun Gong and how it is being persecuted severely by the Chinese Communist Party.
|"Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance" Art Exhibit||Here people could find out what Falun Gong is and watch the exercises|
|Passers-by learn about the persecution||Re-enacting brutal force feeding|
Xiong Wei, when visiting China in 2002, was arrested by the chinese police for spreading information about Falun Gong and its persecution and spent two years in a forced labour camp in Beijing. The German Government, NGOs and thousands of people who signed petitions for her release were all part of the effort that finally led to the return of her freedom in 2004. Czech Televison shot a two hour long interview featuring Xiong Wei in different places in Prague, which will be used for a TV programme broadcast next week on the main channel.
A press conference was held at 1:00 p.m., giving Falun Gong practitioners a chance to introduce the practice and the ongoing persecution to the media who attended, such as the Czech National TV, Prague’s News etc. A lot of onlookers who knew little about China were truly shocked. The persecution has lasted for six years, resulting in thousands of deaths and millions of practioners sent to forced labour camps and detention centres. When Xiong Wei started to talk about her experience in a Chinese labour camp tears welled up in the audiences eyes. Her story touched the hearts of the audience and showed them the courage and compassion embedded in practitioners. She mentioned that when she was imprisoned she received over 40,000 postcards and letters from people who longed for her freedom. She commented, "Every one of those letters and postcards provided me with the power to overcome the tribulation. Thank you all.“
Between a wall of display boards describing the wicked torture methods used by the Chinese regime, and the art exhibiton entitled "Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance“ was a live re-enactment of the torture methods used in China. People could see up close and personal what it is like to be interrogated and beaten in a Chinese prison. Amongst other torture methods, re-enactions took place of heavy beatings, torture with red hot irons and cigarettes, forcefeeding and being confined in extremely small cells. The victims of the torture were trying to explain to their torturers that Falun Gong is good. The simulated torture was so real-to-life that it caught people’s attention from far away, hwo then came to have a closer look at what was going on.
Practitioners who were informing the audience about what was going on thus had an easier job telling people the facts as everyone their had come to find out on their own accord. Some passing people said they already knew about the persecution. At one point an older man stopped me before I even gave him a flyer commenting, "I know, we have Falun Gong in Chicago.“ Even though he was obviously not a practitioner he conjoined his hands together in front of his chest and very sincerely said "I wish you the best of Luck!“
The centre of Prague is usually crowded with tourists from all over the world and so they all have a chance to learn the facts. An elderly couple from England arrived during the middle of the press conference and read some of the display boards describing the torture methods. One practitioner came to ask them if they wanted to know what it was all about to which they agreed. The practitioner told them that Ms. Xiong Wei was just describing her experiences in China and told them, "See that Chinese lady in the middle? She spent two years in a Chinese prison.“ The couple expressed their concern stating, "Oh, that is terrible.“ They then carrefuly listened to what was said at the conference and when it finished they clapped their hands to show their respect for Xiong Wei. Finally they both signed the petition to condemn the repression.
One girl from Singapoore was amazed by what we were doing. She spent over twenty minutes looking at the display boards and live performance, telling us that she knew only a little about Falun Gong. She said that Singapoore follows China’s directions in some ways because of its economic power, so it was hard for people over there to organise such activities. We told her about the Nine Commentaries of the Chinese Communist Party and how many people have quit the party after reading this book and realising the true evil nature of the Chinese Communist Party. She was then very happy to take a copy to read. Before she left she took some Video-CDs entitled "The True story of Falun Gong“ that she was going to give to her Chinese friends.
Many Chinese people also came to have a closer look. Some were a little cautious and only took photos of the activities; some took the Nine Commentaries and there were also some who expressed an interset in practising Falun Gong.
Throughout the day practitioners carefully informed people about the facts. Many people realised the evilness of the persecution via this activity and showed their support by signing the petiton calling for an end to the persecution. By the end of the day, several hundred names were added.
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