On July 20, 1999, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) launched the persecution of Falun Gong which resulted in the arrest, torture, and killing of thousands of practitioners throughout China. To raise awareness of the ongoing persecution, Falun Gong practitioners throughout Europe marking 21 years since the start of the persecution.
Czech Republic: Activities and a Rally in Prague
On July 19, Falun Gong practitioners gathered at the historical Staroměstské náměstí Plaza in Prague's city centre to demonstrate the exercises and hand out information about the practice and the ongoing persecution in China.
|Practitioners held events on Staroměstské náměstí Plaza to tell people about the persecution.|
|Tourists and residents in Prague sign a petition calling for an end to the persecution.||Reenactments of torture and forced organ harvesting from living Falun Gong practitioners imprisoned in China|
Practitioners set up a tent and displayed information about Falun Gong and the persecution. They also reenacted torture methods and the forced organ harvesting Falun Gong practitioners in China are subjected to. Many passersby signed the petition to stop the persecution and forced organ harvesting.
Practitioners gathered peacefully in front of the Chinese Embassy on the morning of July 20, 2020, to protest the persecution. A representative read an open letter to Xi Jinping, the current CCP leader, asking him to immediately end the persecution, release all prisoners of conscience, and stop harvesting organs by force.
|A candlelight vigil was held in front of the Chinese Embassy in Prague, Czech, to commemorate Falun Gong practitioners who’ve died as a result of the persecution.|
Finland: Calling for an End to the 21-Year-Long Persecution
As Falun Gong practitioners around the world commemorated 21 years of peacefully resisting the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) persecution, practitioners in Finland held a protest in front of the Chinese Embassy and a candlelight vigil in Helsinki on July 20, 2020.
|Falun Gong practitioners in Finland peacefully protest in front of the Chinese Embassy on July 20, 2020.|
A Chinese man who came to the Chinese Embassy slowly drove by the Falun Gong banner and gave practitioners a thumb-up. A young Chinese student told a practitioner, “I know the truth. I appreciate you! Stay safe!” When a practitioner told a Chinese family about the persecution, the elderly family member kept thanking her for telling them.
|Falun Gong practitioners talk to Helsinki residents about the persecution.|
A candlelight vigil was held in front of the Kamppi Shopping Centre in the afternoon. Many people stopped to sign a petition to call for an end to the persecution.
Many people encouraged practitioners to keep up their great efforts. A man from Estonia signed the petition and said, “You are doing a great deed! It's the right thing to do!”
Ms. Zhu Luoxin, a practitioner in Finland, told a woman about her personal experience of being persecuted. The woman was very sympathetic and said she was interested in learning Falun Gong.
|People in Helsinki sign the petition against the persecution.|
Turkey: Activities in Istanbul Urging the CCP to End 21 Years of Persecution
Practitioners in Istanbul sat before the Istanbul Chinese Consulate for an hour on July 17 and handed out leaflets to passers by.
|Peaceful protest in front of the Chinese Consulate|
One vehicle stopped and the occupants got out. They thought that the practitioners were protesting China over the Uyghur Turks and wanted to express their support. A practitioner told them how the Chinese Communist Party has persecuted Falun Gong for 21 years and even sanctions forced organ harvesting from living practitioners. One of the men was Mehmet Reisoğlu, head of the Tarabya District (the district where the consulate is located) and also president of the Tarabya Sports Club.
He said,“We only knew about the persecution of Uyghur Turks until now.” His friend Mustafa Kurt, a tour guide, took leaflets and asked questions.
|Mehmet Reisoğlu, head of the Tarabya District and the Tarabya Sports Club, and his friend Mustafa Kurt with banners condemning the persecution|
On Saturday, July 18, practitioners held an event on the coastline near the Istanbul Chinese Consulate. They did the exercises and clarified the truth to passersby.
|Doing the exercises on Tarabya Beach|
Several children about 13 or 14 years old riding by on their bicycles stopped and took the information. One of them said that he would tell his mother, who is very active on social media, about the persecution. Shortly after the event started, a girl and her grandmother came and stayed until the end. They did the exercises and took information about the persecution.
Practitioners have started a social media campaign to help end the persecution. People all over Turkey who are interested are encouraged to “Be a Light in the Darkness!” Passersby were invited to participate in the campaign. They had their photographs taken and posted on Instagram and Facebook to raise awareness of the persecution.
Mrs. Gülten said, “The energy in this area is beautiful. It is very clean energy that attracts people—it attracted me. I felt like I was running on the grass while I was doing the exercises.”
Mrs. Gülten’s 8-year-old granddaughter Belis did the fifth exercise, which is a sitting meditation, in the full lotus position, and participated in the candlelight vigil.
During the event, a consular employee watched the practitioners from afar. The police officers who were there to protect the practitioners helped to take a photo. The event ended with a candlelight vigil at 9:30 in the evening.
|Candlelight vigil in Istanbul|
Sweden: Calling for Public Support and an End to the Persecution
Practitioners in Sweden held a signature collection at Mynttorget in Stockholm on July 21, 2020.
|Practitioners in Sweden meditate at Mynttorget in Stockholm.|
Seventeen-year-old Daniel from China recounted his experience of being persecuted. When he was in the first grade, he was required to join the Young Pioneers. His teacher threatened him and said that not joining the Communist organization would affect his school performance. After Daniel and his parents refused to join, Daniel was marginalized and bullied by his teachers and classmates. Every day, he was afraid to go to school. He and his parents left China when he was eight. He said he was happy to be in Sweden and enjoyed the freedom to practise Falun Gong.
Many people stopped to listen to practitioners, learn more about what is happening in China, and sign the petition. Some wanted to learn Falun Gong. A man told a practitioner that he had worked in China and personally felt the suppression of freedom. He encouraged practitioners, “Continue on! I always support you!”
|Practitioners introduce Falun Gong and expose the CCP’s persecution in Swedish and English.|
|Passersby stop to learn more.|
Portugal: Collecting Signatures & Exposing the Persecution in Lisbon
Falun Gong practitioners collected signatures in Lisbon, the capital of Portugal. They exposed the CCP’s 21-year-long persecution and called on all segments of society to help stop the CCP's brutality.
Practitioners set up posters and a table to collect signatures. They demonstrated the five sets of exercises, which caught the attention of passersby. They also talked with people about the persecution and collected signatures.
|Talking with people about Falun Gong and the persecution|
|People sign a petition against the persecution|
Greece: Raising Awareness in Central Athens
Falun Gong practitioners held activities on Syntagma Square on July 17 to mark the 21st anniversary of peacefully resisting the persecution.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Greece Government has implemented policies to reduce the spread of the virus. Many people were still milling about downtown. Many people paused near the practitioners' activities to watch the exercise demonstration and read the posters.
Many people were appalled and felt it was inconceivably evil that the CCP arrests practitioners and kills them for organs. A group of young people said these horrible crimes must stop.
|Practitioners raise awareness on Syntagma Square on July 17.|
A police officer on duty told a practitioner it was important for Falun Gong practitioners to raise awareness. He said all police officers wish their event would be successful.
A few young people from Arab countries took photos. A practitioner distributing fliers talked to them about the 21-year-long persecution. They expressed gratitude to the practitioner for sharing the information with them. Some of them wished to learn the five sets of exercises and asked for more information about Falun Gong.
Netherlands: Rally and Peaceful Protest at De Dam Plaza
Falun Gong practitioners who live in the Netherlands held a peaceful protest on Amsterdam's Plaza De Dam on July 18, 2020.
|Falun Gong practitioners in the Netherlands held a peaceful protest on Plaza De Dam on July 18|
Slovakia: Activity in Martin Raises Awareness
Practitioners in Slovakia organized an information day and signature drive in Martin, a city in northern Slovakia, on July 14. Some of them demonstrated the exercises while others handed out fliers.
Many residents signed the petition after they learned that the CCP persecutes Falun Gong practitioners and forcibly harvests organs from prisoners of conscience, the main target being Falun Gong practitioners.
|Practitioners demonstrated the exercises and collected signatures in Martin, Slovakia, on July 14, 2020.|
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