Interviewer: "What exactly is Falun Gong?"
Practitioner: "Falun Gong is a very peaceful, health-inducing set of exercises. It's for mind, body and spirit. It includes a meditation and some very slow-moving, gentle exercises. The whole principle of Falun Gong is based on Truthfulness - Compassion - Forbearance or Tolerance."
Interviewer: "The Chinese Government says it's an XX [slanderous term used by Jiang Zemins regime]
Practitioner: "They do say that because they've been unleashing a vicious propaganda campaign to eliminate Falun Gong. But this is completely untrue. [.. ] we are actually trying to assimilate to become kinder people, better people in society and healthier
Interviewer: "You claim to have 60 million followers in China in the last eight years. Is that right?"
Practitioner: "In fact it's more than that. We estimate now that there are about 100 million followers all around the world. And there were about 70 million followers up to July 1999."
Interviewer: "What kind of persecution do your followers face in China?"
Practitioner: "It's very extreme. I'll give you some statistics. We know of at least 304 people that have been tortured or beaten to death but we're pretty sure that it is at least 1000. There are 100,000 people who are unlawfully detained. 20,000 people in labour camps without trial. 1000 people who have been abused in mental hospitals and given mind-altering drugs. 500 people sentenced for up to 18 years. It's very extreme.
People who have been arrested have been brutally beaten, there has been sexual abuse, and men, women and children have all been abused."
Interviewer: "Right. You are protesting the visit of this Chinese Vice-President. What do you make of the fact that he is here as a guest of the Queen and he will be, I understand, visiting Henry MacLeish, the First Minister?"
Practitioner: "Well that's right. From our point of view, we see it as an opportunity to say to Mr Jintao to stop the persecution. We are making an appeal, really. So from our point of view it's a very good opportunity that he has come to our country, because when we make appeals to the Chinese Government and we go the Chinese embassies, they refuse to take our letters. So it is an opportunity for us to say to Mr Jintao, "please stop the persecution."
Interviewer: "How are you actually going to say it to him, though. What kind of form is your protest going to take?"
Practitioner: " Today we'll be meeting outside the Royal Botanic Gardens at 3.20. Mr Jintao will be there. We will have banners, we will be showing him the exercises and we'll be speaking out loud "Please, Mr Jintao, stop the persecution of innocent practitioners."
Interviewer: "OK, you're seeing this as an opportunity, but as I said he is a guest of authorities here, you know, he has been given a certain respectability. Do you think that's right?"
Practitioner: "Well, we are not against the government in China. What we want is for Falun Gong to be made legal again as it was before July 1999 so we want him to be aware that outside China there is great support for Falun Gong and people outside China also believe that it is wrong for the persecution to continue, so we have to bring that to his awareness."
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