UK: Press Conference Opposite the Chinese Embassy Held on International Human Rights Day

On 10th of December 2003, International Human Rights Day, Falun Gong practitioners held a press conference opposite the Chinese Embassy in London. Speeches were given by Lord Thurlow and by the Chairman of UK Falun Gong Association, as they took the opportunity of this important date in the human rights calander to highlight the severity of the persecution and to demand that the human rights violations in China be stopped immediately. Several statements issued by UK public figures for this day, in support of Falun Gong and condemnation of the persecution were read out. NTDTV station, Sound of Hope Radio and a Brazilian media team attended the press conference and reported on the activities..

Appeal at the Chinese Embassy

After the press conference, the practitioners held a parade through central London and Chinatown, greeting people and handing out leaflets despite near freezing temperatures. In taking the parade through Chinatown, the purpose was to help the Chinese people who have been influenced by the regime-controlled media in Mainland China to understand the truth about Falun Gong and in the hope that Chinese people can come to appeal for the freedom of their countrymen and call for the dictator Jiang to be brought to justice.

Parade through LondonIn London's Chinatown

Statements

"I very much share your concern regarding the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China and agree that more action should be taken by the UN and its leading members in highlighting this and bringing pressure on the Chinese authorities to cease their disgraceful activities."
A Member of Scottish Parliament

"Communist China continues to flout the rights of its people and to offend the values which the civilised world holds dear. Until this changes we cannot treat the leaders of the People's Republic with respect."
A Member of European Parliament

"I would like to pay tribute to the hard work of campaigners who have dedicated themselves to fighting the ruthless persecution of Falun Gong practitioners by the Chinese Government.

As the London Assembly Member for Barnet and Camden, I am privileged to represent the constituency on the GLA with the largest Chinese population in London, and am well aware of the great contribution it makes. I know that Chinese people are peace-loving and tolerant, valuable qualities which are embodied by Falun Gong and its practitioners. This makes the systematic and coordinated abuse of human rights taking place in China today by the Communist dictatorship all the more unacceptable.

It is imperative for the British Government to address this issue in all their dealings with their Chinese counterparts, and I wrote to the Prime Minister before his trip to China this year to press home this message. I for my part will continue to draw attention to the torture, imprisonment and intimidation of Falun Gong practitioners, who stand so simply for Truth, Compassion and Forbearance. I will do this at every opportunity I get and I would like to use this occasion to advise all my colleagues at every level of government to do the same."
Councillor Brian Coleman, GLA Member for Barnet and Camden

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The Chinese embassy in London has been the site of a 24-hour appeal held by practitioners in the UK for over 550 days. This appeal, and other large-scale appeals such as today's press conference are held to let more people know about the shocking crimes against humanity committed under the command of former Chinese leader Jiang Zemin, known by Amnesty International as a "human rights scoundrel". After Jiang began his brutal personal crusade against Falun Gong practitioners in 1999 - issuing the 3-pronged order: "Ruin their reputation, bankrupt them financially and physically destroy them" - the moral fabric of Chinese society came under vicious assault. Those who believe in Falun Dafa's principles - Truthfulness, Kindness and Tolerance - have been raped, tortured, beaten and murdered. Their family members have been coerced into joining Jiang and his regime in their persecution, often forced to pressure their own family members into renouncing Falun Gong to ensure their own livelihoods. Those who carry out the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners are, themselves, victims who are often forced into a choice between their moral conscience and their job, their sense of duty to the people and their livelihood. It is a system that has transformed regular Chinese cities and towns into “death traps,” where “local police regularly torture residents to death,” as reported in the Pulitzer-Prize winning series of articles by the Wall Street Journal’s Ian Johnson.

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