Geneva: Falun Gong Practitioners Appeal on the First Day of the United Nations Human Rights Commission Meeting

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On Monday March the 15th 2004, the first day of the 60th annual United Nations Human Rights Commission meeting, more than five hundred Falun Gong practitioners arrived from more than 20 countries around the world, including Switzerland, Germany, France, Austria, the UK, Holland, Belgium, Italy, Greece, Slovakia, Russia, Lithuania, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Ireland, Taiwan, the US, Australia, and Israel. They held a parade in downtown Geneva, held a press conference on the Places des Nations in front of the UN building, and performed the Falun Gong exercises. They wanted to appeal to the United Nations, governments and non-governmental organisations to help bring an end to the persecution of Falun Gong in China.

This is the fifth year that Falun Gong practitioners have appealed to the UN and the public during the UN Human Rights Commission meeting in Geneva since the Jiang regime began the persecution of Falun Gong in July 1999.

The theme of Falun Gong practitioners' appeal this year is to bring Jiang, Luo Gan, Liu Jing and Zhou Yongkang, the main instigators of the persecution of Falun Gong, to justice, and to protest the Jiang group's extending the persecution of Falun Gong to Europe through economic incentives. A recent example is the unjust treatment of Falun Gong practitioners who wore yellow clothes by French police during the 2004 Chinese New Year celebration in Paris and while Hu Jintao visited France. In front of the UN building, several dozen banners in multiple languages conveyed the message of appealing to stop the persecution of Falun Gong to people passing by. When many government officials attending the meetings passed by, they slowed down and accepted practitioners' flyers.

On the Places Des Nations

Falun Gong practitioner Pan Yu from Australia tells of the persecution he suffered Practitioner reads a statement by Member of the Swiss Parliament Ueli Leuenbeerger

A little practitioner hands out flyers
At the press conference at 12:00 p.m., two members of the Swiss Parliament Ms. Maria Roth-Bernasconi and Mr. Ueli Leuenberger and the Co-Chairman of the European Falun Dafa Association Mr. Peter Jauhal gave speeches respectively. Mr. David Hiller from the Green Party of Geneva, Secretary of Non-governmental Interfaith International Dr. Charles Graues and Chairman of the Association of World Citizens Mr. Reue Wadlow sent messages to the rally. In the end, Falun Gong practitioner Pan Yu from Australia told of the persecution he suffered in a Chinese labour camp from early 2000 to May 2000.

In their speeches, two members of the Swiss Parliament, Ms. Maria Roth-Bernasconi and Mr. Ueli Leuenberger, expressed their support and encouragement for the human rights and Falun Gong practitioners' peaceful resistance. Regarding Falun Gong practitioners' appeal to bring the main instigators of the persecution of Falun Gong to justice, Ms. Roth-Bernasconi said that no religion or organisation endows the right to any person to brutally torture other people. If there are people doing so, other people should punish them. On the issue of opposing the persecution of Falun Gong, she stood with the practitioners.

Mr. Ueli Leuenberger expressed his anger over the French government's unfair treatment of Falun Gong practitioners during the 2004 Chinese New Year. He also asked the UN Human Rights Commission how people should understand the UN Human Rights Commission's 'Tremendous Efforts' on opposing the persecution of Falun Gong. He also encouraged the practitioners by saying that he wishes the practitioners will be even stronger, more courageous, and persist in the resistance. He hoped the practitioners' efforts will achieve success. He stated that his heart would be together with all victims of human rights, not only in China, but also around the world.

Falun Gong practitioner Pan Yu from Australia described the five-month harrowing persecution he suffered in a Chinese labour camp. The police guard once used an electric baton of 40,000 volts to shock him on sensitive areas of his body for a long period of time. He felt like hundreds of thousands of arrows were piercing his heart, and lost control of his bladder and bowels. Following the physical torture and mental torment, he was on the verge of losing his sanity. He said that there were many similar examples in China and that similar persecution is still going on.

Ms. Li Ying, who once was detained in a Chinese labour camp for two years, and was rescued from the labour camp last year with the help of Falun Gong practitioners from Australia and other countries, came to Geneva for the first time to appeal. During an interview, she called upon the UN Human Rights Commission to pay attention to China's human rights situation, and conduct an independent and just investigation over the human rights situation in China and the persecution of Falun Gong.

According to the Falun Dafa Information Centre, the verified number of Falun Gong practitioners who have died from persecution in China has reached 907.

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