While the 60th session of the UN Commission on Human Rights has entered its 4th week, on the afternoon of April the 5th, some 50 people from the Melbourne Falun Gong group and other local organisations held a peaceful rally at the Melbourne Federal Square.
The rally was hosted by coordinator of the Victoria Falun Dafa Association (VFDA) Mr. Smith. A VFDA spokesperson said in her speech that it had been reported that 64 Falun Gong practitioners from 17 Mainland provinces had died due to torture from last November to this past January. This fact reminds people inside China and overseas who may have gradually forgotten the tragedy that the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners is real and is still claiming the lives of innocent people.
According to the spokesperson, the persecution is still escalating and 40 Falun Gong practitioners have died of persecution in the past two months. Almost every day one can read similar death reports.
"Many countries have established diplomatic or commercial relationships with China, and such relationships also involve responsibility. We thus hope that people around the world pay closer attention to this tragedy and extend their help to Falun Gong practitioners," she said, "When the truth of this tragedy is revealed, everyone will have to examine him or herself: 'What have I done to help end this persecution?'"
Falun Gong practitioner Zhang Dongfan comes from Wuhan, China. He shared the persecution he has suffered since Jiang and his followers started to persecute Falun Gong in 1999. He was arrested 6 times, detained in detention centres twice, sentenced to 1.5-years of forced labour twice, and he was arrested and forced to attend "Brainwashing Sessions" many times. Because he refused to give up Falun Gong practice, he lost his basic freedom that is enshrined by China's Constitution.
"Petals of Peace" Melbourne coordinator Ms. Jian called on all kind-hearted Australians, by signing "Petals of Peace" postcards, to extend their help to hundreds of thousands of Chinese children who couldn't express their own wills. The postcards together with paper lotus flowers, symbols of holiness and support for innocent Falun Gong practitioners, will be sent to the chairman of the UN Commission on Human Rights.
Melbourne Federal Square is located in the busiest downtown area with the central train station just across the street. The rally attracted many passersby, many of whom stopped to watch and listen to the speeches. Many kind-hearted people also signed postcards. Soon, signed postcards filled up a big basket. These cards will be sent to Geneva in a few days.
A girl who comes from China was not sure if she should sign a postcard. She asked practitioners whether or not she would harm China by doing so. After learning about the truth of Falun Gong and realising that all things practitioners have done are to help China, she was very happy to sign.
There was a Chinese boy who can understand Mandarin; however, he couldn't either speak or write in Chinese. He acquired a pen and a postcard from practitioners. After a while, he came back with the postcard filled with English words.
While speakers were giving speeches, a tall westerner was listening with great interest. After the host announced the end of this rally, a reporter from Sound of Hope Radio interviewed him. He said that he had been watching China's human rights for a long time and he was very supportive of the anti-persecution activities of Falun Gong.
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