The spiritual movement Falun Gong used International Day in Support of Victims of Torture to bring into focus the mistreatment of fellow practitioners in China.
The eyes of the world have followed American soldiers’ treatment of Iraqi prisoners with disgust. But torture of people who think differently than the regime is a daily occurrence in China.
This was the message that Falun Gong practitioners spread at City Hall Square yesterday on International Day in Support of Victims of Torture.
In China, Falun Gong is banned and according to the volunteer Falun Gong practitioners at City Hall Square, 992 Falun Gong practitioners have been murdered in China since 1999. “All material on Falun Gong is banned and it’s not even permitted to practise in your own home” says Ida Krog, who began to practise Falun Gong three years ago, after returning from a visit to the East.
“There are around 70-100 million Chinese people who practise Falun Gong in China, but because of the persecution there are probably less now” says Ida Krog who talked about an organisation in China called the 610-Office, whose sole purpose it is to seek out, torture and kill practitioners of Falun Gong.
"It is terrible that people who practise like me, are being mistreated in this way” she says and looks at the display of posters at City Hall Square, where volunteers show different methods of torture. One is tied with outstretched arms, while being beaten; another is tied to a bench with hands behind the back and with blue and yellow bruises visible on the face.
A better person
A Christian orchestra placed themselves on the opposite side of the City Hall Square and threatened to drown out Falun Gong's message by singing through loudspeakers. Fortunately one of the movement’s principles is ‘tolerance’.
The two other principles are compassion and truth; Zhen, Shan, Ren.
Falun Gong is not a political movement, but rather a spiritual movement or cultivation way as the practitioners call it, where it is a matter of raising ones moral character.
The practitioners practise five different sitting and standing exercises, which are similar to Tai Chi. But whereas Tai Chi is more physical, Falun Gong is more a combination of both physical and spiritual.
In Copenhagen, practitioners meet in Kings Garden, and Ida Krog clearly feels that the exercises and the two books about Falun Gong have helped her in her daily life and also in her work in a kindergarten.
“I feel that I have become more tolerant and do not suffer stress at work. I also have more energy,” says Ida Krog, who tries to perform the five sets of exercises every day; either the short version or a long one that takes two hours.
Money is not a natural part of Falun Gong, so the movement doesn’t collect money. Their only purpose yesterday was to display posters and distribute flyers to bring into focus the mistreatment and the persecution of their fellow practitioners in China.
At www.falundafa.dk you can read more about the persecution.
The Falun Gong movement claims that the Chinese authorities use the following torture methods on Falun Gong practitioners in China
- Electric shocks to sensitive parts of the body, such as genitals, breasts, mouth and anus.
- Penetration of the fingertips with sharp bamboo sticks
- Gagging by forcing filthy material into the mouth, such as used toilet paper, cleaning cloth or dirty socks;
- Leaving the victim naked for long periods in freezing cold water and dousing with ice cold water;
- Forcing the victim to squat for many hours;
- Incessant and daily beatings.
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