On the 18th and 19th of June 2005, practitioners from Nordrhein-Westfalen in Germany held an anti-torture exhibition in front of Cologne Cathedral to expose the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) brutal persecution against Falun Gong. An anti-torture exhibition involves re-enactments of the torture methods used in attempts to force Falun Gong practitioners in China to renounce their beliefs.
On the 18th June, the weather changed from cloudy to fine with scorching sun. Our exhibition booth was visible to all cathedral visitors and the area was crowded with tourists.
|Demonstrating the torture||Talking with passers-by|
|Collecting petition signatures||A TV station shoots footage of the anti-torture exhibition|
One practitioner demonstrated the small cage torture, where the victim is kept in a cage that is too small for them to stand up or lie down in. In Chinese prisons or forced labour camps, they can be left there for months at a time and the cage may be submerged in filthy water. Outside the cathedral, a western person gently placed two red roses in front of the cage. It was their way of commemorating the thousands of people who have died at the hands of the CCP because they want to live by Falun Gong’s principles of Truthfulness, Compassion and Tolerance.
When practitioners talked to a middle-age German lady, she found it hard to believe that such terrible human rights abuses are occurring, even though she had already heard about the CCP’s persecution of Falun Gong. After accepting some leaflets in German, she still said, “Please give me some Chinese materials as well. My baby sitter is Chinese. I will give her the Chinese materials to read.” She then took her child to watch the anti-torture exhibition and to view the information display boards.
The practitioners handed out a lot of leaflets and collected many petition signatures calling for an end to the persecution. At some points, many people crowded around the petition table and waited to sign their names and at some points people actually had to queue up for a while before they could sign.
Towards the end of the afternoon, a person appeared holding a big video camera and started to film our anti-torture exhibition. They also shot close-ups of the practitioner who was trapped in the small cage. A practitioner noticed there was a press card with a photo hanging in front of his chest, and a few people around him also wearing the same card. The team revealed that they were actually from a TV station in Mexico.
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