Athenians Support Human Rights Torch Relay

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A group of supporters and members of the Coalition to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong (CIPFG) arrived in Athens, Greece, the birthplace of the Olympic Games, on August 7,th 2007. They picked up fliers for distribution as soon as they put down their luggage. The fliers announced the commencement of the Human Rights Torch Relay in Athens on the evening of August 9th 2007. The torch will be passed on to five continents around the world. The people from the home of the Olympic Games showed great attention to everything related to the Olympics.

After reading a flier, a young girl said in shock, "Harvesting organs from living people! It is horrible! My hair is standing on end! I have to go to the Human Rights Torch ceremony!" An elderly gentleman took out a magnifying glass from his pocket and read the flier for a long time. He told the one who gave him the flier, "I have heard about the CCP's poor human rights record, but I had never thought it was so cruel. What you are doing is great! We Athenians support you!"

Two athletes happened to pass. They didn't pay much attention at first, but after seeing the words "Human Rights Torch" they turned around and came back. They each took a flier and said "I support you. I will be there."

As soon as they arrived, some supporters and members of the CIPFG immediately contacted the local media. Major media, including the newspapers Ologos and Apogevmatini, all expressed their support for the Human Rights Torch Relay and the fight for human rights. They condemned the persecution in China. "Harvesting organs from living people! It is so cruel and disturbing! We are appalled!" a chief editor said. "What you are doing is very significant--not just for China, but for the whole world!"

Background

The CIPFG, composed of more than 300 members outside of China, announced to the world three months ago: If the CCP doesn't give a satisfactory response to these demands, including releasing all imprisoned Falun Gong practitioners, by August 8th 2007, the CIPFG would unite with the global forces of justice to boycott the Olympic Games in 2008.

The CCP not only failed to respond to the demands by August 8th but also denied entry to members of the CIPFG and escalated the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners, religious people and those who try to safeguard their human rights. The CIPFG kept its word and started the Human Rights Torch Relay on August 9th. It aims to boycott the Olympic Games to be held under the power of the CCP, because "the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games and Crimes against Humanity in China Cannot Co-exist."

Note: The CIPFG's three demands to the CCP are:

1. Stop the persecution of Falun Gong and release all practitioners imprisoned for their faith.

2. Stop the persecution of supporters, friends and defence lawyers of Falun Gong practitioners.

3. Open up labour camps, detention centres, hospitals, and related facilities to inspection by CIPFG investigators.

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