France: Practitioners Raise Awareness about Falun Gong in Lille

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On June 14th, 2008, in Lille, Falun Gong practitioners held activities in the centre of Brunswick Square in Place Richebé. Practitioners displayed eye-catching banners and information posters depicting the cruel persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China, and also performed a demonstration of Falun Gong exercises. A large number of people stood and paid their respects. Practitioners also distributed leaflets and collected many signatures condemning the persecution.

In 1999, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) launched a comprehensive crackdown on Falun Gong in mainland China. Thousands of Falun Gong practitioners who refused to give up their faith were put illegally into labour camps cruel or even lost their lives. The people were shocked and had great sympathy for the many Chinese Falun Gong practitioners who were deprived of their basic human rights and freedom of belief. Local residents said that "in France we can not even harm small animal, it’s unimaginable that today in mainland China society there is still such a thing existing".

Some people asked if they could do more things to help the Falun Gong practitioners in mainland China. Some people not only signed the petition against the persecution, but also especially invited friends from other places to sign. People often said they hoped that the international community would put pressure on Communist China and strongly condemned the CCP’s atrocities and called for the suppression and the cruel persecution of Falun Gong to stop immediately. A university teacher said she would speak in the classroom to her students about these things. A university student said she would pass a petition to all her friends for their signature. There were a number of people who had lived in communist countries, such as East Germany, Algeria, they expressed a full understanding of what the Communist Party is and bloody massacre is the essence of the Communist Party.

When people heard the truth, they felt angry about the bloody crackdown on Falun Gong in Mainland China, they hoped this persecution would be stopped soon and left their best regards to all Falun Gong practitioners. They also wished that the Falun Gong practitioners who were forced to stay abroad could go back their home country and encouraged the practitioners to go on and let more people know what is happening in China.

On the same day, Lille Amnesty International was also organising a gathering about China’s human rights in the neighboring republic Square Place Rébublique to denounce the CCP’s abuses of China’s human rights. Many members of Amnesty International came to the activities of Falun Gong practitioners to see the display and took photographs with the Falun Gong practitioners; they all signed the petition forms and called for an end to the persecution. At the same time, Lille Amnesty International also invited Falun Gong practitioners to make speeches with emphasis on the brutal persecution of Falun Gong in China.

One of the organisers of the event from Lille Amnesty International, M. Jean-Jacques said in an interview with the Radio of Hope that members of Amnesty International all had some understanding of the persecution of Falun Gong, and supported all the activities opposed to this persecution.

The French Sinologist, China's Solidarity Association Chairman Mary Hou Zhiming (Marie Holzman) also came to the activities and accepted an interview. She said that she paid attention to Falun Gong from its spreading since 1992, over the years; she saw the whole progress of Falun Gong being persecuted by the Chinese Communists. She believed that over the years, Falun Gong practitioners’ situation of being persecuted has not been improved; in particular the incident that Falun Gong practitioner Yu Zhou was recently persecuted to death and his wife was kidnapped made her deeply worry about the situation, which showed that persecution was continuing.

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