On 18th July 2009, Augsburg, the third largest city in southern Germany, welcomed the 7th Peace Culture Festival. The primary themes of the festival are to love peacefulness, oppose violence, and respect various national cultures. Over forty civic organisations from Europe, Asia and Africa participated in the event. Falun Gong (also known as Falun Dafa) practitioners were invited to attend this festival by the event organiser and participated for the sixth year.
The festival is composed of three parts: a parade, stage shows, and information desks. The Falun Gong group was the biggest and most welcome group in this year’s parade. With over 70 members, the European Divine Land Marching Band are Falun Gong practitioners from various European countries including Germany, France, Switzerland, Sweden and Holland. After the marching band, dancing performers wore Han costumes and a team demonstrated the Falun Gong exercises. The peaceful and elegant movements manifested Falun Gong practitioners’ demeanour. At the end of the Falun Gong section of the parade, practitioners held banners reading “Falun Dafa Is Good”, “Peaceful practitioners are being persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party”, etc., which told the world’s people the persecution is happening in China now and drew many people’s attention.
People under the rule of the Chinese Communist Party have no real freedom
Talking about the CCP’s persecution of human rights, Mr Liu, a German Chinese who experienced the horrors of the Cultural Revolution, said, “Western countries pay great attention to basic human rights, the freedom of speech and the freedom of belief. But in China, under the rule of the Chinese Communist Party, people do not have true freedom of speech and freedom of belief.” Regarding Falun Gong practitioners being persecuted and tortured by the CCP, he added: “The CCP brutally persecutes the weaponless common people, even harvesting body organs from live people. This is absolutely not correct, and violates basic human rights ... If a government treats people with military force and violence, this exactly reflects its diffidence, fear, and weakness. This is not the proper way to solve problems.”
Mr Liu has lived in Germany for 25 years and has got used to the life in the free world. He has a strong opinion regarding the CCP’s information blockade over the internet. He said, “The media in Mainland China do not report the facts. When I sent emails to my friends in China to give them more widespread information and some reports overseas, I had to delete all the CCP’s sensitive words so the emails can reach the recipients.”
Mr Andreas Erber is an amateur photographer. He had taken photos of Falun Gong practitioners at previous Augsburg Peace Culture Festivals and put the photos on his personal website. This year he came to the Falun Gong group specifically to express his thanks on behalf of his friends in China for the help in breaking through the CCP’s internet blockade and learning the truth.
Miss Liu is a student at Augsburg University. Back in China in 1999, before the persecution against Falun Gong was officially launched, she had already read Zhuan Falun (the main book of Falun Gong). Afterwards, owing to the overwhelming slander against Falun Gong by the mainland media such as the fabricated Tiananmen Square self-immolation case, she had a negative impression of Falun Gong. This time she was shopping with her friends and saw Falun Gong practitioners wearing Han costumes and their demonstration of Falun Gong exercises on the stage. She felt it was good and beautiful, totally different from what she had read in the mainland China media reports. Therefore she decided to read Zhuan Falun again.
Falun Gong has been persecuted by the CCP for ten years. During the ten years, Falun Gong practitioners have unceasingly clarified the facts about Falun Gong to the world’s people in a peaceful and rational manner with their great compassion and tolerance. Falun Gong practitioners have received more and more kind-hearted people’s attention and support. Practitioners hope all the world’s people who love peace and oppose violence can speak up for justice and stop the brutal persecution in China as soon as possible.
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