After some initial discussion, Irish practitioners felt that it was necessary to appeal directly outside the government buildings due to the seriousness of the persecution of Falun Gong in China and the proposed implementation of Article 23, an anti-subversion law designed to allow Jiang Zemin to persecute the citizens in of Hong Kong. Also, this was the beginning of the Rescue our Family and Friends Campaign in Ireland; a campaign focusing on obtaining the release of the family and friends of people who are suffering in China because they practise Falun Gong.
The Rescue Our Family Members campaign began in the United States, just before the visit of Jiang Zemin and is intended to highlight the effect that the persecution is having on people worldwide. So far, countries as diverse as Canada, Japan, Holland and Germany have initiated their appeals to have their family members and friends released from detention in China. The campaign is highlighting the effect that the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China is having on practitioners in the free world.
The activities outside the government buildings included a press conference and several speeches made by VIPs, including Senator David Norris and Rosemary Warner, a representative of the Dublin Central Amnesty International group. Both of whom raised their concerns about Article 23 in Hong Kong and the possible effect it may have if it is implemented.
When interviewed by media and asked What will this protest outside the Dail achieve for these Chinese people?, Senator David Norris replied; First of all on a moral basis it demonstrates that these people are not forgotten..their own people.. They have not forgotten and will not forget their relatives and their friends and all the other people in Falun Gong. Huge numbers have been tortured, imprisoned and even so brutally beaten that they died..
The press conference also gave practitioners the opportunity to bring to light the detention of 2 Chinese students who were formerly studying in Dublin, Mr. Liu Feng and Ms. Yang Fang. The assistant principal at Ms. Yang Fangs college, Mr. Gerard Craughwell offered the following words in his speech; ..as a caring organisation and as an educational institution we would like to see her return to Ireland to her fellow students to complete her course of studies..
Also as part of the Rescue Our Family and Friends campaign, Ms. Dai Dongxue called for help to free her sister Dai Xialing from Jinan Labour Camp in China. In an interview, Ms. Dai said"My sister Xialing has been imprisoned simply because of her belief..I do not want to see [her] die in a labour camp."
Overall, practitioners felt that the activities were a success and let more people know about the Jiang regimes brutal persecution against Falun Gong.
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