European Falun Gong practitioners recently held rallies in front of embassies and consulates to protest the Chinese government's denying Wang Zhiwen, a former well-known coordinator, from travelling abroad to visit his daughter in the US.
Wang was formerly an engineer at the Ministry of Railways. He was also one of the main coordinators for the former China Falun Dafa Association (Falun Dafa is also known as Falun Gong). He was arrested in Beijing on July 20, 1999 because he was a coordinator, when Jiang Zemin, former head of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), initiated the persecution of Falun Gong.
Wang was imprisoned for nearly 15 years, during which time he was tortured by various means. His teeth were all broken down, and his nails were pierced with sharp picks, and he was deprived of sleep for up to seven consecutive days. He was handcuffed and shackled with 50 pound shackles while being locked in a tiny cell alone.
Wang was released from prison in 2014, and has since been under surveillance by local police and government officials. His daughter Danielle Wang, a U.S. Citizen, and son-in-law Jeff Nanarella went to Beijing recently to bring him to the U.S. They helped him get a visa, but the border patrol in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province revoked his passport and blocked his travel abroad as he was leaving China last week.
London, United Kingdom
During the five-hour rally, practitioners did the exercises, passed out flyers, and talked to people about the persecution.
Dr. Liu from the U.K. Falun Dafa Association said in his rally speech, “We demand the current Chinese regime to immediately reissue Mr. Wang Zhiwen's passport so that he can travel abroad freely. We also call upon governments and human rights organizations to help Mr. Wang to escape the persecution and travel to the U.S. to be reunited with his family.”
|Falun Dafa practitioners rally in front of Chinese Embassy in London calling for rescuing Wang Zhiwen|
The exposure of Mr. Wang's plight has made more people aware of the persecution and the evil nature of Jiang Zemin’s gang. Many people signed petitions supporting Falun Gong. Carol, from France, had heard about Falun Gong before. Through talking to a practitioner, she said that she understood why such a peaceful practice is being suppressed by the CCP: because the CCP is afraid of people having spirituality and their own thoughts, and it fears losing control.
She asked the practitioner what she could do to help and signed a petition calling for an end to the CCP’s state-sanctioned forced organ harvesting from living Falun Gong practitioners. She said she would tell more people about the persecution.
Bethan, from Wales, works at a dental clinic near the Chinese Embassy in London. She said she knew about Falun Dafa because she saw practitioners' peaceful protest in front of the embassy over the years. She had signed a petition against the persecution months ago. Bethan was appalled by what happened to Mr. Wang. “It's unacceptable that such a thing happens in the 21st century,” she said and promised to tell her colleagues to sign the petition.
Rally at Chinese Consulate in Gothenburg, Sweden
Falun Gong practitioners from Gothenburg and nearby cities gathered to hold a peaceful rally in front of the Chinese Consulate in Gothenburg at noon on Friday, August 12, 2016.
|Ms. Lei (right) met Mr. Wang when she visited China before the persecution began. She wishes to tell him not to give up||Falun Gong practitioners from Gothenburg and nearby cities hold a peaceful rally in front of the Chinese Consulate in Gothenburg|
Several of the practitioners who attended Friday’s rally had met Wang Zhiwen in China before the persecution began. Among them was Anders from Gothenburg, who said that it was important to urge the Chinese authorities to let Mr. Wang leave China to reunite with his family. The Chinese authorities stopped Mr. Wang, who lives in Beijing, from leaving China by invalidating his passport. He had been imprisoned for 15 years and was subjected to severe abuse including torture.
Anders said that he had been to China three times before the persecution began to meet and practice with Falun Gong practitioners there. He said that Mr. Wang, who was a volunteer coordinator for the Falun Dafa Association, was always at the gatherings. Anders said that Wang Zhiwen has suffered terribly since the persecution was launched in 1999. He has not committed any crime and was put through a televised show trial soon after the persecution began. Anders said that the Chinese authorities should give Mr. Wang a new passport and let him reunite with his daughter in the United States.
Ms. Lei, another Falun Gong practitioner at the rally, met Mr. Wang in 1995. She saw him every year when she visited China, before the persecution began. Ms. Lei remembers Wang Zhiwen as a very kind man. She would like to tell him not to give up and to know that there are many Falun Gong practitioners who support him and look forward to seeing him again very soon. Her message to the consulate staff was that they should tell the Chinese regime to immediately end the persecution started by former Chinese Communist Party leader Jiang Zemin.
Falun Gong practitioners rallied in front of the Chinese Embassy in Paris on the afternoon of August 17, 2016, protesting the regime's rough violation of Wang Zhiwen's right to travel.
|Mr. Tang Hanlong, chairman of the Falun Dafa Association in France, speaks at the rally||Ms. Matthias Seddik (right) signed a petition to stop forced organ harvesting in China|
A peaceful protest near the Chinese Consulate in Zurich caught the attention of many passersby on August 16, 2016.
The practitioners also delivered a public letter to the consulate officials, urging them not to comply with regime's order to persecute Falun Gong, and asking the Chinese government to reissue Wang's passport and lift the travel ban.
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Practitioners protested at the Chinese Consulate in Edinburgh on August 15, 2016. Practitioner Christina said that she had experienced the regime's abuse of power herself. She was denied a visa to travel to China because she practised Falun Dafa.
Christina said, “The irrational persecution of Falun Gong should end now!”Practitioners said they would continue the protest at the consulate every week until Wang reunited with his daughter.
|Practitioners protest at the Chinese Consulate in Edinburgh|
Practitioners of Italy protested at the Chinese Consulate on August 17, 2016.
Mr. Lan, a Chinese practitioner from Beijing, said he remembered that Wang Zhiwen was a righteous and kind-hearted man. He said, “Wang Zhiwen was well known for his outstanding work as a railway engineer, and for his volunteering in the community. “He was jailed for 15 years and now the regime forbids him to reunite with his daughter. The regime is inhuman and heartless.”
Anna, a practitioner who fled the regime after many years in jail for practising Falun Dafa, said that this was one more tragedy created by the regime. She said, “Think about this, 15 years in prison, deprivation of freedom of travel and belief, and separated from his family. The regime is creating a tragedy.”
|Falun Dafa practitioners protest at the Chinese Consultate in Milan|
Practitioners rallied at Chinese Embassy in Copenhagen on the afternoon of August 17, 2016. They protested the regime destroying Wang Zhiwen's passport and barring him from reuniting with his daughter in the US.
|Falun Dafa practitioners protest at the Chinese Embassy in Copenhagen|
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