Irish Falun Gong group march through Dublin
Monday, October 01 2001
Filed at: 07:42 PM
The Irish Falun Gong group and supporters have held a march through Dublin City Centre to highlight the plight of Falun Gong practitioners in China. The Falun Gong meditation practice has been banned in China for the last two years.
Today, Falun Gong supporters held a rally and marched to the Chinese Embassy, where they held a peaceful demonstration to protest against China's treatment of practitioners. Nearly 300 people have been killed by the Chinese authorities since Chinese President Jiang Zemin imposed the ban in 1999. Countless others have been imprisoned without trial, and suffered beatings and torture.
Speaking at the rally, Director of Frontline, Mary Lawlor, said, "We condemn the wide-ranging crack down on peaceful dissent in China. We condemn the widespread, inhumane, barbaric torture." Those taking part in the march said that they also wanted to bring to attention the case of Zhao Ming, the Trinity student detained since visiting China at Christmas 1999.
Green MEP Patricia McKenna said that, while the recent visit of Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji was a "shameful event", it at least allowed Taoiseach Bertie Ahern to highlight Zhao Ming's case. "It was reported that Prime Minister Zhu Rongji would look into the matter. I take this opportunity to urge once again the Irish Government to demand that the Chinese Government immediately release Zhao Ming and halt its systematic persecution of Falun Gong practitioners."
Later, outside the Embassy, members of the Irish Falun Gong group requested a meeting with the Chinese Ambassador in order to deliver a letter. When this was refused, they read aloud the letter, which echoed calls for Zhao Ming's release and an end to the torture of their fellow practitioners in China.
Falun Gong supporters from around Ireland and ten different countries travelled to Dublin to attend today's march.
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