Since Portugal is a member of the European Union and also one of the 53 states in the UN Commission on Human Rights this year, three Swedish Falun Gong practitioners went there to inform the Portuguese people about the persecution of Falun Gong. We also wanted to meet the local practitioners.
In Lisbon there is a mixture of people from Europe, Africa and South America. Wherever we went we distributed fliers to the Lisbon people and it felt quite easy. Most people were interested and took our fliers.
The first coincidence - Government, Media, Companies and NGOs
We visited the foreign ministry in Lisbon and we had the chance to speak to the adviser to Secretary of State for European affairs. We showed him a VCD about the persecution and he took time to listen to what we had to say. He stated that this persecution is absurd and he would pass the information to his superiors. We also informed two secretaries at the multi lateral relations department.
We visited a big news agency, Lusa, and spoke to a young journalist there. She knew very little about Falun Gong and thought we were a XXX (slanderous word omitted). She was moved to tears when she saw the pictures of tortured practitioners, and said she would write an article. The newspaper Correio da Manha conducted an interview with us at Torre de Belém the following Sunday. Link in Portuguese: http://www.correiomanha.pt/showNews.php?id=25264
We also informed some companies and a foundation about the persecution.
On Thursday we went to Amnesty International. When we entered we met a lady on her way out. She was very happy to see us, and said in a hurry that she knew about Falun Gong and asked us to wait for her upstairs. She is the chairperson and president of Amnesty in Portugal and also involved in China issues. She was very helpful, gave us a lot of contacts and offered to have a Falun Gong torture case broadcast on TV together with AI and also to hold an exhibition at the university where she works as a professor. Normally she would not be in the office at hat time of the day. For us it was a happy ”coincidence”.
The second coincidence - Meeting with local practitioners
Before the trip we contacted one practitioner in Lisbon, who is not Portuguese citizen, and we met him every evening while we were in Lisbon. He came to our hotel to study Fa [the principles of Falun Gong] together with us, exchanged experiences and helped to fold fliers etc. He was very excited to meet other practitioners. We also heard about two other practitioners living in another city but now we found out that they hade moved to Canada. So this young practitioner felt a bit lonely and wasn’t sure of how to tell people about Falun Gong and clarify the truth of the persecution in Portugal.
One day we had an appointment with a journalist at a newspaper but due to some misunderstanding he never showed up. Anyway, it was very well arranged anyway, because instead of meeting him, one of us talked to another journalist at their office, and the other two stood outside passing out fliers. After a while came two girls who said they had both read the books (Falun Gong and Zhuan Falun). A man at their office had taught them the exercises and we got his phone number. After a while that man came out to meet us! Later we were told that he usually is not at the office at that time of the day. This was a very happy surprise because we didn’t know there were any Portuguese practitioners at all. He had been practising for three years and had also on his own tried to tell people about Falun Gong and clarify the truth in Portugal. He told us also that his mother was practising, so all of a sudden there were three practitioners in Lisbon! The following Sunday we all met at Torre de Belém, which is a famous tourist spot in Lisbon. First the journalist and photographer from the paper came. Later we practitioners spent the day and got to know each other, shared experiences and practised together. Many people were out walking on this beautiful Sunday and some wanted to try the exercises. One man, who called himself a spiritualist said he felt the strong energy while trying the exercises.
The Third Coincidence - Clarifying the truth to the Chinese people in Lisbon
One evening we met a group of Chinese and they gladly accepted the booklet and VCD. One of them actually said ”Falun Dafa Hao!” ("Falun Gong is good"). Still, we didn’t see Chinese people in this city and we wondered how to meet them. Suddenly an opportunity arose. One of the practitioners ran in to some Chinese people who were looking for a place where a Chinese event was taken place. This was late Saturday night. We got a note with the address and even a map. It was not far from our hotel so we decided to go there and try to meet them when the party was over. At 3 o’clock in the morning the party was over and we stood outside waiting. Hundreds of Chinese people came out and we gave them VCDs and booklets. Most of them accepted the material.
All these coincidences happened so perfectly, it really felt that they had been all wonderfully arranged.
See below for pictures
Reported by Swedish practitioners
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