It has been ten years since ten thousand Falun Gong practitioners peacefully appealed on April 25, 1999. Practitioners held activities in front of the Chinese Embassy and Consulate in Sweden to commemorate the event.
In the morning on April 24, 2009, Falun Gong practitioners held a peaceful appeal in front of the Chinese Consulate in Gothenburg, Sweden. They protested against the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) decade-long brutal suppression of Falun Gong.
In the morning of April 25, practitioners came to the Chinese Embassy in Stockholm and held up banners in both Chinese and Swedish saying "Ten year anniversary of Falun Gong's April 25 peaceful appeal," "Freedom of belief," and "Stop the persecution of Falun Gong." Practitioners also did the exercises in front of the embassy. They continued to peacefully protest the suppression and call on the international community to help stop the CCP's persecution of Falun Gong.
|Three witnesses of the April 25 Appeal in 1999 talk about the incident in an interview|
Falun Gong practitioner Mr. Li Zhihe is a witness of the peaceful appeal in 1999. He spoke to staff members in the Chinese Embassy through a loudspeaker. He talked about how the 610 Office persecuted him and his family because he went to the State Council Appeals Office to clarify the facts about Falun Dafa. Mr. Li, refusing to give up Falun Dafa, was forced to leave China and came to Sweden.
Many passersby stopped to inquire about what had happened. A Swedish man was angered by what he was told and said, "The CCP should have disappeared from the earth a long time ago. Only they can do something like this."
A man walked by with his child and learned what had happened for the last ten years. He shook his head, "Unbelievable. How could this happen to those who want to express their opinion to the government? You did the right thing! You should let people know what happened so that you can expose and stop their evil conduct. Thank you!"
Some people in cars slowed down and showed their support by honking and sticking out their thumbs. Many pedestrians took the informational fliers and expressed their sympathy and support.
In the afternoon, practitioners gathered at Kungstradgarden in downtown Stockholm. They demonstrated the Falun Gong exercises and set up banners and displays. They continued to expose the persecution by the CCP and how it lied about the appeal being a "siege". Practitioners laid out evidence of the CCP's brutal tortures and persecution of Falun Gong over the past ten years .
Many pedestrians read the information on the displays carefully and asked questions. Dioy is from Italy, and he said that he learned about the persecution of Falun Gong back in Italy. He believes that no government or individual has the right to violate others' religious freedom. He liked Falun Dafa and learned the five exercises from the practitioners.
Dioy said that he had been boycotting labor-intensive products made in China as a way to protest the persecution of Falun Gong. He hoped other countries can pay attention to it and help stop the persecution soon. He later joined the practitioners' exercise demonstration in front of the Stockholm City Hall.
Call for an End of the Persecution
Ms. Wang, spokesperson for the Falun Dafa Association in Sweden, spoke at the rally and condemned the CCP's defamation of the peaceful appeal. The CCP called the practitioners who exercised their constitutional right "laying siege to the central government" and used it as an excuse to launch the nationwide suppression.
Mr. Li Chenguang was at the appeal in 1999. Mr. Li said that they happened to be near Zhongnanhai, but that wasn't their final destination. They were heading to the appeals office. Also, if over ten thousand people were really attacking the central government, the CCP would have mobilized military troops to the scene, and it wouldn't have been that quiet there.
Practitioner Mr. Kong Bin remembered those around him at the appeal. They came from all walks of life, a teacher, a banker, and a government employee. Everyone had good intentions and wanted to tell the government what they thought. "It was peaceful there," said Kong, "The police were idle on the streets. We did not surround Zhongnanhai. In fact, we left a lot of room at the entrances of many government buildings for people to come and go."
Mr. Li Zhihe said at the end, "Like I have always done, I will continue to expose the CCP's persecution of Falun Gong by citing my personal experience. I will help more people understand the evil nature of the CCP. The protests will not be over until the persecution ends."
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