United States: Falun Gong Practitioners Attend Human Rights Conference at Area School in Philadelphia

On February 23rd, three Falun Gong practitioners from Philadelphia attended a human rights conference at the Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy, where they exposed the persecution of Falun Gong in China by sharing their own experiences.

The purpose of the conference was to help the students learn about humans right violations around the world, and to teach them the concept of human rights and their responsibilities to protect human rights.

Falun Gong practitioner Jason told his story. He was a college teacher before the persecution began. In October 1999, he went to Beijing to appeal for justice for Falun Gong, but he was arrested and jailed for two weeks and forced to do heavy labour in the detention centre. Later he was fired from his teaching position. Jason has been arrested and jailed six times, and badly tortured in jail.

Falun Gong practitioner Tina came to America not long ago. Her immediate family and several relatives all practice Falun Gong. Her mother, aunt, and sister were arrested for practising Falun Gong. Her 60-year old aunt was badly tortured in detention and almost died. In November 2009, Tina's mother was arrested again and is now is imprisoned in the Anhui Province Women's Forced Labour Camp, where she is forced to do heavy labour.

Tina told the students that the Chinese Communist Party not only forces people to give up their beliefs, but also has ruined the moral standard in China.

Many students were shocked to hear about the persecution taking place in China. One of the organisers of the conference said to the practitioners, "We appreciate your coming to tell us about the persecution. We are shocked and want to know more about it. We want to help you." The organisers said that the practitioners' testimonies were a significant component of the conference.

The Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy, an independent school in the Philadelphia area for grades 6-12, was founded in 1946. The academy holds a human rights conference every 2 to 3 years.

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