Activities in Liechtenstein, Austria, Poland and Finland Mark 17 Years of Persecution in China
(Minghui.org) Seventeen years ago on July 20, 1999, former Chinese president Jiang Zemin launched a brutal persecution against the peaceful spiritual practice of Falun Dafa, also known as Falun Gong. Since that time, hundreds of thousands of Dafa practitioners have been imprisoned and tortured, thousands have died due to torture and abuse, and an untold number have fallen victim to state-sanctioned forced organ harvesting.
For the past 17 years, practitioners inside and outside of China have continued to raise awareness of Falun Dafa and expose the persecution in an effort to bring an end to the atrocities.
Each year around July 20, practitioners around the world hold special events to draw increased awareness of what is happening in China. Here we report on events in Liechtenstein, Austria, Poland and Finland.
Practitioners held an information day event in Vaduz, the capital city of Liechtenstein, on July 20, to raise awareness of the persecution in China and the state-sanctioned forced organ harvesting of prisoners of conscience by the Chinese regime.
The principality of Liechtenstein is a wealthy micro-state in central Europe nestled between Switzerland and Austria. Liechtenstein's beautiful Alps mountains and high living standard attracts tourists from all over the world, including many Chinese.
Upon stopping at the practitioners' information booth, many tourists remarked that this was their first time to hear about the Chinese regime's forced organ harvesting crimes. Many visitors signed a petition expressing their support for Falun Gong.
Large numbers of Chinese tourists also heard about the forced organ harvesting in their homeland for the first time. Some talked to practitioners, wanting to know more about the worldwide lawsuits against Jiang Zemin. Jiang is being sued by practitioners and supporters for launching the devastating persecution.
Practitioners held a similar Information Day event at Herrengasse in Graz on July 22.
One woman told a practitioner that she knew about the persecution of Falun Gong in China but was not aware of the large scale forced organ harvesting crimes. She commented that the local media should report in more depth about the persecution.
Polish practitioners held a series of activities in July marking the 17th year of the persecution.
From July 12 to 17, practitioners participated in the Woodstock Music Festival in Kostrzynia, a border city near Germany. Approximately 300,000 visitors attended the festival, most of them young people.
Practitioners collected nearly 10,000 signatures on a petition against the persecution. Many young people also expressed interest in learning Falun Gong.
On July 20, practitioners staged a rally in front of Parliament Hall in Warsaw. The activities caught the attention of many Members of Parliament.
Practitioners gathered again in Warsaw on July 24 for a sitting protest in front of the Chinese Embassy and a signature drive in the city's Old Town. Tourists and local residents stood in line to sign a petition calling to end the inhuman organ harvesting and trafficking in China.
Many Chinese visitors stopped at the information table, taking fliers and listening to practitioners talk about Falun Dafa and the persecution. A Chinese tour guide sat by the table for a long time and listened attentively.
More than 6,000 signatures were collected that day.
Practitioners in Finland held a peaceful protest and a candlelight vigil in front of the Chinese Embassy in Helsinki on July 20.
Many people signed a petition supporting Falun Gong's efforts to bring an end to the persecution. A number of people also commented that the brutal persecution should stop immediately.
An elderly Chinese tourist, Mr. Wang told a practitioner that he had known many practitioners in China and also saw many Falun Gong activities while visiting other countries. He expressed his respect for Falun Gong and said that he and his friends all agreed that practitioners had endured a very difficult 17 years.