Bulgaria: Events in Sofia Mark 13 Years of Resistance to Persecution

An appeal in front of the Chinese Embassy in the Bulgarian capital city of Sofia and an event to explain the facts about the persecution of Falun Gong in China were organized by practitioners and supporters of Falun Gong on July 20. On this day in 1999 the Chinese Communist Party began to persecute Falun Gong, a cultivation practice which has spread worldwide and is known for its ability to improve both mind and body.

The events in Sofia began with a peaceful protest outside the Chinese Embassy. Practitioners displayed posters calling for an end to the persecution in China and distributed informational materials to passers by. None of the employees of the embassy, however, who were going in out of the embassy and apparently disturbed by the peaceful protest, dared to take handouts.

Practitioners protest peacefully in front of the Chinese Embassy in Sofia.

Many people found out more about Falun Gong and the persecution suffered by practitioners in China, through the information boards and leaflets.

After the protest, some of the policemen stationed in front of the embassy talked to practitioners and learned more about the nature of the practice and the persecution in China. They were astounded by how the Chinese Communist Party uses state authorities and institutions for the suppression of Falun Gong and has attempted to eradicate the practice for the past 13 years.

The policemen also learned that many Chinese citizens during the last months are openly and fearlessly advocating for the human rights of Falun Gong practitioners in China. Many are now standing up for practitioners who are detained in prisons and labour camps without due process of law simply for following the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance – the basic principles of the practice.

After the protest, practitioners organized an event near one of the busiest subway stations in the city to inform citizens and visitors to Sofia about the practice. They gathered many signatures on a petition calling for the immediate end to the persecution by the Communist Party and for respecting the human rights and freedom of belief of Falun Gong adherents in China.

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