On 24th April 2020, Falun Gong practitioners in the Swedish city of Gothenburg held a commemoration event opposite the Chinese Consulate to mark the April 25 1999 Peaceful Appeal.
On April 25 1999, more than 10,000 Falun Gong practitioners visited the public petition office in Beijing to lodge a plea to the authorities to release Falun Gong practitioners who had been violently and unjustly arrested by local police in Tianjin.
They also appealed that Falun Gong practitioners should be able to practise without harassment, and that Falun Gong books could be published legally. Falun Gong practitioners at the scene demonstrated that they are peaceful and rational, and their behaviour showed moral courage.
At the commemoration event in Gothenburg 21 years later, Falun Gong practitioners gathered at the square where the Chinese Consulate is located. Two large banners with the messages "Stop Persecuting Falun Gong" and "Stop Harvesting Organs from Falun Gong practitioners" were displayed. Practitioner performed the Falun Gong exercises in sync with the calming music.
Although there were significantly fewer people out and about due to the current virus outbreak, many passers-by still expressed their support to the Falun Gong practitioners by sounding their horns as they drove by or waving as they walked. Some of them stopped to talk with practitioners.
Member of Swedish Parliament Hans Rothenberg attended the event. He has been supporting Falun Gong practitioners with their peaceful resistance against the persecution in China since 2007. "Since July 1999, the Chinese Communist Party has been brutally persecuting Falun Gong practitioners," he said. "It is a disgrace to humanity that this persecution continues. I and other parliamentarians have organised seminars in the Swedish Parliament on many occasions condemning human rights violations committed by the Chinese Communist Party, and I have taken the lead in drafting legislative proposals to combat the illegal human organ harvesting. I hope that this persecution will end as soon as possible."
Another Member of Swedish Parliament, Ann Sofie Alm, rushed to the event after finishing a meeting at work to show her support to Falun Gong practitioners. During the past two years, Ann Sofie Alm had raised the human rights issue of Falun Gong practitioners in the Swedish Parliament on several occasions and condemned the organ harvesting by the Chinese Communist Party. She expressed her admiration for the peaceful struggle of Falun Gong practitioners and sincerely looked forward to the end of the persecution, when Falun Gong practitioners can regain their freedom to practise in China.
|Hans Rothenberg||Ann Sofie Alm (right)|
Thomas Pompe from the Falun Dafa Association in Sweden attended the event. “I have been taking part in this event every year since the persecution started in 1999. We will keep on having the event yearly until the persecution is stopped“ he said.
Another participant, Yvonne Kleberg, said, “I am here this day to tell the Chinese Consulate we are standing together with practitioners in China and we will never give up our peaceful way against the persecution. Practising Falun Dafa is the best thing in my life. It helps me to find harmony in life. I wish more people would try this wonderful method. “
Swedish Falun Gong practitioners usually hold a large-scale event in the capital city of Stockholm but due to the spread of the CCP virus across the globe this year, Falun Gong practitioners in Sweden hold smaller events in their local cities.
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