On Tuesday, July 20, 2021, Falun Gong practitioners held an event on Hviezdoslav Square in Bratislava to call attention to the 22-year persecution of Falun Gong in China. Passersby had the opportunity to see the Falun Gong exercises and learn about the Chinese Communist Party’s persecution of followers of this meditation practice.
Falun Gong practitioners and supporters from throughout Slovakia participated in the event. In addition to speeches about Falun Gong and the persecution presented by practitioners, four invited guests also gave speeches: Miriam Lexmann, Member of the European Parliament, Frantisek Mikloško, dissident and former Chairman of the National Council of the Slovak Republic, Peter Osusky, Member of the National Council of the Slovak Republic, and Zuzana Aufrichtová, Mayor of the City District Bratislava-Stare Mesto (Old Town), where the event took place.
Marek Tatarko, representative of the Slovak Association of Falun Gong, said that today’s date marks 22 years since July 20, 1999, when the persecution of Falun Gong started. He explained that Falun Gong is meditation discipline based on the universal principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. He mentioned a particular case of a persecuted practitioner from this year and pointed out that there are credible reports about forced organ harvesting in Chinese prisons.
|Miriam Lexmann, Member of the EP, addresses the gathering.|
Miriam Lexmann, MEP, thanked the Falun Gong Association in Slovakia for their dedication to raising awareness of the persecution and thanked those who provided testimony about the persecution. She said, "It is very necessary to learn about what is happening in China. We buy Chinese products, our businesses do business in China and this would be OK, if there would not be such a terrible persecution of people there--persecution due to faith, persecution due to political conviction or persecution only because someone has a different opinion or behaves differently or is a member of some minority. In today's connected geopolitical world we cannot afford to be silent in Slovakia because we are also involved. What is happening far from us, has impact on us, just because we are so connected."
Ms. Lexmann also stated that the European Parliament basically suspended ratification of an investment deal with China because of that country’s deteriorating human rights situation.
She concluded, "Exactly because we had a communist regime in Slovakia, it is very important that our thoughts are linked with those who suffer persecution by various regimes in the world."
|Frantisek Miklosko, dissident and former Chairman of the National Council of the Slovak Republic, gives a speech.|
Frantisek Miklosko, former Chairman of the National Council of the Slovak Republic, said, "We are ready to come here every year to remind everyone that in China there are people persecuted for their faith, for their religion, for their freedom of conscience and we want to stop it.”
He also said, "Everyone has the right to his/her belief, everyone has the right to conscience, to confess the faith, the religion that he/she sees appropriate. This is a message from Christian-rooted Slovakia: That we defend our friends [who practice] Falun Gong, who are persecuted for the fact that they profess their religion, their faith, their spirituality."
|Peter Osusky, member of the National Council of the Slovak Republic, was a guest speaker at the event.|
Peter Osusky, member of the National Council of the Slovak Republic, reminded people of the economic progress of Germany when Adolf Hitler came to power, and also how the world at that time turned on its heels and retreated in front of the evil.
He pointed out that in China, organs are extracted from Falun Gong practitioners, thus killing them. He added, "I believe that there are moral boundaries that we are not supposed to cross, and retreating in front of evil is the worst, which democratic countries can do, when they see economic interest and gross domestic product as a golden calf. It is a shame, and I am grateful to all those in the world who stand up and face this evil Communist regime in China.”
|Zuzana Aufrichtova, Mayor of the City District Bratislava-Stare Mesto, speaks at the rally.|
Zuzana Aufrichtova, Mayor of the City District Bratislava-Stare Mesto, said, “ We in the Old Town district of Bratislava are displaying the symbolic flag of Falun Gong to show our trust and support for activities to stop the persecution.
“Persecution is always a sign of distrust and distrust is always a sign of fear. The Old Town is standing up for Falun Gong, it is standing up for the truth and standing up for democracy, which allows free will.”
|Practitioners hold photographs of fellow practitioners who have lost their lives due to the persecution in China.|
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