Falun Dafa practitioners from Germany and France gathered outside the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, France, on December 12, 2023, to mark International Human Rights Day, which was on December 10. They demonstrated the Falun Dafa exercises, drew attention to the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) ongoing persecution of Falun Dafa, and collected signatures on a petition calling to stop the persecution.
Many tourists and students were near the Council of Europe. After speaking with practitioners, they expressed shock about the CCP’s harvesting organs from a group of peaceful people who believe in the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. Many signed the petition, wanting to lend a hand to help end the persecution of Falun Dafa in China.
Niederst was once an employee at the Council of Europe. “I know about China’s persecution of the Uyghurs and Falun Dafa,” he said. “It's very sad to see that Falun Dafa practitioners are being persecuted for just doing meditation exercises. I am against this kind of persecution.”
Kirupananthan, who is a chef, had not heard about China's forced live organ harvesting before. He said the Council of Europe should do something about the CCP's persecution of Falun Dafa. “There are 46 member states. They are supportive of human rights and should come together as an entity. They should continue to fight for humankind’s freedom,” he said.
Kajan is from Switzerland. He signed the petition and said, “We are all human. The CCP needs to pave a path for human beings, and not block it. Meditation is very important to one’s life, and peace is always needed.” He said that Falun Dafa practitioners' activities create a great atmosphere, with meditating and practicing the exercises, and everyone is drawn to the atmosphere. He said at present, the world is struggling and at war; there needs to be peace and people’s hearts need to be rectified.
Myriam is an administrative assistant. She said that the ongoing persecution of Falun Dafa practitioners in China reminded her of the persecution of Christians during the Roman Empire. She said, “I wish for all Falun Dafa practitioners to have courage and to protect those suffering due to lack of freedom. This persecution is horrible. I hope that this activity can help stop the forced live organ harvesting and stop the persecution.”
Syrine, a doctor, was shocked after learning about the CCP's persecution of Dafa practitioners “Falun Dafa practitioners are only a group of meditation practitioners,” she said. “It is neither a religion nor politics. This is terrible and illegal. This is unacceptable in the year 2023, going on to 2024.”
Lydie is a pediatrician who was accompanying her mother for a stroll. She encountered Falun Dafa practitioners at the Council of Europe and paused to chat. “Falun Dafa practitioners are direct victims,” she said. “There are still many things not reported and kept in the dark. Many people are misguided by false information. There is a lot of pain and sorrow because the CCP is hiding everything. People are afraid because there are a lot of threats and intimidation.” She encouraged Falun Dafa practitioners to persist and to fight for those who are persecuted.
Vincent, a gardener, said, “I speak out for everyone’s freedom of thought and for everyone's right to believe and to practice freely. I am against all bad ideas, persecution, and tyranny.”
Anna, a university student majoring in archaeology, remarked, “The persecution is unjust and abnormal. A persecution like forced live organ harvesting is shocking.”
A translator added, “I hope Falun Dafa practitioners can practice freely. This is a type of exercise that is beneficial to everyone and has nothing to do with politics.”
Anthony, a university student, said, “This persecution needs to end and peace should be brought upon this world.”
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