Italy: Rally in Front of Chinese Embassy Protests the Chinese Communist Regime’s Arrest of Falun Dafa Practitioners

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Falun Dafa practitioners held a rally in front of the Chinese Embassy in Rome on June 6, 2024, to protest the arrest and detention of practitioners in China. Practitioner Zhao Lili called for the immediate release of her sister Zhao Lihong, her brother Zhao Lizhuan, and his wife Bai Mei, and demanded that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) stop its 25-year-long brutal persecution of Falun Dafa (also known as Falun Gong).

Practitioners hung a banner in front of the embassy to tell people about the CCP’s persecution and called for the immediate release of the detained practitioners. They urged the Shandong Provincial Public Security, Procuratorate, and Judiciary to unconditionally release Falun Dafa practitioners Zhao Lihong, Zhao Lizhuan, and Bai Mei, and called on the Italian government to help rescue practitioners who are being persecuted in China. 

During the event Ms. Zhao Lili read her open letter for help, which described the persecution her family has suffered since the CCP began persecuting Falun Dafa in 1999. She exposed and protested the CCP’s detention of her relatives and of other practitioners.

Member of the Italian Senate Human Rights Committee Speaks in Support of Practitioners

Senator Cinzia Pellegrino, member of the Italian Senate Human Rights Committee and EU Policy Commissioner, spoke at the event and expressed her support for the event and encouraged practitioners to continue their efforts to bring an end to the persecution.

The senator encouraged practitioners: “Persist, because everyone can make a difference. As long as we persevere, more people will get involved, and eventually the Chinese Communist regime will have to listen to our opinions and demands.”

Editor-in-chief of the Journal of Religious Freedom and Human Rights Calls on the CCP to Stop the Persecution

“The government of the People’s Republic of China and its embassy in Italy are well aware of this. The rapid growth of the number of Falun Gong practitioners caused fear in the government, and in 1999 the CCP banned the movement and began to persecute Falun Gong practitioners ruthlessly. There were a large number of Falun Gong practitioners in China, but now their numbers have been greatly reduced. Because they are victims of a massacre that spared no effort and was carried out with the most unspeakable cruelty, such as the illegal harvesting of their [Falun Gong practitioners’] organs.

“I would like to make a heartfelt request to the Chinese Embassy in Italy that Falun Gong practitioners, like all innocent people who are still suffering from cruel persecution in the People’s Republic of China, demand justice, not silence, not conspiracy, and certainly not acquiescence.

“If the CCP does not stop these crimes against humanity, every second that passes will bring its rulers closer to becoming accomplices in these terrible crimes.”

Media Support of the Rescue

Francesco Borgonovo, a well known Italian journalist, interviewed Falun Gong practitioners about the rescue operation on his radio program, exposing the brutal persecution that Falun Gong practitioners have suffered in China for the past 25 years.

The Italian newspaper l'Unità published the original open letter from the Italian Falun Dafa Association regarding this peaceful protest. reported the persecution of Zhao Lizhuan and Zhao Lihong on December 1, 2016 and September 6, 2022, respectively.

On December 1, 2016, engineer Zhao Lizhuan from Dalian was illegally sentenced to five years for practicing Falun Gong. He was previously detained and persecuted many times. After the Supreme Court of China announced in May 2015 that “all cases must be filed and all complaints must be heard,” Zhao Lizhuan filed a complaint against former CCP head Jiang Zemin who initiated the persecution of Falun Gong.

Mr. Zhao Lizhuan was illegally arrested four times since 2000, lost his job, was subjected to various tortures, forced labor, and severe physical abuse, resulting in blindness. His wife, Falun Gong practitioner Bai Mei, was arrested and detained for a year as early as 2005.

On May 9 this year, Mr. Zhao Lizhuan and Ms. Bai Mei were arrested again and illegally detained in the Yantai Detention Center.

On September 6, 2022 Ms. Zhao Lihong was arrested by police at the Yantai Economic and Technological Development Zone in Shandong Province. Ms. Zhao Lihong was illegally sentenced to three years in prison on September 19, 2023, and is currently detained in Jinan Women’s Prison.

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