April 25, 1999 was a historic day that will be always remembered. Five years later on April 24, 2004, Falun Gong practitioners from the metropolitan New York area held a symbolic trial of Jiang Zemin in front of the Chinese Consulate. They publicly recounted what happened five years ago and displayed Dafa practitioners' great kindness and endurance in steadfastly upholding their belief in "Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance" in face of the horrible persecution, and their persistent effort in clarifying the truth as well as their heroic spirit and determination to stop the persecution and bring Jiang Zemin, the initiator and chief architect of the persecution, to justice.
Opposite of the Chinese Consulate, practitioners unfurled a huge eye-catching red banners imprinted with white words in Chinese and English, "Justice Will Prevail, Chinese Dictator Jiang's Nightmare."
On the right-hand side of the stage, several people were dressed to portray those practitioners who were tortured by police officers in China. The tribunal, judge and defendant Jiang were on the left-hand side.
During the symbolic trial, witnesses enumerated the crimes committed by Jiang with their own experiences or their family members' suffering.
Witness Mr. Chen Gang, a Falun Gong practitioner, had been illegally imprisoned in Beijing's Tuanhe Labour Camp for 18 months, where he had endured various kinds of torture. He was only allowed to sleep for 2-4 hours a day. There was one time he was deprived of sleep for 15 days in a row. Jail guards used several electric batons to shock his body's most sensitive parts. His home was also ransacked twice.
Witness Ms. Amy Lee was once stripped of her clothing and beaten so badly that she lost consciousness. She was force-fed and locked in a psychiatric hospital where she was tortured.
Witness Dr. Yang Jingduan recounted the plight of his 55-year-old sister, Ms. Yang Jingfang, who was unlawfully sentenced to 3 years in jail simply because of her practice of Falun Gong. She has been imprisoned for the last 18 months. She was once tied to a chair for 34 days in a row.
According to the conclusive evidence that witnesses provided to the plaintiffs, the jury ruled that Jiang Zemin has committed six crimes and called upon all people to stand up and work together to bring Jiang to justice in the court of conscience, morality and law. In the end, the judge convicted Jiang.
The symbolic trial drew attention from passersby. People condemned the torture and persecution happening in China.
Journey over the past five years
1). Peaceful appeal on April 25, 1999 -- everlasting monument in China's history of civilization
Practitioners on both sides of the stage held up posters illustrating the "4.25 peaceful appeal by more than 10,000 Falun Gong practitioners," and the "three requests" practitioners raised during that appeal:
- Request Tianjin police to release arrested practitioners.
- Request freedom to practise Falun Gong.
- Request the freedom to publish Zhuan Falun (main book of Falun Gong).
- The scene brought people back to the historic events that occurred on April 25, 1999.
On April 11, 1999, Luo Gan's brother-in-law, He Zuoxiu, a person with a scientific title that was used to politically support the regime's policy against Falun Gong, published an article to attack and frame Falun Gong in the publication Well Read Teenagers, a journal issued by the Tianjin Educational Institute. During the period from April 18 to 24, some practitioners from Tianjin went to the Tianjin Educational Institute and related organisations to explain the true situation of Falun Gong. On April 23 and 24, the Tianjin Municipal Bureau of Public Security dispatched riot police to beat the practitioners participating in the peaceful and lawful appeal. The authorities arrested 45 practitioners and the police injured some practitioners.
On April 25, practitioners who were aware of the arrest in Tianjin decided to exercise their constitutional right and go to the Appeal Office of the State Council located on the Fuyou Street in Beijing to appeal on behalf of Falun Gong. The Appeal Office was located next to the west gate of the Zhongnanhai Compound, where the Central Government and State Council are located. In China, there were nearly 100 million people practising Falun Gong at that time. About 10,000 practitioners went there to appeal for Falun Gong. Later, Premier Minister at that time Mr. Zhu Rongji asked practitioners to send representatives to enter the Zhongnanhai Compound and report on what had happened. Several practitioners on the scene voluntarily served as representatives. They raised three requests: 1 Tianjin Police should release the arrested practitioners. 2. Practitioners wanted the freedom to practise Falun Gong. 3. Allow the publication of Zhuan Falun, the main teachings of Falun Gong.
In the evening, Tianjin followed the Central Government's instruction and set free all detained Falun Gong practitioners. A common understanding was reached and the 4.25 appeal was successfully resolved. The more than 10,000 Falun Gong practitioners who peacefully waited outside the Zhongnanhai Compound quietly left.
2) The Jiang's political group's campaign of persecution
Practitioners standing in the front held up display posters depicting the staged "Tiananmen Square Self-Immolation" and tortures adopted in the persecution, as well as other posters that illustrated the lies spread by Jiang's political group and detailing the persecution of Falun Gong over the past nearly 5 years.
Since July 20, 1999, out of his extreme jealousy and to consolidate of his political power, Jiang Zemin created and ordered the "610 Office" to systematically apply a set of persecution policies specifically targeting millions of Falun Gong practitioners in China who lived according the principle of "Truth, Compassion, Tolerance." These persecution directives included: "ruin their reputation, bankrupt them financially and destroy them physically," "Falun Gong practitioners beaten to death are counted as committing suicide," "Falun Gong practitioners tortured to death are to be directly cremated without identifying them."
According to partial estimation from Clearwisdom Net, up to April 20, 2004, news obtained through nongovernmental channels showed that at least 950 Falun Gong practitioners died from the persecution. The death cases are distributed over more than 30 provinces and municipalities directly under the Central Government and Autonomic Districts, with the highest death toll in Heilongjiang Province, followed by Jilin, Shangdong, Liaoning, Hebei, Hubei and Sichuan Province. Fifty-two percent of the practitioners tortured to death were women and 31% are senior people of age 50 to 70.
3) The entire world acknowledges that "Falun Dafa is great"
Among the displayed posters and banners, red banners imprinted with gold words, "Falun Dafa is great" and "Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance" were extremely eye-catching. The 4.25 peaceful appeal in 1999 marked a historic moment when Falun Gong practitioners were on the world's stage. Over the past five years, in the face of Jiang's political group's ruthless campaign of persecution and defamation that has touched every citizen in China and extends around the world, Falun Gong practitioners have upheld the principles of "Truth-Compassion-Tolerance," and distributed materials which explain the facts of the persecution to millions of people.
Falun Dafa has been introduced to more than 60 countries in the world and people from more regions and countries successively began learning and practising Falun Gong. Up to mid-February 2004, more than 1,223 proclamations (among which 1,051 are from the U.S., 135 from Canada, 12 from Australia, 9 from Taiwan, 6 from China before the suppression, 6 from Europe, and 1 from New Zealand, Japan, Indonesia and Peru), have been issued by different governments, members of Congress or Parliament, and organisations from various countries to honor Falun Gong or the founder of Falun Gong.
Falun Gong practitioners from New York City will continue to send forth righteous thoughts in front of the Chinese Consulate to commemorate the 4.25 appeal.
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