Spain: Police Protect Falun Gong Practitioners during Hu Jintao’s State Visit

On November the 24th 2004, Chinese President Hu Jintao arrived at Gran Canaria Island, Spain for a state-visit. Because the Chinese delegation was quite large, the Gran Canaria Police Department employed strict security measures.

Falun Gong practitioners in Gran Canaria learned about the news a day before the visit. They immediately informed each other through phone calls to hold an appeal in front of the hotel where the Chinese delegation would stay the next day.

At 9 am on November the 24th practitioners who wore yellow shirts imprinted with the words “Falun Dafa” went to the hotel and unfurled banners with words in both English and Chinese: “Falun Dafa”, “Truthfulness – Compassion – Tolerance” and “Great Cultivation Way of Falun Dafa”.

When practitioners arrived at the hotel, a group of police officers were already there. The police officers had already learned about Falun Dafa and the facts of the persecution taking place in China in a number of previous activities. This time, they were extremely worried about practitioners’ safety after a group of Falun Gong practitioners were attacked and harassed by Chinese people from the Chinese delegation’s hotel during Hu Jintao’s visit to Argentina. Upon seeing practitioners, the Spanish police officers immediately asked, “Do you know about the violent incident that occurred in Argentina? We will not allow that kind of thing happen here!” The police let practitioners stay at the location closest to the hotel. People in the hotel could clearly see practitioners’ banners and petition. Seven police officers stood behind the practitioners and protected them.

When the Chinese delegation noticed Falun Gong practitioners’ appeal, a group of Chinese people who held red and green flags stared fiercely at practitioners. Two of them attempted to walk toward the practitioners. Three police officers blocked their way and prevented them from getting close to the practitioners. Shortly after, when a Chinese man attempted to approach practitioners and take pictures, he was also blocked by the police. The police sternly ordered him to stay away from the appeal site.

The Chinese agents parked a large-scale tour bus in front of the practitioners so as to block them from the view of the delegation. Upon seeing this, practitioners tried to avoid the bus. However, when practitioners moved toward the left, the bus also moved forward, when practitioners shifted to the right, the bus moved backwards in an attempt to block the practitioners’ appeal. The Spanish police were unable to tolerate this kind of “bus game” so they sandwiched the bus by parking two police vehicles, one in front and one behind the bus. Thus, the bus was unable to interfere with the practitioners’ appeal.

An elderly gentleman who passed by saw the episode and said, “What they are doing is really ridiculous. If there is nothing suspicious in their hearts, why would they deliberately block you when they are clearly aware that you are here?”

Falun Gong practitioners felt that the day was very meaningful. They not only held an appeal during the visit of the Chinese delegation led by Chinese President Hu Jintao, but they also allowed more people to get the chance to learn about the facts of Falun Dafa. A local TV station interviewed practitioners and reported their appeal. A local government official showed great interest in learning about Falun Dafa and the persecution in China. He asked practitioners many questions. During the entire activity, practitioners constantly sent forth righteous thoughts, demonstrated the Falun Gong exercises, handed out flyers and explained the facts to passersby.

At 3 pm, the Chinese delegation left the hotel. Practitioners also concluded their appeal. Before they left, practitioners expressed their gratitude to the police officers. The police also thanked practitioners for their sereneness, friendliness and their peaceful behavior. They said, “Your activity may make some Chinese government officials on the island feel unhappy, but don’t worry. If you feel or experience any interference from them in any of your future activities, please immediately inform us. We will take any effective measures to help you.”

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