December the 10th was World Human Rights Day. The France-China Friendship Association and the French Falun Gong Association took advantage of this occasion to jointly hold a one-day petition signature collection activity in France’s second largest city, Marseille. Another booth was set up at a famous tourist attraction - Marseille’s old harbour. Amnesty International also set up a booth to show their support for the activity.
In the centre of the city, a booth was set up to hold an anti-torture exhibition. French practitioners re-enacted the brutal methods of torture that are used against Falun Gong practitioners in China. Over eight hundred people signed a petition and wrote down many encouraging messages of support. Some children were eager to ask for blank petition forms for their teachers, saying that they wanted to raise awareness in their schools.
While practitioners were distributing flyers and talking to people about the genocide against Falun Gong in China, many youngsters came to us and signed the petition. It was very touching to see these youngsters enthusiastically sign the petition. They also left many messages of support to encourage the practitioners.
After asking all of his family members to sign the petition, one little boy said, “Please give me some blank signature forms so that I can ask all the people I know to sign.” An hour later, he brought back all the petition forms complete with signatures.
A girl came to our booth along with her older brothers. At first, none of her brothers wanted to sign the petition. She told them in a solemn tone, “Do you want someone to persecute you to death simply because of your belief? If not, please sign the petition.” Then all of her brothers signed their names.
Some newspapers such as The Metropolitan Times and The Twenty Minute Times also supported the activities by publishing reports.
The last programme of the one-day activity was a candlelight vigil held outside the Chinese Consulate in Marseille. The peaceful petition attracted a reporter from the French Provincial Radio Station. He also interviewed the chairperson of the France Falun Gong Association.
The following are some of the messages left by visitors:
“How could this persecution have possibly happened?”
“I support your appeal against these atrocities.”
“It is no use having western countries’ sympathy without humanity….”
“Human beings should no longer live under physical and spiritual torture; otherwise, human’s principles of morality and democracy will not exist any more.”
“China is not yet a country of human rights, nor is it a country respecting women’s rights!”
“I am a student at Marseille University. I noticed that some people have been suppressed like this just because they want to put into practice a way of living that is different from their ruler’s ideology. They are forced to give up their beliefs and suffer brutal torture as well as persecution. It is absolutely unacceptable to me. With the advent of 2005, I think everyone should have the concept of human rights. Besides, all of us should endeavour to put an end to the atrocities. If a simple signature can be of help to them, all of us have the obligation to spend a few minutes supporting them.”
“Please be more courageous, and please don’t think that you are alone!”
“I think western hypocrisy has encouraged the bloodthirsty rascals in China to commit evil-doing wantonly and unfortunately it may go on like this in the future. Where there is economic benefit, there is degeneration of human morality, regardless of whether it is in China or elsewhere.”
“What a shame! What on earth are the so-called democratic countries doing?”
“God can see your sufferings, and God will help you and punish those perpetrators one day.”
“Please do keep striving for the freedom of thought, freedom of belief and freedom of speech. To stand up and fight back seems abnormal and unfair, but please do not stop expressing your resolution. They can torture your body, but cannot conquer your mind.”
“Thank you for exposing these atrocities to me! Good for you! I wish you a great success but be more courageous!”
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