On Saturday, January 7th, 2006, Finnish practitioners arrived in the pedestrian precinct in downtown Kouvola, a city located in eastern Finland, to introduce Falun Gong to local people. They hoped to let the people of Kouvola know about the benefits of practising Falun Gong and also tell them about the brutal persecution of Falun Gong practitioners by the Chinese communist regime, which has lasted six years. The practitioners called for support to end the persecution.
Although it was harsh winter and everything was covered by ice and snow, the sunshine at noon on this particular day was extraordinarily bright. There was a constant flow of pedestrians through the precinct. Upon seeing the information boards about Falun Gong, many people stopped to read. A lot of them accepted leaflets and read them right away. Some of them came of immediately to sign their names on a petition against torture.
|Pedestrians viewing the information boards||While reading the boards, people discuss the contents||A young practitioner distributes leaflets|
Two girls were shocked by the brutality of the photos. They asked who the victims were. After practitioners explained to them that the victims were Falun Gong practitioners tortured by the police in China, they questioned, “How could this have happened?” After browsing through all of the information boards and getting a deeper understanding about the situation, they said, “We are not eighteen yet. Can we sign our names?” Practitioners replied, “Yes, of course.” They signed their names immediately.
An old lady kept listening to the conversation between practitioners and the two girls. She commented, “It is truly unimaginable that such things are still happening today!” She also looked at all of the photos and information carefully and asked for various kinds of literature.
|An elderly lady asks about the persecution.||Two girls take a close look at the photos||The girls sign their names on the petition against torture|
The largest local newspaper dispatched two staff members to interview the practitioners and photograph the group exercise demonstration. They read the information boards earnestly, too.
|A reporter associated with the largest local newspaper interviews a Falun Gong practitioner||A photographer from the paper takes photos of our group exercises|
Many people were attracted by the exhibition and enthusiastic in signing their names on the petition against torture. People enquired if there was any local practice site in Kouvola, and also questioned why the media in Finland failed to provide news coverage about the persecution.
|People enthusiastically sign their names on the petition against torture|
The practitioners also gathered together to exchange their experience shortly before the activities came to an end. They concluded that a practice site should be established in Kouvola as soon as possible to meet public demand to learn Falun Gong.
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