The Human Rights Torch Relay, started by the Coalition to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong (CIPFG), reached Berlin on August 18th 2007. A ceremony was held at Olympic Square, and many human rights activists attended. Attendees condemned the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and called for an end to the persecution of Falun Gong.
|"For the Freedom of Falun Gong in China"|
The Olympics and Crimes against Humanity Cannot Coexist in China
In March 2006, the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) crime of harvesting organs from living Falun Gong practitioners was exposed. On April 4th of the same year, the Falun Dafa Association called for help in the formation of a coalition to independently investigate the persecution in China.
In May 2007, CIPFG, consisting of 300 politicians, doctors, and lawyers, announced that if the CCP could not give a satisfactory response to their request to release all jailed Falun Gong practitioners by August 8th (exactly one year before the 2008 Olympics starts), the CIPFG would call upon the world to boycott the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
The CCP has never responded to any requests, and the persecution of Falun Gong has been getting worse. So, on August 9th, the CIPFG started the Human Rights Torch Relay to boycott the Olympics.
Resisting the Chinese Communist Party
|Mr. Wagner, Chair of the Union Der Opferverbaende Kommunistischer Geval (UOKG, Union of Victims of Communism), gave a speech|
Mr. Wagner, the Chair of Union Der Opferverbaende Kommunistischer Geval (Union of Victims of Communism), gave a speech at the ceremony. He said that the 1936 Olympics strengthened Hitler's power in international society. The 1936 Olympics provided a platform for the Nazis to promote their propaganda of hatred. He said that we are facing the same situation again in China. It is not the Nazis this time, but the Chinese Communist Party, doing the same thing: persecuting its own people. Mr. Wagner pointed out that the nature of the Communist Party has never changed.
A Request from a Member of the British House of Lords
Baroness Cox, the chair of the European Chapter of CIPFG and a cross-bench member of the British House of Lords, sent a representative to read her speech. She said that the Olympics is a symbol of peace and collaboration between countries, so it should not be held in China because numerous Chinese have been persecuted by their government. She hoped that the Human Rights Torch Relay would draw more attention to the persecution of Falun Gong.
She said that the CCP has killed at least 3000 Falun Gong practitioners and harvests organs from living practitioners. She expressed her concerns. She called upon all people concerned about justice in the world to boycott the 2008 Olympics. She said that CIPFG will not change its position unless the CCP stops the persecution.
Mr. Koerper, Chair of the German Chapter of the International Human Rights Association in Frankfurt, condemned the persecution. He said that China is still the number one country in terms of human rights violations and torture of its citizens. It is the worst, both quantitatively and qualitatively. The persecution of Falun Gong is especially brutal, itself qualifying many times over as a good enough reason to boycott the Olympics.
Run for the Hope of a Free China
|Professor Geipel gave a speech|
Professor Geipel, a former famous athlete from Germany and the ambassador of the human rights torch in Germany, said that only a free China should be allowed to hold the Olympics.
Professor Geipel expressed her hopes for China. She said that people in Beijing "should know that we are running with them." She said we must make progress in the human rights situation in China. She said the Olympics is a chance and we should take it. "We are running for the hope of a free China. "
Berlin Says "No" to Persecution
Berlin and Beijing are sister cities. After learning the facts of the persecution, many Berlin citizens are saying "No "to it.
A nurse and his mother listened to the speeches. He said the Olympics cannot coexist with genocide, and the German government should condemn the persecution.
Brigitte Bergese and her friend, Michelle, told reporters: "We were passing by the rally. We stopped when we heard the words "Falun Gong". We knew about the persecution. We are from the former Eastern Germany, so we can imagine Falun Gong practitioners' situation in China."
Michelle said: "The 2008 Olympics is similar to the one in 1936. The Nazi government was a tyranny, but the whole world gave in to it. I hope the world won't make the same mistake that they made in 1936. So, I think this activity is very good."
At 5:00pm, seven-year old Chen Fadu and her mother from Australia passed the human rights torch to Professor Geipel. At the end of the relay, organisers set up a stage at Breischeid Platz. The "Coming for You" choir sang "The Song of Human Rights" for the attendees.
|The "Coming for You" choir performed at the ceremony|
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