Italy: A Falun Gong Activity and Press Conference in Rome

On June 1, 2011, the Twelfth District government in Rome and Falun Gong practitioners jointly held an activity entitled "Stop the Persecution of Falun Gong" at the District Government Conference Hall. As a district government representative, Mr. Peter Roan Angelo Massaro, Chairman of the Sports and Culture Committee, attended the event.

Falun Gong practitioners and Mr Peter Roan Angelo Massaro have a group photo taken to mark the occasion

A Falun Gong spokesperson said, "Falun Dafa, also known as Falun Gong, is a practice guided by the principles of Truthfulness-Benevolence-Forbearance, and was made public by Mr. Li Hongzhi in May 1992. Because of its significant effect of healing and fitness, it was widely spread in China. According to an official survey in 1998, the number of practitioners was up to seventy to one hundred million." But the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leader, Jiang Zemin, initiated the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in July of 1999.

After the introduction, the practitioners demonstrated the Falun Gong exercises to people who came to the event. The peaceful practice and melodious music caught the attention of the audience. Some of them asked when and where they could learn the practice, and some bought Dafa books.

Mr. Shujiang Li, who personally suffered from the persecution, shared how he was unlawfully arrested and tortured in China. He said, “I have benefited from practising Falun Gong both physically and mentally. Just because of my belief in Truthfulness-Benevolence-Forbearance, I was detained twice between 2000 and 2002 for as long as 22 months. At the end of June 2000, five police entered my house, without going through any legal process, and sent me to the Nanshan Detention Centre in Shenzhen. I was detained for more than two months, and every day, was forced to do slave labour for more than twelve hours.

“During Christmas 2000, I went to Tiananmen Square to call for an end to the persecution of Falun Gong, and told people that Falun Dafa is good. For this, I was once again detained for nearly two years. I was not released until September 2002 . Within a period of twenty months, I suffered from all kinds of torture without fundamental human rights and dignity. After seeing that I did not give up my beliefs, the guards threatened me by saying that they would send me to the Northwest Prison. That meant that I was basically sentenced death once taken there."

At the press conference, Mr. Massaro said, “Truthfulness-Benevolence-Forbearance are universal values, and have nothing to do with politics. Such people and such values should never be persecuted, but rather promoted. People should be concerned about the situation of Falun Gong. From now on, to stop the persecution and promote Falun Gong, I will do more work on behalf of the district government, and today is only the beginning."

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