(Minghui.org) Chinese Premier Li Qiang visited Ireland from January 16 to 17, 2024. As reported in the British and Irish media, the Falun Dafa Association in Ireland delivered a letter to the Irish Prime Minister on the eve of the visit, calling on the Irish government to bring up the persecution of practitioners in China during talks with Chinese officials.

During Li Qiang’s state visit, practitioners held activities in the capital city of Dublin to tell people about the benefits of practicing Falun Dafa (also known as Falun Gong) and to publicly condemn the regime for persecuting the practice for 24 years. Drivers honked their horns to express their support. Some opened their car windows and gave practitioners a thumbs up. Passersby shook hands with practitioners in a show of support after learning the facts of the persecution.

Practitioners raised awareness of the ongoing persecution in China outside the Prime Minister’s office in Ireland.
Practitioners held peaceful protests outside the InterContinental Dublin Hotel where Chinese officials stayed during their visit January 16 and 17.
Two young German men expressed their support for ending the persecution.


Media Reports on the Persecution in China

The Irish Examiner published a special report on the demands made by Falun Dafa practitioners to discuss the Chinese Communist Party’s persecution during meetings between Chinese Premier Li Qiang, Irish President Michael D. Higgins, and Prime Minister Leo Varadkar on January 17. The Irish Examiner is one of the nation’s three largest newspaper.

The Irish Falun Dafa Association published a statement that said, in part: “The Irish people from all walks of life and from all parts of the country express their desire and their wish to demand the immediate end of this horrible persecution of Falun Gong.” As of January 9, 2024, the association had collected almost 85,000 signatures from the people of Ireland, calling for an end to the persecution in China.

The report detailed the CCP’s persecution of practitioners and the crimes of organ harvesting, citing the 2022 annual report from Amnesty International and a report released by the British Home Office in November of last year.

According to the report, Falun Gong practitioners in China face harassment, arrest, and detention with some practitioners being sentenced to long prison terms. “Detained practitioners are reportedly subjected to various methods of physical and psychological coercion, including torture, sexual abuse, and involuntary drug administration in attempts to force them to renounce their beliefs and practice.”

The report said that an international expert Tribunal, set up in 2019, found that forced organ harvesting had been going on for years on a significant scale in China and that “Falun Gong practitioners were one, and probably the main, source of organ supply.”

The Home Office document said that, in May 2022, the European Parliament expressed serious concern about reports of “persistent, systematic, inhumane and state-sanctioned” organ harvesting from Falun Gong prisoners.

The BBC reported on January 20 that Falun Gong practitioners called on the Irish government to help stop the CCP’s atrocities. The report also mentioned that the CCP began to persecute Falun Gong practitioners in 1999.

Ireland’s elected official Malcolm Byrne urged the government to prioritize human rights issues in discussions with Chinese officials. Senator Byrne said, “Ireland should have a good relationship with China and we should look to solve global challenges together as well as exploring trade and cultural opportunities. But this does not mean that we can turn a blind eye to China’s ongoing abuse of human rights.” He pointed out that the CCP continues to repress the Uyghurs, Christians and Falun Gong practitioners.

Elected official Senator Malcolm Byrne urged the government to prioritise human rights issues in discussions with Chinese officials.


People Support Practitioners’ Peaceful Appeals

Members of the Chinese delegate arrived at the InterContinental Dublin Hotel ahead of Li Qiang’s visit. Practitioners held peaceful protests near the hotel on January 15 and 16. Passersby stopped when they saw practitioners doing the sitting meditation. They took fliers, and, after talking to practitioners, many expressed support.

During meetings between Irish President Mr. Higgins and Li Qiang on January 17, practitioners held banners outside the venue that read, “Falun Dafa Is Great,” “Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance,” “Stop Persecuting Falun Gong,” “Taking Organs From Falun Gong Practitioners Cannot Be Tolerated” in English and Chinese.

Police officers on duty greeted practitioners warmly. One officer said he saw a rally held by practitioners years ago and told his coworker, “Falun Gong is peaceful and kind.”

Many people stopped to talk with practitioners. One woman was delighted to meet them. She had hoped to run into them after reading news reports about the situation. She said they were doing a great job.

Another woman shook hands with every practitioner after learning about the persecution. She said, “I totally support you!”

Practitioners held a peaceful protest outside the Prime Minister’s residence on January 17.