(Minghui.org) On Saturday, May 11, 2024, an event was held at Hviezdoslav Square in Bratislava to mark World Falun Dafa Day. Passersby had the opportunity to see Falun Dafa practitioners demonstrate the exercises and learn the facts about the persecution that is taking place against practitioners in China. Many signed a petition asking the president of the Slovak Republic to take all actions within his power to stop the persecution of Falun Gong in China.

In the afternoon, practitioners invited guests to give speeches. They were Ondrej Dostál, member of the National Assembly of the Slovak Republic, and Peter Osuský, former member of the National Assembly of the Slovak Republic.

Marek Tatarko, representative of the Slovak Falun Dafa Association, said that it has been 32 years since Falun Dafa (also known as Falun Gong) was introduced in China on May 13, 1992 by its founder, Mr. Li Hongzhi. He said, “The Chinese Communist government couldn’t stand the high popularity of Falun Gong and it was determined to destroy it by all means. For more than 24 years, Falun Gong practitioners in China have been cruelly persecuted or even subjected to forced organ harvesting.”

He also highlighted the positive examples of national leaders who have expressed their solidarity with Falun Gong around the world.

Falun Dafa practitioners’ exercise demonstration
Speakers at the event in a group photo with practitioners. First from right, Peter Osusky former long-time Member of the National Assembly of the Slovak Republic, third from right Ondrej Dostál, Member of the National Assembly of the Slovak Republic


Peter Osuský: “We will never be silent when it comes to evil.”

In his speech, Peter Osuský, a former long-serving member of the National Assembly of the Slovak Republic, said that he is deeply convinced that people who profess principles of truth, compassion and tolerance deserve the support of every decent person.

He stressed that it was tragic that these good people, in the very birthplace of their spiritual practice, were being persecuted, imprisoned, and having their organs forcibly harvested: “This is something that a democratic and civilised world cannot put up with. This is despite the fact that these crimes are being committed by a regime whose country has a high gross national income. That regime is criminal, and not only the Falun Dafa movement knows this, but the Tibetans, and the members of the underground Catholic Church, will also give this testimony,” he said.

He added that it is a disgrace for democracies to fail to stand up for human rights—especially in the case of the massive human rights violations in China. He said, “The only thing left for us is that we will not remain silent, and that we will always look to raise our voices in defense of good against evil. Because it is a well-known fact that for evil to prevail, it is enough for decent people to do nothing. Never, when it comes to evil, and in this case the evil that persecutes your followers in China and elsewhere in the world, will we ever be silent.”

Peter Osusky, former long-time Member of the National Assembly of the Slovak Republic, addressed the rally


Ondrej Dostál: “The world needs truthfulness, compassion and forbearance.”

Ondrej Dostál, a member of the National Assembly of the Slovak Republic, asked himself a rhetorical question in his prepared remarks about who might have a problem with the values of truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance: “Surely only someone who is a bad person or who is a representative of a criminal regime.”

He said that he came to express support and solidarity with all the people in China who are persecuted for their beliefs, for their actions, especially the followers of Falun Gong.

He said that the values of truthfulness, compassion, forbearance are also extremely close to the Slovak Republic’s democratic values, and he elaborated on this idea: “When democracy was being restored after decades of two totalitarianisms, the slogan of the first democratically re-elected president, Václav Havel, was ‘truth and love will triumph over lies and hatred.’ Love is about compassion and love is about forbearance. Hate is not only the opposite of love, but also the opposite of compassion and the opposite of forbearance. That is to say, those Slovak democrats who honour their roots know that truth and love, but also truthfulness, compassion and forbearance, are precisely the values on which a free and democratic society stands.”

He continued: “Such a society is undoubtedly not present in Communist China, which persecutes Falun Gong followers, which persecutes its critics, which persecutes members of minorities, whether religious or national, which imprisons, murders and uses the organs of Falun Gong followers, and which behaves like an aggressive, totalitarian imperial power. It is dangerous not only for its own citizens, but also for the whole world. It is the duty of all democrats around the world to stand up for the people who are persecuted in China for their convictions, for their beliefs, for their free actions that do no harm to anyone.”

He concluded his speech by saying: “The world needs truthfulness, compassion and forbearance, and the democratic world should stand behind Falun Gong. We stand behind it.”

At the end of the speech, the participants took a group photo by a banner that read “Falun Dafa is good.”

Ondrej Dostál, Member of the National Assembly of the Slovak Republic, addressed the rally


Support from the Slovakian Public

Many tourists and locals stopped by the practitioners’ event to learn more about their cause. Upon learning of the situation in China, many signed the practitioners’ petition and expressed their support.

A tourist does the exercises along with practitioners

Radka, a former bank branch manager, said after signing the petition: “I would like everyone to have freedom in their lives and to be able to do what they enjoy and find fulfilling and to be able to express their full potential.” To Falun Gong practitioners in China, she wanted to say, “Do not lose faith in themselves. Believe that love exists in this world, and have the courage to pursue what they truly find fulfilling and enjoyable and makes them happy and what they feel is for them. To really have that courage within themselves and do not be intimidated by people who don’t understand.”

Regarding the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China, Nina, a student, said that she did not know about the persecution, and that, “It’s unheard of that something like this is happening and no one knows about it.” She hopes that the practitioners in China persevere in their faith.

Marta Benchkova, a 93-year-old teacher, was also at the event with her friend, Susan, a 65-year-old art historian. She said that they heard about the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China because “we notice you every time you are here.” They’ve also seen Falun Gong exercises at practice sites in Bratislava and tried to do them. She wants to tell practitioners in China, “Do not give up. Keep standing up for their freedom, to protect it, and that every protest is very important.”