Canberra: Calling for an End to the Persecution of Falun Gong During Chinese Premier’s Visit


(Minghui.org) Chinese premier Li Qiang visited Australia from June 15 to 18, 2024. His itinerary included Adelaide, Canberra and Perth. Everywhere the visiting delegation went, they could see Falun Gong practitioners’ peaceful protest and eye catching banners calling for an end to the persecution.

During Chinese Premier Li Qiang’s meeting with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese on June 17, 2024, many groups gathered outside the Parliament House in Canberra to protest against the regime’s trampling of human rights. Photo of Falun Gong practitioners holding banners outside the Parliament House.

On June 17, many groups in Australia gathered around the Parliament House in Canberra to call on the Australia government to put human rights above economic benefits and stop the persecution by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). That day, as usual, practitioners protested the regime’s 25-year-long persecution through peaceful means and asked that it immediately stop the killing of Falun Gong (also known as Falun Dafa) practitioners in China.

Practitioners held banners in various places with messages “Stop Persecuting Falun Gong,” “Falun Dafa Is Great,” “The World Needs Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance,” “Stop Forced Organ Harvesting” and so on. They also shouted “Falun Dafa is Good, Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is Good,” “Stop Persecuting Falun Gong.” A colorful banner with the words “Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance” flew in the sky during the rally outside the Parliament House.

Practitioners held banners around the Parliament House in Canberra and in front of the Chinese Embassy on June 16 & 17. Cars with messages drove around the Parliament House.

Li Qiang was the first Chinese premier to visit Australia in 7 years. The mainstream media in Australia was focused on the visit and images of practitioners’ peaceful protests and banners in the three cities were seen in several reports on TV and online.

Falun Dafa banners could be seen clearly as the Chinese premier’s motorcade passed through the area where protests were held in Canberra on June 16.
Practitioners displayed banners along the route where the Chinese premier’s motorcade drove in Adelaide on June 15.
Practitioners displayed banners along the Chinese premier’s motorcade route in Perth on June 18.

Video: Chinese premier’s motorcade passed through Falun Gong practitioners’ protest area in Canberra on June 16, 2024.

Video: Chinese premier’s motorcade passed through the area where Falun Gong practitioners displayed banners on their way to the airport in Adelaide on June 16, 2024.
Video: Practitioners displayed banners along the Chinese premier’s motorcade route in Perth on June 18.

 

President of the Falun Dafa Association in Australia: We Call on the CCP to Stop the Persecution

Dr. Lucy Zhao, President of the Falun Dafa Association in Australia said, “We come here hoping that the Australian government will raise the issue of ending the persecution of Falun Gong with the Chinese delegates. At the same time, we want to express our demand, that is this persecution that has gone on for 25 years must end. All detained Falun Gong practitioners must be released immediately including family members of practitioners in Australia who are in China and are still being persecuted.”

“We come here not to oppose China or our Chinese friends. We come here to ask the CCP to stop the persecution because we believe the regime does not represent China or Chinese people. We wish the best for China and Chinese people. That’s why we come here today because only when the persecution of Falun Gong ends, the Chinese government will respect human rights and freedom of belief. Only then will China have a bright future.”

According to incomplete statistics compiled by Minghui.org, as of June 19, 2024, it has been verified through civilian channels that 5,085 named Falun Gong practitioners were tortured to death in the persecution.

In 2023, 1188 practitioners were unjustly sentenced to prison, an increase of 545 people compared to the previous year. In 2023, 209 practitioners were tortured to death, an increase of 37 people compared to the previous year.

Due to the CCP’s strict information censorship, these figures are only the tip of the iceberg.

Dr. Lucy Zhao, President of the Falun Dafa Association in Australia, calls for an end to the 25-year-long persecution.

 

Tibetan Learns Falun Gong Exercises During the Protest

Outside the Parliament House, despite the noise from Chinese supporters shouting slogans and beating drums, in a corner, practitioners demonstrated the gentle Falun Dafa exercises.

After the exercise demonstrations, a Tibetan man approached practitioners and praised them for their peaceful protest. He said, “Don’t be bothered by the Chinese hired by the CCP, they have not been educated with the ways of traditional Chinese culture, they don’t know why they are here.”

He continued, “You Falun Gong and us Tibetans are people with a belief, we know why we came here.”

He also said he often saw practitioners doing the exercises outside in parks and therefore would like to take this opportunity to learn the exercises. A practitioner showed him where he could download the video on the exercise instructions and books on the teachings online before teaching him the exercises.

He thanked the practitioners and said he felt relaxed after doing them. He plans to continue learning them at home and read more about the practice.

A Tibetan man learns the sitting mediation exercise from a practitioner during the protest.

 

Chinese People Understand the Facts About the Persecution

The Australian Federal police set up a barrier between Chinese supporters and protesters. Yet, practitioners were pushed by Chinese supporters and their banners were intentionally blocked by Chinese flags.

Chinese supporters even mistook a Western journalist from local TV station as a Falun Gong practitioner and harassed him. In most cases, these Chinese supporters’ aggressive behaviors were suppressed after intervention by police officers on duty.

Practitioners said these Chinese supporters should be treated as predestined people who have been misled by the CCP propaganda so they are vilifying Falun Gong.

Ms. Wang, a practitioner, said, “In Adelaide, Chinese students who claimed to be CCP supporters approached us at the protest. They sincerely wanted to find out information on the CCP’s state-sanctioned forced organ harvesting. Regrettably, their group leader called them back when he saw us talking. Whenever there was an opportunity, we explained to Chinese people we interacted with, what Falun Gong is.

“A woman chatted with me for a long time after reading our banners. I told her the evidence collected on the CCP’s crime of forced organ harvesting and she showed deep empathy.” said Ms. Wang.

Ms. Wang also said, “Usually, we won’t have the chance to get close to these people. I did not vie with them for the front spot to display our banners. Instead, I used the opportunity to explain things to them. I greeted everyone who came close to me with a smile and asked if they quit the CCP, and why it’s important to distance oneself from the regime.

“What’s interesting was, when they demanded that I provide evidence on the CCP’s forced organ harvesting, most of them turned and faced the road and avoided looking at me but I knew they were listening to what I said because from time to time they responded. I told them they live in a free country now and should uphold the freedom we enjoy in Australia.”

Finally, Ms. Wang said, “Two young men from China stood next to me and listened as I explained to them the truth about the CCP’s crime of forced organ harvesting. Their attitude changed, and they became polite. One of them even warned a Chinese regime supporter who tried to hit my head with a flag pole and stop me from holding my banner. The other young men stopped him from acting aggressively.”

 

I Hope People Can Practice Falun Gong Freely in China

Mr. Andy Tsai came from Sydney to join in the protest in Canberra.

Mr. Tsai said, “We are here to express our demand as well, that is to respect human rights. Today in China, there are over 7000 prisoners of conscience…many are Falun Gong practitioners. I know they are peaceful, yet they continue to suffer persecution by the CCP.

“That’s why, what I am thinking of now is to stand out for these friends because they cannot speak out under the authoritarian rule in China.

“I am a Christian, but I know many Falun Gong practitioners. We are good friends. Practitioners are kind, they are calm and are not arrogant. They reflect on their shortcomings if they do something wrong and correct their mistakes.

“People can tell from their actions, many Falun Gong practitioners gained a lot, be it their health or mental well-being, through practicing cultivation. They in turn give this back to society. I am glad we can encourage one another and face tribulations together. We then oppose the tyranny of the CCP together. I believe that one day, practitioners in China can practice Falun Gong freely and have freedom of belief.”

Andy Tsai hopes that in the near future, Chinese people can practice Falun Gong freely in China.

 

I Hope Chinese People Can Hear the Truth

Mr. Gao Jian, Board Director of the China Democracy Movement Melbourne Alliance said, “I should not stay at home just because I’m not a Falun Gong practitioner. I’m not a Uyghur nor am I Tibetan. It doesn’t mean I shouldn’t come. I hope to express my wish in front of the Parliament House. I know as an individual, my strength is limited, however if everyone comes here, it becomes very powerful.” He expressed his sympathy towards the persecution suffered by Falun Gong practitioners, Uyghurs, and Tibetans.

Mr. Gao Jian, Board Director of the China Democracy Movement Melbourne Alliance hopes to express his wish outside the Parliament House.

Dawa Sangmo the Chinese Liaison Officer of the Central Tibetan Administration’s Government-in-Exile Office in Australia said, “At present, under the rule of the CCP, Tibetans, Uyghurs, and Falun Gong, the suppression they suffer is beyond people’s imagination. We hope through today’s protest activities, the Chinese authorities hear our demands and Chinese people present today get to hear it too, because I feel that often, these Chinese people don’t know the truth.”

Dawa Sangmo the Chinese Liaison Officer of the Central Tibetan Administration’s Government-in-Exile Office in Australia hopes Chinese people present at the protest on June 17 get to hear the truth.

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