Thousands of Falun Gong practitioners took to the streets of Taipei yesterday to remember their fellow Falun Gong members who have been persecuted by the Chinese government while calling on governments and people around the world to intervene.
Holding up signs that read “Truthfulness,” “Compassion” and “Tolerance,” as well as slogans accusing the Chinese government of torturing and harvesting the organs of living Falun Gong practitioners in China, the Taiwanese Falun Gong practitioners and their supporters marched to remember those who have suffered and lost their lives for their beliefs.
Leading the parade was a marching band, followed by a group of women dressed up in traditional Han Chinese outfits, symbolizing one of Falun Gong’s objectives: preserving the Chinese civilization, which they said has been seriously damaged by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) regime in China.
Each of the about 100 marchers each carried a portrait of a Falun Gong practitioner they said was persecuted by China, and near the end of the parade was a truck on which practitioners portrayed Chinese police torturing Falun Gong followers.
The parade attracted the attention of Chinese tourists at its departure point at Taipei 101 and its end point at Liberty Square, both of which popular attractions for Chinese tourists.
Although they watched the parade and took pictures, the Chinese tourists declined to comment and quickly walked away when approached by the Taipei Times for comment.
“We always organize events to remember those practitioners who have made personal sacrifices due to persecution by the CCP on July 20, because it was on July 20, 1999, when former Chinese president Jiang Zemin (江澤民) began the campaign to wipe out the Falun Gong in China,” Taiwan Falun Dafa Association chairman Chang Ching-hsi (張清溪) said. “Although the Chinese leadership has changed twice since Jiang, the persecution continues, and we believe that only when the CCP collapses will it end.”
Chang said persecution of Falun Gong members is closely related to securing promotions and making more money among CCP officials.
“This is why it will never end unless the CCP collapses,” Chang said.
He said that a Chinese immigrant who came to Taiwan and became a citizen of the Republic of China and who practices Falun Gong once went back to China for a visit, and was arrested for giving out Falun Gong flyers on the street in Shenzhen.
“She was arrested and locked up for three years and after she got out, she found everyone who was involved in her arrest had been promoted,” Chang said, adding that harvesting practitioners’ organs is also a highly profitable business for Chinese officials.
Film director and human rights activist Chen Yu-ching (陳育青), who has made several documentaries on human rights issues, urged the public and the government to act to protect the rights of Falun Gong practitioners in China.
“A lot of Taiwanese go to China for organ transplants, without knowing where the organs came from. Well, many of the organs are actually from Falun Gong practitioners, whose organs are taken out of their bodies while they are still alive,” Chen said.
“This is why we, as Taiwanese, should show concern for the rights of Falun Gong practitioners, otherwise we are all guilty of it,” Chen added.
The event ended with a candle-lit vigil for Falun Gong practitioners who have lost their lives.