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New Zealand Falun Gong Practitioners Commemorate 13 Years of Persecution

By Margo MacVicar
Epoch Times Staff
Created: July 22, 2012 Last Updated: July 22, 2012
Related articles: New Zealand » National
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Falun Gong practitioners on July 20 in Auckland, New Zealand hold flower-wreathed portraits of practitioners who have been killed in China for their beliefs. One practitioner holds a placard with the number 3,574, which is the current number of confirmed practitioner deaths. (The Epoch Times)

Falun Gong practitioners on July 20 in Auckland, New Zealand hold flower-wreathed portraits of practitioners who have been killed in China for their beliefs. One practitioner holds a placard with the number 3,574, which is the current number of confirmed practitioner deaths. (The Epoch Times)

AUCKLAND, New Zealand—Falun Gong practitioners and supporters gathered in Queen Elizabeth Square on July 20 for a rally and photo exhibition that condemns the persecution of Falun Gong in China. This July 20 is the 13th anniversary of the beginning of that persecution.

Barry Wilson, chairman of the Auckland Civil Rights Association, told the rally, “I have been appalled, like a lot of people, at the totally corrupt persecution of Falun Gong.”

In Auckland, New Zealand in July 20 Guohua Huang and daughter Kaixin remember his wife—her mother, who was killed by the Chinese Communist Party because of her spiritual beliefs. She was 5 months pregnant with another child at the time. (Shan Lin/The Epoch Times)

In Auckland, New Zealand in July 20 Guohua Huang and daughter Kaixin remember his wife—her mother, who was killed by the Chinese Communist Party because of her spiritual beliefs. She was 5 months pregnant with another child at the time. (Shan Lin/The Epoch Times)

Since the Chinese Communist Party launched the campaign to eliminate Falun Gong on July 20, 1999, over 3,400 innocent Falun Gong practitioners have died, according to the Falun Dafa Information Center. The center fears the true number of deaths from torture and abuse is in the tens of thousands. At any one time, hundreds of thousands of practitioners are detained in forced labour camps, where they face brainwashing, abuse, and torture, according to the center.

Mr Wilson was amazed that practitioners around the world had been able to sustain the fight to ensure that the message was brought to the public. Since the crackdown, the Chinese communist authorities have carried out a massive propaganda campaign using television, internet, newspapers and radio to malign the spiritual practice and justify the Party’s actions.

The New Zealand government is not doing nearly enough to help to stop the persecution despite having an independent human rights voice which gives them leverage, Mr Wilson said.

Many passersby stopped to watch the demonstration of Falun Gong exercises in Queen Elizabeth Square and view a photo exhibition that included photos of practitioners after they have suffered torture.

Terri Kessell, a social history teacher from Auckland, was very upset after viewing the images. She expressed her sympathy for Falun Gong saying that she takes every opportunity to let the public know about the human rights abuses in China.

Passersby on Jul 20 in Queen Elizabeth Square in Auckland, New Zealand stop to view images of the brutal persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China. (Shan Lin/The Epoch Times)

Passersby on Jul 20 in Queen Elizabeth Square in Auckland, New Zealand stop to view images of the brutal persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China. (Shan Lin/The Epoch Times)

Barry Wilson, chairman of the Auckland Civil Rights Association, speaks at a rally on July 20 in Queen Elizabeth Square, Auckland, New Zealand. This is the 13th year that the spiritual practice has been violently persecuted by the communist regime in China. (The Epoch Times)

Barry Wilson, chairman of the Auckland Civil Rights Association, speaks at a rally on July 20 in Queen Elizabeth Square, Auckland, New Zealand. This is the 13th year that the spiritual practice has been violently persecuted by the communist regime in China. (The Epoch Times)

Within 7 years of Falun Gong being introduced to the public in 1992 over 100 million people around the world took up the practice, which is based on the principals of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance. Many of these people have reported dramatic improvements in health, energy levels, stress relief, more harmonious relations with family members and colleagues, and a deeper understanding of the meaning of life.

But the rapid rise in popularity of Falun Gong was seen as a threat by the former Chinese Communist Party leader, Jiang Zemin, and in 1999 he implemented the brutal and illegal crackdown. The edict he issued was “eradicate Falun Gong,” and he established the Party organ 6-10 Office to carry out this order.

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