Following the July 6 release of the independent Canadian report revealing the mass killing of Falun Gong practitioners for their bodily organs in China, Falun Gong practitioners and their supporters have been trying to raise awareness in one of the busiest parts of Sydney.
As city workers made their way through Martin Place, Falun Gong practitioners handed them pamphlets and asked for signatures for petitions calling for further investigations into the reports of organ harvesting in China.
World Needs to Know about Organ Harvesting in China's Labor Camps
"Everyone you see here today has taken time off work or are mothers who have taken time from home to share a message with the public because we are aware that in China that innocent people are being killed and their organs harvested," said Mr. John Deller from the NSW Falun Dafa Association.
"Now, this is a shocking concept and one that we find very hard to understand in Australia – but in China under the Communist regime it is a completely different world.
"People who practise Falun Gong – a traditional practise, a sort of Chinese yoga – have been killed while having their organs extracted for transplant purposes," he said.
"Regrettably," Mr. Deller said, "there seems to be reluctance on behalf of the Government to condemn these atrocities."
"We come to the public to share our concerns."
Labor Camp Survivors Describe their Ordeals
Among those who attended the press conference were a number of Falun Gong practitioners who, because of their spiritual belief, had suffered torture in China.
One of those was Ms. Li Ying, who told the press conference of her ordeals in one of the forced labor camps. She had been hung up on a window with her hands cuffed behind her back for three days and nights.
"It was freezing in winter time and I could not eat, sleep or even use a toilet in this painful position, so others in the cell had to help," Ms. Li said.
"The handcuff dug deep into my writs. After three days of hanging, my legs were swollen and I could not move my arms at all or sit down by myself."
Ms. Li said that she managed to escape China thanks to help from her husband and the Australian Government. Ms. Li's younger brother Li Liang has been held in a labor camp since 1999. She has heard no news of him since April of this year. With the reports of organ harvesting in China she is concerned for his safety.
Author Jennifer Zheng also attended the press conference and said that when sent to a labor camp in Beijing six years ago she was forced to undergo a physical examination that included blood tests.
"I was also very carefully interrogated about the history of my illnesses," said Ms. Zheng.
She could not believe that the health checks were done out of concern for her health because in the camp they were cruelly treated, tortured and were forced to work in extreme conditions.
Ms. Zheng thought that the fact that she had previously had hepatitis C that might have spared her from being killed for her organs.
Falun Gong spokesperson Kay Rubacek said the public appeal by the Falun Gong practitioners would continue till next Thursday July 20, the seventh anniversary of the beginning of the crackdown on the spiritual practice in China by Communist authorities.
According to a Falun Gong statement there are close to 50 Falun Gong practitioners in NSW who have experienced torture in China.