HK Falun Gong Adherents Mark "Zhongnanhai Incident" Anniversary
Created: 2012-04-23 14:46 EST
CREATED AT 11:08 PM ON APRIL 23; UPDATED AT 1:21 PM ON APRIL 24.
April 25th will mark the 13th anniversary of the Zhongnanhai incident. On that day in 1999, around ten thousand practitioners of the Falun Gong meditation practice lined up outside the Chinese leadership’s compound in Beijing.
They were trying to appeal against mistreatment by authorities, as well as publications in official media that they say misrepresent the practice. But this appeal fell on deaf ears. A few months later, the then Communist leader Jiang Zemin launched a persecution against Falun Gong that has lasted until this day.
Outside the mainland, Falun Gong can be freely practiced, including in Hong Kong. On April 22nd, practitioners there stunned Mainland tourists with a clear message: we are still here.
[Miss Shao, Mainland Citizen from Jiangsu]:
“I’m curious, I want to know what Falun Gong is all about after all. For the average person (in China), they have been filled with all different types of opinions, so if you want to know the true situation, you have to go and do research yourself, only then can you know.”
“This afternoon I will return to the Mainland, I will tell my friends about this.”
“Do you feel stunned?”
“Yes, very stunned.”
Hong Kong legislator Lee Cheuk-yan expressed support for Falun Gong, in the run up to the April 25th anniversary.
[Lee Cheuk-yan, Hong Kong Legislator]:
“Our Falun Gong friends have actually been persecuted for 13 years. We feel it is time, it is time that the central authorities end one party rule, and return people’s freedom.”
Since the persecution started in 1999, the Falun Dafa Information Center, an organization that investigates the persecution, has recorded over 3000 deaths from torture. Independent investigators have estimated that there could be up to one million Falun Gong practitioners imprisoned in China’s forced labor camps at any one time.
April 25th will be marked with demonstrations outside Chinese embassies and consulates across the world.