WASHINGTON – Hundreds of protesters rallied Wednesday to draw attention to what they said is the Chinese government's persecution of Falun Gong practitioners.
Falun Gong is a meditation therapy practiced by about 100 million people in 60 countries,its adherents say. The therapy is meant to improve person's mind,body and spirit through exercises.
It is banned in China,and as protesters explained it,in 1992 when Falun Gong was founded by Li Hongzhi,more and more people found themselves interested in it.
Then in 1999,according to Prof. Sen Nieh from the Catholic University of America,the communist regime outlawed Falun Gong. Nieh was one of the co-sponsors of the event and the Washington chief of the group's newspaper,the Epoch Times.
Falun Gong practitioners came here from all over the world to tell the masses and the media about hundreds of thousands of the group members being murdered in China for organ transplantation.
The event was timed to coincide with Chinese leader Hu Jintao's visit to the U.S. Hu will meet with President Bush on Thursday.
“He is responsible to stop the persecution. Otherwise Chinese people will overthrow him,” said Fiona Ching,public relations officer at New Tang Dynasty Television in Hong Kong,who came for the protest. She's been practicing Falun Gong for 10 years.
Although Falun Gong members are allowed to practice in Hong Kong,Ching said they are not being treated well. “Hong Kong is a puppet of Chinese government,” she said.
“We have concentration camps even worse than those of Hitler,” she said. “Organs are taken out when people are alive.”
Falun Gong members claim organs of members are removed for transplantation and are sold worldwide.
She said former president Jiang Zemin “got jealous” that people turned away from communism and became engaged with meditation.
Sherwood Liu,a marine biologist at University of South Florida who came here from Tampa,Fla.,said the Chinese national security office sends spies to the U.S. to watch Falun Gong practitioners.
“They call my family in China and ask for my contact information in Florida,” Liu said. “They monitored me in Tampa.”
Protesters carried signs urging 10 million people who belong to the Chinese Communist Party to resign.
“The Communist Party does not represent China,” Ching said.
Followed by police cars,protesters marched on K Street in the city's central business district near the White House. They said they planned to continue the protest until late evening.
Attempts to reach the Chinese Embassy's press office and political affairs section for comments failed.