Today marks 21 years of brutal religious persecution of Falun Dafa practitioners by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in China.

 More than 600 parliamentarians from 30 countries have issued a joint statement calling on the CCP to immediately stop the “systematic and brutal campaign to ‘eradicate’ Falun Gong’s spiritual discipline.”

 “The persecution of Falun Gong in China has been one of the most brutal campaigns against a religious group in modern times,” the joint statement said.

“Since July 1999, millions of Falun Gong practitioners in China have been arbitrarily arrested and imprisoned without due process and many have been tortured and even killed,” the statement continues.

 Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is an ancient Chinese discipline based on the universal principles of truthfulness, benevolence, and  tolerance. Twenty-one years ago, on July 20, 1999, former Chinese leader Jiang Zemin launched an unprecedented persecution against Falun Dafa practitioners, ordering “the destruction of their reputation, their financial bankruptcy, and their physical destruction. This persecution continues to this day. In the last 21 years, it is estimated that millions of practitioners have been disappeared and killed alive for their organs to supply China’s perverse organ transplant industry.

 Parliamentarians from Europe, Asia, Oceania, Latin America, and North America are among the signatories. From Latin America, national deputies Álvaro Héctor de Lamadrid, Mónica Frade, Rubén Horacio Manzi, Lorena Matzen, José Luis Patiño, Francisco Sánchez and Sen. Pablo Daniel Blanco signed in Argentina. From Chile, former Deputy José Manuel Rojo Edwards signed. And from Venezuela, the deputy o the National Assembly of Venezuela and President of the Permanent Commission of Foreign Policy Armando Armas.

 The signatories express their deep concern about the 21 years of brutal repression of Falun Dafa by the CCP, while the practitioners peacefully defend their freedom of belief. “We urge the Chinese government to respect international standards and to immediately stop the persecution of Falun Gong in China, and to unconditionally release all detained Falun Gong practitioners and other prisoners of conscience.”

 Ann-Sofie Alm, National MP for Sweden, wrote:

 “We in the free world must stand up for the people of China. We need to stand together. This is why this joint statement is so important. The communist party of China needs to know what the free world wants. We want this persecution and all other persecutions to end. It needs to stop right now.”

The Hon. Peter Kent, a member of the Canadian Parliament and former Canadian Minister of the Environment, said

“I call on the international community to speak up more forcefully and more publicly in denouncing the Chinese government’s continuing state-sponsored denial of fundamental human rights. We must continue to work and hope that China will one day respect rule of law, the freedom of speech, assembly, and religion; a day when the tenets of Falun Gong can be spoken loud in Tiananmen square: Truthfulness, Compassion, Tolerance.”

 At the same time, Argentine National Deputy Francisco Sanchez, shows his support saying, “I read your message carefully and, in my capacity as National Representative and Member of the Commission of Foreign Affairs and Worship, you can count on my commitment to defend human rights and I condemn the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners. Without further ado, you have my support and I accompany with my signature the” Joint Declaration calling for an end to the persecution of Falun Gong. I remain at your disposal for anything you may need.

In a world where trade relations with the CCP seem to take precedence over human rights, for a group of parliamentarians to raise their voices to the atrocities perpetrated by the CCP on a group of believers is something that is worthy of note and will surely have an impact in the near future.

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