Peaceful Appeal in Brussels Swarmed by Young Pro-CCP Activists

Multiple pro-CCP activists with masks and one with a shirt reading “China” disrupted a Falun Gong appeal in Brussels, Belgium on July 26, 2023. One carried a large communist Chinese flag.

Multiple pro-CCP activists with masks and one with a shirt reading “China” disrupted a Falun Gong appeal in Brussels, Belgium on July 26, 2023. One carried a large communist Chinese flag.

A Falun Gong petition campaign in Brussels to stop forced organ harvesting by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) was disrupted by a group of young pro-CCP individuals wearing face masks with the Chinese characters for “China” printed on them and waving a communist Chinese flag. One particularly aggravated protestor created a public disturbance so egregious that police officers thought she was mentally unwell and were compelled to call an ambulance.

On June 26, 2023, a group of ethnic Chinese and European Falun Gong practitioners gathered in a public square in downtown Brussels to observe the 35th United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, and raise awareness about forced organ harvesting and the persecution of Falun Gong in China.

Falun Gong practitioners meditate in Brussels, Belgium on June 26, 2023 to observe the United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture.

In the afternoon, a young man holding a large Chinese flag barged into the Falun Gong appeal and sat down among the placards calling for the release of detained practitioners. He repeatedly yelled to passersby that Falun Gong’s appeal to stop the persecution was an insult to China. Falun Gong practitioners at the scene told the man that the Chinese Communist Party is not China, explaining that the CCP has been massacring Chinese people since its founding.

“Consular officials and indoctrinated Party loyalists regularly disrupt Falun Gong events to intimidate and silence practitioners who have volunteered to raise awareness [about the persecution in China],” said Executive Director Levi Browde of the Falun Dafa Information Center. “We are not cowed or disparaged by such behavior, because the truth deserves to be heard.”

‘I’m from the Mission of China to the EU’

Later, another woman joined and made a scene, using loud and vulgar language towards the elderly Chinese Falun Gong practitioners at the appeal. “You’re insulting China by promoting Falun Gong,” she shouted.

According to Falun Gong practitioners who witnessed the incident, the woman at one point claimed to be from the Mission of China to the European Union, but later denied it when a practitioner asked her to repeat it on camera. There were also multiple other pro-CCP individuals with her, watching the situation unfold a few paces away from the appeal, all of whom were wearing the same blue facemasks bearing the word “China.”

Top: A Chinese man disrupted a Falun Gong meditation appeal on the 35th UN Day in Support of Victims of Torture with a flag of communist China. Bottom: One young Chinese woman who alleged she was from the Mission of China to the European Union shouted vulgar language at the elderly ethnic Chinese Falun Gong practitioners on the appeal on June 26, 2023. Credit: Sound of Hope.
Close-up of the pro-CCP activist who barged into the Falun Gong meditation demonstration with a Chinese flag and refused to leave. His shirt and mask read “中國“, which means “China,” indicating that this was likely a planned protest by the group of pro-CCP activists. (Credit: Nico Bijnens.)

“Before the police arrived, I asked one of them why they were doing this,” said Nico Bijnens, who volunteers at the Belgium Falun Dafa Association. “Why are they choosing to represent a regime that was responsible for the deaths of millions of innocent people, including the Falun Gong practitioners who only practice ‘Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance’?“

“The man obviously didn’t know how to answer my question, and then suddenly told me, ‘It’s because I don’t know the truth.’ To be honest, this answer shocked me. I really sympathized with them. Falun Gong practitioners have been killed in China for more than 20 years and that persecution continues today. But in addition to that, these young students who came to interrupt the appeal–they were also victims [of the CCP],” Bijnens added.

Police Dispatched, Ambulance Called on Protestors

Soon after, Belgium police arrived to maintain order, and escorted the pro-CCP individuals from the venue. Police were also stationed nearby the appeal to prevent further disturbances.

The group of pro-CCP activists were questioned by Brussels law enforcement after they disrupted the appeal, and they were escorted away from the public square.

The female protestor who initially claimed to be with the China Mission refused to leave even after the arrival of the authorities, and proceeded to lay on the ground, yelling and kicking. Officers at the scene ascertained she was mentally ill and called an ambulance to take her to the hospital. Once the ambulance arrived, several EMTs attempted to lay her on a stretcher but she refused to go. In the end, she had to sign a consent form that she was not going to go on the ambulance, after which police escorted her out of the public square.

This incident demonstrated the psychological disturbance that the CCP’s hate propaganda has had on Chinese people, to the point that law enforcement and medical professionals thought the pro-CCP demonstrator needed medical assistance.

One protestor (center) refused to leave, and broke down yelling and screaming on the ground. Police called an ambulance for her, ascertaining that she was mentally unstable.

Broader Context

This is not the first time such an incident has occurred. Chinese people are so indoctrinated by CCP propaganda and falsehoods into hating Falun Gong, that they have been known to attack and even beat peaceful practitioners. Moreover, although not clear in this case, some attacks are coordinated by Chinese diplomats or other CCP agents. In April, the US Department of Justice indicted two men involved in an undeclared CCP police station for a variety of illegal actions targeting dissidents in the United States, including organizing counter protesters against a Falun Gong appeal during a visit to Washington DC by Xi Jinping in 2015.

Other diaspora communities in Belgium targeted by the Chinese Communist Party, including Uyghurs and Hong Kong supporters, have also noted an increase in cases of transnational repression. Reports of the Xinjiang Public Security Bureau threatening the families of advocates in the Uyghur region are common. Some Uyghurs also alleged that Chinese consular vehicles have been present at their protests. Dissidents are also being targeted in hoax bomb threat schemes by CCP agents that use their identities.

In October 2022, Hong Kong activist Wang Jingyu was questioned by law enforcement in connection with reports of bomb threats in Belgium and the Netherlands. Dutch authorities concluded that Wang was not responsible for the false bomb threats, but were unable to discern the actual identity of the caller.