UK Prime Minister’s Office Congratulates Falun Gong Practitioners for April 25 Rally
The British Prime Minister’s Office sent a letter commending Falun Gong practitioners for their peaceful resistance and applauded the 24-year-long effort to raise awareness about the persecution of the spiritual practice. April 25, 2023 marked the 24th year anniversary of a historic appeal in Beijing that brought Falun Gong into international spotlight for the first time.
On April 19, 2023, the director of the British Falun Dafa Association received the following from Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.
“Being an advocate for world peace, the Prime Minister appreciates the time you have taken to extend your kind gesture. It is a commendable achievement for the Falun Gong practitioners to uphold their practice in such a way and I would like to extend my congratulations for their peaceful appeal to have reached 24 years.”Correspondent for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak
The letter was sent in response to an invite extended to PM Sunak, regarding his attendance for the April 25 rally. On April 25, 1999, over 10,000 Falun Gong practitioners held for the right to freely practice their belief. The appeal was prompted by a period of growing repression and the arrest of 45 Falun Gong practitioners in the city of Tianjin, raising nationwide concerns about believers’ freedom to practice their faith.
A peaceful exercise of rights ostensibly protected in the Chinese constitution, the appeal was later rewritten by state media as an attempted “siege” of the government compound Zhongnanhai and used to justify the onset of a brutal persecution that had already begun percolating among certain officials in the party-state security apparatus.
April 25 Appeal, 24 Years Later
“The “April 25” public appeal event staged by over 10,000 Falun Dafa volunteers in 1999 was unprecedented because it was the first ever peaceful action taken by the Chinese civilians from all walks of life to seek freedom of expression, association, and conscience–these are rights articulated in China’s constitution,” said Erping Zhang, Director of Government and Advocacy at the Falun Dafa Information Center. “Decades later, in the face of CCP’s brutal persecution, Falun Dafa practitioners are still appealing in peaceful manner for these rights.”
After 24 years, Falun Gong practitioners around the world continue to commemorate and raise awareness on April 25 for the right to three appeals raised on that historic day:
- To practice Falun Gong in a free and open environment.
- To publish all Falun Gong books in China legally.
- Release Falun Gong practitioners from detention.
Zhang also noted, “The courageous action is now widely supported and praised by many Chinese people because they are now recognizing that “4.25” actually defended the basic human right for every Chinese citizen and, above all, defended the principles of Truth, Compassion, Tolerance–the fundamental values of humanity.”
Based on an original Minghui article.