At the recent Vogue Women of the Year 2019 event, Indian model Pooja Mor won the “Young Achiever of the Year” award. During her speech, Pooja highlighted the plight of Falun Gong practitioners in China.
Supporting the persecuted
Mor started practicing Falun Gong a few years back and found it to be a soothing way to fulfill her spiritual needs. “I always keep some time for myself [in the morning], doing Dafa exercises (meditation) and then Pilates. That time is my time that connects me to myself — to look within. Being born Indian I always did meditation — yoga and meditation, you just do since you’re a kid. My family is so spiritual. That makes me look at life differently,” she said to The Epoch Times.
As she researched deeply into Falun Gong, Mor found out that the Chinese government has been persecuting its practitioners for decades. Millions of Falun Gong practitioners are believed to have been tortured, brainwashed, arrested, and killed since 1999. Some of them have also had their organs forcefully harvested by the state. Though international media has reported on such atrocities now and then, it has not been enough. Mor realized that people need to be made aware of Beijing’s repressive policies.
“A government is supposed to protect its people, and I was not able to believe such a thing could be happening, especially to a group of people who follow the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance,” she said to The Epoch Times. When she learned that Vogue India had selected her for the “Young Achiever of the Year” award, Mor knew that it was an excellent platform to raise the issue. And in her speech, Mor made sure that she let the world know about the sufferings of Falun Gong practitioners in China. She also posted the video of her speech on Instagram.
However, Vogue India visited Mor’s agents and asked them to take down the video since they did not want their ceremony to be used for political statements. As a consequence, the video was taken down. But Mor is determined to raise the problems faced by Falun Gong practitioners whenever she gets a chance. To her, that is her cause — to be a voice for the voiceless.
The immigration ministry of Taiwan has decided to prevent Chinese citizens who have been involved in the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners from entering the country. The announcement was made by a senior official from the ministry at a recent parliamentary hearing. The law will not only be applicable to officials from the Communist Party, but also any visitor from China who has played a role in the persecution.
“Everyone must respect others’ basic human rights and freedom, including religious freedom. If anyone who persecutes religious followers is barred by the Taiwan government from entering its borders, I think this falls within its sovereignty and is in line with the current trend of world governments. Therefore, I think this is a very timely and excellent legislature,” Lai Jianping, who holds a Master’s degree in international law from China University of Political Science and Law, said to Minghui.org.
In June, the Falun Gong human rights legal team submitted a list of more than 100,000 Chinese citizens who participated in the persecution. The organization hopes that every single member on the list will be barred from entering Taiwan, a free society.