Sect members pressure Chinese

Vancouver, Canada - Falun Gong members gathered last night outside Vancouver's Chinese Consulate for a candlelight vigil in honour and protest of China's most recent Falun Gong-related death.

The 54th suspected Falun Gong death in China's Shenyang province in the last five years, Gao Rongrong died June 16 in a Chinese labour camp. She was a practising member of Falun Gong, a meditative, spiritual practice meant to improve the mind, body and soul.

Sophie Bronwen, who has practised Falun Gong in Vancouver for nearly six years, said the vigil held was in honour of Rongrong's struggle.

"This persecution has been going on for so long, and, of course, how do you end a persecution? You try and expose it," said Bronwen. "We're trying to gently nudge people awake in the West, (and say) we are complicit in our silence."

Before her death, Rongrong's face was disfigured by continuous electric shocks, allegedly delivered by Chinese police.

The Falun Gong protest recently made news in Vancouver when the city received complaints about their signs outside the Chinese Consulate on Granville Street.

Falun Gong member Sue Zhang said the protesters followed city requirements and wonders who raised the issue.

"We just hope (Vancouver) won't bend under the pressure of the Chinese government."