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In Flanders there was a very spectacular action of support for a diplomatic boycott of the Chinese Winter Olympics

Despite the very bad weather conditions, the activists managed to place this Tibetan flag on the Flemish peace monument. (photo Andy Vermaut)

The activists also succeeded in raising the Uyghur flag on top of the Pax Gate which was built with the stones of the exploded former peace tower in Diksmuide. A symbol that can count. (Photo Andy Vermaut)

The activists also succeeded in raising the Uyghur flag on top of the Pax Gate which was built with the stones of the exploded former peace tower in Diksmuide. A symbol that can count. (Photo Andy Vermaut)

In Flanders there was a very spectacular action of support for a diplomatic boycott of the Chinese Winter Olympics

Racial, religious, political, or sexist discrimination contradicts membership of the Olympics. We can not forget the more than 70 years of Tibetan persecution.”

— David Vander Maelen

DIKSMUIDE, WEST-VLAANDEREN, BELGIUM , January 30, 2022 / — The largest peace site in Flanders, Belgium the IJzertoren/Paxpoort (Ijser Tower near the river Ijser/Peace Portal) in the Belgian city of Diksmuide, was on Saturday, January 29, 2022, the action site and backdrop of this direct expression of support for the diplomatic boycott by both the Flemish and the Belgian governments of the Winter Olympics that will begin on Saturday, February 4 2022 in the People’s Republic of China. On Saturday, January 29, 2022, at 2:30 p.m., on the 84 meter ( 275,59 feet) high tower in Diksmuide (the peace symbol of the 6 million Flemish (Dutch-speaking) people in Belgium) a very spectacular action of support was organized for a diplomatic boycott of the Winter Olympics that will take place next week in China and this while due to a super-strong wind was a very difficult task but this challenge did not stop the idealistic activists.

The spectacular action was a very close collaboration between vzw Aan de IJzer and the human rights organizations Postversa of Haval Faris, Hiwa Khoshnaw and Andy Vermaut, AIDL (the international alliance for the defense of rights and freedoms) with Belgian spokesman and volunteer Andy Vermaut, Hiking 4 Children of David Vander Maelen, Tibet Support Group of Palden Tsering and the Uyghur Association of secretary Ekber Tursun and president Imerov Abdymutalip, gives voice to the oppressed minorities in authoritarian China, in this case in Tibet, Southern Mongolia, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Uyghurs in East Turkistan/Xinjiang. A professional climbing team consisting of David ‘Mukti’ Vander Maelen, Nick ‘Moonlove’ de Jonghe, Bruno ‘Bake’ Bakeroot, Sebastian ‘Shiba’ Brouwers, Mounir Feyereisen, and the technical support team of Steven Vermeesch descended from the 84-meter high tower carrying with them a large Tibetan flag, Uyghur flags, and a big banner. Originating on the battlefield where the horror of war led to insight and commitment for pacifism – ‘Never again war’ adorns the Ijzertoren in four languages – and for democratic self-government, vzw Aan de IJzer as manager of the Memorial of the Flemish Emancipation and Peace consistently puts peace, freedom, and tolerance first. With the start of the Winter Olympics in Beijing as a direct cause, the action with the demands for human and peoples’ rights in China fits in perfectly with the objectives and the activities of the non-profit organization Aan de IJzer. The threefold message of the non-profit organization near the river Ijzer (Aan de Ijzer, vzw), anchored on war suffering and debris, is not exclusively directed at China today. But everywhere where people are crushed by the threat of war, persecuted by authoritarian regimes, or silenced when they stand up for self-determination. Rightly so, members of the government remain absent from Beijing in connection with the Winter Olympics.

Andy Vermaut says:” Welcome everyone at the Ijzertoren (tower next to the river Ijzer in Diksmuide) of the nonprofit organization “aan de Ijzer” at the river Ijzer, the iron symbol of the Flemish emancipation struggle, where people today from the Tibetan, Uyghur, and Mongolian communities embrace this symbol of peace because in the dictatorship of Xi Jinping the Secretary-General of the Communist Party of China and since March 2013 the President of the People’s Republic of China, as the successor of Hu Jintao, they still do not have the right to live their culture, discuss their language and embrace their spirituality. The acquired rights that were enforced thanks to the struggle here can be seen every day in the Flemish community, the Flemish parliament, and the Flemish region that has its own Flemish ministers. An acquired right that has been won thanks to the struggle of many Flemish people here.” Andy Vermaut: “Another reason to distrust the Winter Games and not send diplomats is the forced organ donations (organ theft) of people who practice Falun Gong, a kind of Chinese yoga, on a spiritual basis. Regarding those forced organ donations of people who have their organs cut out in person, I have also found evidence that both the former Chinese Minister of Health and the Chinese Minister of Defense knew about this. ”

Andy Vermaut further states: “Indeed. Falun Gong practitioners do not belong to one particular ethnic group, nor to one religious group, because Falun Gong practitioners can be found in 56 ethnic groups in China. The Falun Gong practice consists of a peaceful combination of Taoism, Confucianism, and Buddhism, which you cannot see as 1 single ideology or 1 single religion; it is more philosophical and based on life wisdom. Purely because the Falun Gong became so big and they dared to have their association of people from all different ethnic backgrounds recognized, in 1999, they were slaughtered and their organs were used as a commodity. How is it possible that an association that stands for three core concepts, specifically truth, compassion, and tolerance, the Falun Gong, has become the victim of a Communist Party that has suddenly turned the practitioners of the Falun Gong, who peacefully practice meditation based on truth, compassion, and tolerance, in their paranoia towards anything that does not fit their picture, into an organization that could threaten the very existence of the Communist Party, merely because they have become bigger than the Chinese Party? How is that possible, ” exclaimed Andy Vermaut.

Military doctors
Andy Vermaut continues, “The paranoia of the Chinese state apparatus is the main culprit of this mentality-based organ suspension that undermines the very essence of man’s life force. It is nothing more than that. So we went on to investigate further with the International Alliance for the Defense of Rights and Freedoms (AIDL) and the international fundamental rights movement PostVersa and found that in the past 22 years, it is estimated that a total of more than 207500 Falun Gong practitioners have been used for organ theft and murder, not because they did anything wrong, but because they practice a type of meditation. Unbelievable. Even I had trouble believing this Chinese practice at first until I saw the hard evidence from David Kilgour, David Matas, and Ethan Guttman, still limited to 36 concentration camps, in reality, the scale of these organized killings is unfortunately much larger. I see that the number of organ transplants that take place in China is much larger than you would expect. So there is the link with the government, which is already very clear and then they said that they had found advertisements on their websites saying that anyone could come to China to get an organ transplant within a period of 10 days to three weeks of arrival. Therefore, with the International Alliance for the Defense of Rights and Freedoms (AIDL) and the fundamental rights movement PostVersa, we can no longer remain silent. If you take the three main principles from those teachings, that’s talking about finding your true self. Buddhism talks about the Buddha and his compassion for all living beings and Confucius talked about self-discipline, which was very important if you combine those three principles, then you get the truth, compassion, and tolerance. And those are actually the three main principles of Falun Gong. Andy Vermaut:” The Chinese have learned from Tiananmen. They no longer kill openly but have trained military doctors to steal organs, not as in the Squid game, but in an organized clinical manner, as a separate industry among industries, organs from meditation practitioners as an additional selling point even… I too get chills when I think of these atrocities of the Chinese regime. Hence, today, to send a signal, we are reinforcing the diplomatic boycott of the upcoming winter games starting next week with our action today.”

Peace, tolerance, and freedom first
Johan Velghe, vice president of the Vzw aan de Ijzer (non-profit organization) was appointed by director Peter Mouton to also give a speech at the foot of the Ijzer Tower. “Obviously. Yes, it is with the greatest naturalness that the action is organized here on the Yser Tower site. The place of action is more than a tower, is more than a height of 84 meters suitable to offer some spectacle. The IJzer Tower couples a ‘lieu de mémoire’ with an eye to the future. This Memorial of the Flemish Emancipation and Peace is by no means a cringe in the past. Those who put peace, freedom, and tolerance first, like the non-profit organization Aan de IJzer, think and work on the future. Those who put peace and freedom first, as does ASBL Aan de IJzer, do not think in pigeonholes and do not erect Flemish walls against tolerance, respect, and solidarity,” according to Johan Velghe.

Violations of human and democratic rights
Johan Velghe further clarifies: “This site reminds us of the disastrous consequences of the absence of conflict management and of the consequences of authoritarian state nationalism resulting in an escalation of violations of human and international rights. But in the trenches of World War I, resistance to this blindness also grew. ‘Never again war’ and democratic self-government became the arteries for the society of the future. It became a story of many falls, but also of getting up and coming to a step closer to the solidary society where everyone can live out his/her identity as a community. The participants of today’s action have quickly found each other. Let it be clear: vzw Aan de IJzer (non-profit organization) stands fully behind the objectives of this action, linked to the immediate actuality of the start of the Olympic Games. Participating in the action means a lot more to vzw Aan de IJzer than just lending us 84 meters of height. The action may be focused on the escalating violations of human and democratic rights by the authoritarian Chinese regime, it does not change the fact that vzw Aan de IJzer rejects the weapons offer and threatening language in and around Ukraine, just like the violation of democracy in Belarus, just like the unwillingness to discuss the will for self-determination in Spain and the United Kingdom. When will justice be done for the Palestinians, for the Sami, for the Roma, for the cultural uniqueness of so many minority communities in Europe, as well as for the indigenous peoples in North and South America and in the continent of Africa where neo-colonialism is rampant and here too the name of China is mentioned. Don’t we forget that we also need to sweep in front of our own doors? The ‘Ideal World’ is still only a television program on Flemish television,” concludes Johan Velghe.

More than 70 years of Tibetan persecution
David Vander Maelen: “As a Tibet advocate, I look to the world community today. Soon, China, the host country, will cordially welcome you. Always. The world will be watching. Top athletes, should read the Olympic Charter. This is your ideal chance to add value to your life, and you want it for everyone. I’ll read from the Olympic Charter. Olympism is a way of life. Well-balanced Olympism mixes culture & education, builds a life of work, education, and respect for universal ethical principles. Olympism uses athletics to foster human peace for the promotion of a peaceful society. Racial, religious, political, or sexist discrimination contradicts membership of the Olympics. We can not forget the more than 70 years of Tibetan persecution. This lasts now 3 generations since the Chinese invasion in 1950. Over 1.5 million Tibetans perished. 6000 monasteries were destroyed, few became cemeteries. Nuns must break their virginity vows. There are compulsory sex sterilization and abortions. This is a daily cost for Tibetan girls. Nothing has changed today: 150 people have self-immolated in recent years. Religious freedom is nonexistent. For a national flag or a Dalai Lama picture, you are punishable by jail. So Tibetan culture is slowly fading away. ”

– Johan Velghe, Vzw Aan de IJzer – – +32 474 76 55 88
– Peter Mouton – +32 476 45 61 63
– Andy Vermaut, International Alliance for the Defense of Rights and Freedoms (AIDL)/Postversa +32 499 35 74 95
– David Vander Maelen, Hiking 4 Children – +32 477 54 73 47
– Gary Cartwright, author and investigative journalist EUToday,, +32 487 368 244
– Manel Msalmi, President of the European Association for The Defense of Minorities, + 32 496 607 066
– Koen Stoop, World Uyghur Congress,

Human Rights Defender Andy Vermaut – EUreview and Journalist
+32 499 35 74 95

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