Westerners Arrested in Hong Kong during Peaceful Appeal for Falun Gong
4 Swiss Citizens and 12 Local Hong Kong Residents Hauled Away from Demonstration Site in Front of Mainland China's Liaison Office
HONG KONG, March 14, 2002 (Falun Dafa Information Centre) - At approximately 1PM, four Swiss citizens and twelve local Hong Kong residents - all Falun Gong practitioners - were arrested today while participating in a peaceful demonstration outside Mainland China's Liaison office in Hong Kong.
The Swiss citizens had originally obtained visas to travel to Beijing, but the Chinese Embassy in Switzerland later cancelled these visas. The Swiss citizens, therefore, had brought their appeal to Hong Kong, where, starting today, they planned on holding a 3-day hunger strike outside China's Liaison office to call for an end to the brutal persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China.
"These 16 practitioners were simply demonstrating in a peaceful, legal manner, attempting to send a message to Jiang Zemin's regime that the persecution of Falun Gong will not be tolerated by the world community," said Sophie Xiao, Hong Kong spokesperson for the Falun Dafa Information Centre. "We appeal to the Hong Kong authorities to immediately release them, to respect the rule of law in Hong Kong as well as international standards for human rights."
"No one should be physically abused and arrested for peacefully and legally expressing themselves in Hong Kong, because the laws of Hong Kong guarantee freedom of belief, conscience, and assembly," Ms. Xiao added. "These arrests, however, demonstrate that the policy of persecuting Falun Gong practitioners in Mainland China is making its way into Hong Kong. This is truly disturbing.”
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