Falun Gong follower detained in protest
By Maeve Curtin
A Corkman was among 35 people arrested by Chinese police today for having taken part in a human rights demonstration in Tiananmen Square.
Brian Trought from …. in Blackpool went to Beijing on Sunday where he joined an international group mainly from the United States and Europe.
Mr Trought is a practitioner of Falun Gong – a worldwide spiritual movement, which was founded in China but has been banned by the government there. Brian and his friends travelled to China to protest the banning of the practice which believes in refining the body and mind through exercise and meditation.
Today his friend Leo Harris from Laois said another friend had rung from China to say that Brian had been arrested. Mr Harris said “Brian and the group were planning a peaceful protest against the Chinese government which has persecuted practitioners of Falun Gong.
“Another contact rang me from Beijing this morning to say that they had been arrested.”
He added: “Brian himself rang me at about 10.30pm last night. He was on his way to Tiananmen Square at that stage,” he said.
However, the state’s official Xinhua News Agency reported that 35 foreigners had been detained – including demonstrators from the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland and the US.
The Department of Foreign Affairs said it had been in contact with its Irish embassy in Beijing and that it was investigating media reports of the detentions.
Unofficial reports say that the Chinese government has ordered them to leave the country.
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