German Falun Gong Practitioners Back from Beijing

Frankfurt, February 15, 2002

Seven of the eight Germans who had been arrested during a peaceful appeal at Tiananmen Square on February 14, 2002, to protest the persecution of Falun Gong have arrived today at Rhein-Main Airport in Frankfurt. According to first reports by the Germans, the Chinese police officers this time had used unexpected gross force. The Chinese police officers robbed Mr. Bernhard Auernhammer from Munich of all his belongings, except for his clothing, beat him and deported him from Beijing, minus his shoes and without a coat in this cold winter weather. He had to board the plane in a pair of trousers that had been torn by the police officers. The whereabouts of his belongings are uncertain. People already filed a declaration against the abuse with the Frankfurt Police Department while still at the airport. Annett Munter from the town of Oehringe had been beaten so brutally that she has severe swellings of the head and black-and-blue marks on her torso and arms and legs and had to undergo a medical examination at the airport.

Chinese police security enforcers repeatedly and groundlessly, and without restraint, beat Steffi Koerper from Heidelberg in and about the face. Her father, Hubert Koerper, was slammed to the ground by six policemen on Tiananmen Square, kicked and stepped on and beaten; it was indescribable and words fail to explain the scene.

The Chinese police officers stole Florian Akbar’s (from Hamburg) complete photography outfit worth several thousand Euros as well as his personal luggage and cell phone while they body-searched him in the tunnel leading from the square to the police station. None of his belongings were returned to him before his departure from Beijing. After his arrival in Frankfurt he flew directly on to Hamburg where the local media already awaited him.

The whereabouts of Andre Huber from Loerrach/Baden (a city) are unclear. We have heard that he is still detained in Beijing and the German embassy is taking care of the matter.

After the brutal actions by the Chinese police officers and because of the total absence of observation of human rights against peaceful foreigners, the practitioners are immediately serving notice with the Foreign Office in Berlin, including a complaint of bodily harm and gross theft.

Practitioners from Frankfurt

-0- (Original text in German)

News and media reports

DPA (Deutsche Presse Agentur): China deports over fifty foreign Falun Gong followers

February 16, 2002

Frankfurt/Main/Beijing (dpa)

Following the largest protest in Beijing by foreign Falun Gong followers from abroad to date, over fifty activists from twelve different nations were deported out of Beijing on Friday, reports the official Chinese news media “Xinhua.” Seven of the deported German individuals complained about the actions of the Chinese police as these people arrived at the Frankfurt airport.

The four men and three women, according to their own reports, took part last Thursday in a demonstration at Tiananmen Square in Beijing, together with seventy other activists. With them on board the airplane was also a deported man from the Netherlands about whom it was first reported that he is still in Chinese custody.

“I have never seen or experienced anything like it. The police officers were insanely brutal,” said Mrs. Annett Munter from the German Falun Gong group. Chinese officers had slammed them onto the ground during the demonstration and then dragged her into a police vehicle. During the ensuing interrogation, when she refused to reveal the name of a friend, the officers hit her in the face until she bled.

Mr. Hubert Koerper, age 45, along with his 17 and 22-year-old daughters had also demonstrated on Tiananmen Square. “ The place was surrounded by police officers like a reinforced fortress. When I attempted to unfurl my Falun Gong banner, I was immediately surrounded and overcome,” he said. During his incarceration, only one of his daughters was with him. He did not know the whereabouts of the other daughter and was quite worried about her safety.

All together 59 foreign Falun Gong followers had been arrested, reported Xinhua. The American embassy in Beijing reported that 33 Americans had been deported… More than 40 Falun Gong members participated in this protest to aid Falun Gong which the Chinese government begun to persecute in 1999, this according to official reports. Another 14 who wanted to participate in this event were arrested last Wednesday at a hotel. Among them were four British subjects, two French nationals and two Finns; those already flew out of Beijing on Thursday.

(Original text in German)

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