Beijing-Style Repression and Police Tactics Emerge in Hong Kong
Hong Kong Police Rough Up Peaceful Falun Gong Demonstrators, Then Cry Foul
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - 3/15/2002
A Statement by the Falun Dafa Information Centre
NEW YORK, March 15, 2002 (Falun Dafa Information Centre) - Hong Kong police roughed up and detained 16 Falun Gong practitioners on Thursday, including four Swiss nationals, as they held a peaceful public meditation to raise awareness of Beijing's persecution of Falun Gong in the mainland.
The entire event was handled in Beijing fashion, as police and propaganda techniques were, and continue to be, wielded against peaceful demonstrators in order to violently apprehend them and then discredit them through the media.
Multiple eye witness testimonies, as well as close-up video footage (see links below) show scenes eerily reminiscent of Tiananmen Square in recent days: police strangling elderly women, thumbing pressure points, and pulling hair, as the non-violent demonstrators grasp hands with each other in an attempt to stay together.
Yet, despite overwhelming video and eyewitness evidence to the contrary, Hong Kong police have now claimed that they were "bitten" and "kicked" by the Falun Gong practitioners, and have even filed a lawsuit in an apparent effort to lend legitimacy to their claims. Such schemes are common in Mainland China, where police routinely turn the tables on the victims of their brutality by making false claims against their victims. It is disturbing, however, to see such behaviour in the police of the Special Autonomous Region of Hong Kong, which historically has respected freedom of expression, human rights, and the rule of law.
Such disingenuous claims and calculated accusations are now commonplace among Beijing officials with respect to their handling of religious freedom and human rights, but the world expects better from Hong Kong, and knows Hong Kong is capable of deserving such respect.
Falun Gong is Peaceful and Strictly Non-violent
In nearly three years of ongoing persecution, Falun Gong practitioners have won support and respect throughout the world for their strict dedication to non-violence and peaceful, passive resistance in the face of overwhelming violence and brutality. In the tens of thousands of arrests and detentions carried out in China, not once has a Falun Gong practitioner fought back or committed an act of violence. These sixteen peaceful demonstrators in Hong Kong seem to be no exception.
It is disturbing that Beijing would go to such lengths to carry out the illegal persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in the SAR (Special Administrative Region) of Hong Kong. We trust Hong Kong authorities will recognize that bending to such pressure from Beijing will destroy the goodwill and reputation of integrity Hong Kong enjoys within the world community, and will mark the beginning of the end for freedom of belief, conscience, and assembly in Hong Kong.
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