PARIS, June 14 (AFP) - Around 30 [practitioners] of China's banned spiritual group, Falun Gong, were prevented Thursday from travelling to Iceland, where a three-day visit by Chinese President Jiang Zemin has been dogged by protests by the movement's followers.
Falun Gong [practitioners] said national carrier Icelandair had cited legal and security reasons for refusing to let the [practitioners] board a flight to Iceland at the Roissy airport in Paris, referring the [practitioners] to the Icelandic embassy in Paris.
The Icelandic authorities have said they are limiting the number of Falun Gong [practitioners] allowed into the country during Jiang's visit to 140, saying that is all they can control.
According to Falun Gong (practitioners), "hundreds" of supporters whose names appeared on a list provided by the Chinese government were blocked from boarding IcelandAir flights.
Since China banned Falun Gong as [...] 1999, tens of thousands of [practitioners] have been jailed or sent to labour camps, according to activists.
[Falun Dafa Information Centre] has also alleged that up to 200 [practitioners] have died in police custody, mostly from beatings and maltreatment.
In September 2000, then Chinese premier Li Peng visited Iceland but cancelled a planned appearance at the parliament due to a human rights protest outside the building.
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