Hong Kong: "Obstruction Case" Appeal Scheduled for September 3, May Involve the Basic Law

The "Obstruction Case", which ended on August 15, 2002 will be appealed on September 3, 2003

The Epoch Times reported on August 27, 2003 that Falun Gong practitioners filed an appeal on the "obstruction case" which arose from their peaceful petition. The trial for the appeal was initially slated for the Supreme Court, but the judge thinks it may involve the Basic Law and has transferred it to the Appeals Court. It is estimated the trial will last three days. Spokesperson Xu Jun of the Hong Kong Falun Dafa Association said, "The ruling in West District Court on August 15, 2002 was unfair. The Basic Ordinance for vendors was misused to restrict the right to petition, which is no different than losing the freedom to petition. It apparently violated the Basic Law."

Falun Gong practitioners from Switzerland and 12 Hong Kong practitioners peacefully petition in front of China's Liaison Office on the morning of March 14, 2002

The result of the appeal will have an impact on future petitions

Xu Jun said, "The appeal of the obstruction case is important as the result will have an impact on the future of the Hong Kong people's right to petition, such as the march of 500,000 people on July 1 and the 50,000 person demonstration on July 9 in Hong Kong. If the charges were based on the definition of the vendor's obstruction in the Basic Ordinance, the appeals on July 1 and 9 no doubt caused obstruction."

Ms. Lu Jie, a Falun Gong practitioner in the obstruction case, said, "We want to appeal because our basic right to petition was denied and they applied the basic ordinance related to vendors to prosecute us. We are not vendors. We had the goal to appeal to the central government in an urgent situation, because former Chinese president Jiang issued an order to shoot Falun Gong practitioners distributing truth-clarifying flyers on the street when they were spotted."

Ms. Lu said, "The Basic Law states that we have the right to appeal. We followed the Basic Law to appeal, but we were arrested. In this incident, the law was trampled because of Jiang's persecution of Falun Gong. Falun Gong practitioners in mainland would be arrested if they appealed; they have been deprived even of their basic right to exist."

The verdict disregarded the law and facts

She said that the judge did not consider the law and facts. "The sidewalk in front of China's liaison office was 9.5 metres wide and 33 metres long. We occupied a little space but were accused of obstruction. Now they have set up a large flower island in the centre to narrow the 9.5-metre-wide sidewalk to about 3 metres. Thus I think obstruction is not the reason but an excuse."

The 9.5-metre-wide sidewalk in front of China's liaison office is much narrower after flower island was set up

Based on a Falun Dafa Information Centre report on March 5, 2002, Falun Gong practitioners in Changchun intercepted a cable TV signal and broadcasted information on 8 channels about the worldwide spread of Falun Gong and the persecution in China. Jiang issued an order to "kill without pardon" and ordered police to shoot Falun Gong practitioners posting truth-clarifying literature.

On March 14, 2002, 4 Falun Gong practitioners from Switzerland and 12 Hong Kong practitioners were arrested in front of China's Liaison's Office in Hong Kong and charged with obstruction, hindering official work, attacking police and so on. The case was tried on June 17 in West District Court and after 32 days, the judge ruled on 7 charges and levied fines ranging from 1300 to 3800 Hong Kong dollars.

Basic Ordinance and Basic Law

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