Reuters: China Detains 20 Western Falun Gong Protesters

Thu Feb 14

BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese police detained about 20 Western members of the Falun Gong spiritual movement on Thursday after a brief but lively protest in Beijing's Tiananmen Square, witnesses said.

Demonstrators threw the square into chaos for about 15 minutes as they unfurled yellow banners and shouted "Falun Gong is good!" in a protest against China's crackdown on the banned spiritual movement. It was not immediately clear what their nationalities were.

Some sprinted across the vast plaza screaming slogans as hundreds of uniformed and plainclothes police officers chased them. Police tackled some protesters to the ground, kicking and punching some, before wrestling them
into police vans, witnesses said.

Astonished Chinese tourists, sightseeing in the heart of Beijing for the Chinese Lunar New Year holidays, crowded round to watch as almost every Westerner on the square was detained for protesting.

It was the second demonstration this week by Western Falun Gong members in Tiananmen. China expelled a Canadian and an American follower of the movement Tuesday, one day after they launched a Lunar New Year protest in Tiananmen.

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