AP: Hong Kong Falun Gong follower released from detention in mainland China

HONG KONG - Authorities in mainland China have released a Hong Kong follower of the Falun Gong meditation group who was detained for more than a month.

Lui Pak-fung, 31, said Thursday that she returned with her 1-year-old daughter to Hong Kong last week after spending 12 days under detention in a hotel and three weeks under house arrest at her parents' home in Liuzhou, in southwestern China's Guangxi region.

"I'm very happy to be with my family in Hong Kong," Lui told The Associated Press.

After Lui's arrest on February 14th, police took her several times to see an anti-Falun Gong exhibition and urged her to renounce the meditation [group], which Beijing has branded an "[slanderous term used by Jiang regime]”

The group is not banned in Hong Kong, whose residents enjoy broader freedoms than their mainland compatriots under an autonomy arrangement intended to ensure the city's capitalist way of life after the former British colony's return to Chinese rule in 1997.

Police in China told Lui to inform them of Falun Gong's activities in Hong Kong and to notify them if foreign members were planning to stage protests in Beijing, she said.

In recent months, foreign Falun Gong followers have attempted several protests in Beijing's Tiananmen Square, saying they wanted to draw attention to China's often-brutal crackdown on the group.

Lui said she had not been swayed by the authorities' demands and would continue to practise Falun Gong, which combines slow-motion exercises and a philosophy drawn from Tao [School], Buddha [school] and the ideas of founder Li Hongzhi.

Lui was leaving her parents' home for the airport during a Chinese New Year visit when the taxi she had taken took her instead to a police station — the driver was an undercover policeman.

Although Falun Gong remains legal in Hong Kong, the government here has taken Beijing's line that it is a [slanderous term used by Jiang regime] and says it will closely monitor the group.

Hong Kong Security Bureau spokeswoman Patricia Mok said the territory's government had followed up on a request by Lui's family for help. Mok did not say if the government had asked Beijing to release Lui.

Falun Gong members in Hong Kong also have been lobbying for the release of another Hong Kong adherent known to be detained in the mainland, businessman Chu O-ming.

Chu was arrested in Beijing and sentenced to five years in prison in the northern Chinese city of Tianjin in 2000 after he filed a lawsuit against President Jiang Zemin for his crackdown on the [group].

Related article: Official Document Detailing the Recent Arrest of Practitioners in Hong Kong (including photographic evidence)


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