Mon May 13, 2002
BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese police hauled off a lone foreign supporter of the banned Falun Gong spiritual movement on Monday after he held up a small protest banner in Beijing's Tiananmen Square on Monday, witnesses said.
The brief demonstration came on the 10th anniversary of the first time Falun Gong's [...] founder, Li Hongzhi, began to spread his teachings, its U.S.-based information centre said.
The French-speaking man in his 30s unfurled the poster after milling around the square for more than two hours carrying a tourist map and two paper Chinese flags, witnesses said.
Police converged on him within seconds and shoved him into a nearby van. Few noticed the demonstration.
In the past six months, China has expelled some 100 Western Falun Gong supporters within days of nabbing them during protest attempts at the sensitive square.
[...] Falun Gong claimed more than 100 million mainland Chinese followers at the height of its popularity in 1998. Beijing outlawed it as an [Jiang Zemin regime's slanderous term omitted] in 1999, months after an estimated 10,000 to 15,000 adherents gathered in front of the leadership compound in Beijing in a quiet protest.
The demonstration on Monday was the latest in an ongoing series of protests by foreigners in Tiananmen Square and by local adherents [tapping] into television networks in north-eastern China.
Falun Gong says more than 1,600 followers have died as a result of abuse in police custody or detention centres since the movement was banned.
Source: http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/nm/20020513/wl_asia_nm/asi a_104798_6
Our Source: http://www.clearwisdom.net/emh/articles/2002/5/14/22009.html
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