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Falun Dafa report -Violent Arrests of 40 Western Practitioners in China

Falun Dafa Information Center Responds to Violent Arrests of 40 Western
Practitioners in China
Falun Dafa Information Center Responds to Violent Arrests of 40 Western
Practitioners in China

"Falun Gong is not a China issue. Falun Gong is an international issue,
we won't stop until the killing stops."
NEW YORK, February 14th, 2002 (Falun Dafa Information Center) - According
to reports by Reuters, AFP, and Bloomberg, more than 40 western Falun
Gong practitioners from around the world who staged a peaceful appeal on
Tiananmen Square in Beijing today were met with an unprecedented level of
violence and brutality from Chinese police in dealing with foreigners.
At approximately 2:00 PM Beijing time, numerous small groups of western
practitioners began unfurling banners and calling out "Falun Dafa is
Good" in Chinese. Some ran through the square, chased by Chinese police
who tackled them to the ground, and then pushed or dragged them to nearby
police vans. Each group's demonstration occurred approximately 3 minutes
apart. The entire demonstration lasted approximately 15-20 minutes,
according to witnesses.
The Chinese government called the event an effort to damage Chinese New
Year celebrations. "It is the torture and murder of innocent Chinese
people that is tarnishing New Year celebrations," stated Jason Loftus, an
engineering student recently returned to Canada after his appeal in
Tiananmen Square earlier this week. "It is the deception of an entire
nation to hate an innocent group of people and to participate in
persecuting them that is the real crime. We are not against China. In
fact, we go to Tiananmen Square for the people of China."
As the Lunar New Year celebrations unfold, at least 10,000 Falun Gong
practitioners continue to suffer in Chinese labor camps and detention
centers, according to Amnesty International. At least 1,600 have been
confirmed to have died in police custody according to sources in the
Chinese government.
Brutal Arrests
Several western media who witnessed the demonstration described the
arrests as "very brutal."
According to an AFP report, one woman demonstrator who appeared to be in
her 20s, "had her face pinned against a van seat in a semi-prone position
for some minutes by a policeman who had his knee jammed against her back.
She was later allowed to sit up, but when she tried to open a window the
uniformed policeman struck her hard across the face with his open hand,
causing her head to jolt backwards."
Earlier in the day, 14 European Falun Gong practitioners were taken into
custody by force after Chinese police broke into their hotel rooms. One
woman from the U.K., Rosemary Katzen age 42, was grabbed by the hair and
dragged during the raid, losing a large clump of hair.
An International Issue
Levi Browde, a Falun Gong practitioner from the U.S. who was detained on
Monday, February 11th, for making a peaceful appeal on Tiananmen Square
commented: "As Western practitioners, we go to Tiananmen Square with the
hope that our peaceful appeal will bring an end to the torture and murder
of innocent people and help to awaken a society that is being torn apart
by lies and deceit." Mr. Browde continued, "Falun Gong is not just a
China issue. Falun Gong is an international issue, and we won't stop
until the killing stops."
Mr. Browde, along with Mr. Loftus, held a secret press conference in
their Beijing hotel room on Monday to show a new investigative video
about last year's self-immolation incident to western media stationed in
Beijing. The video presents evidence extracted from China's state-run
broadcasts, CNN statements, and a report by the Washington Post, which,
combined, suggest the incident was in part, or entirely, staged, and then
used in a worldwide propaganda campaign to demonize the Falun Gong
spiritual practice. Later that same day, Mr. Browde and Mr. Loftus
appealed on Tiananmen Square with two banners and a laptop computer
playing the investigative video. They were immediately detained, held in
prison cells overnight and deported the next day.
New Evidence
On February 11, 2002, U.S.-based human rights group Freedom House's
Center for Religious Freedom released a report analyzing seven top-secret
Chinese government documents detailing an official crackdown against
large, non-authorized Christian churches, Falun Gong and other religious
and spiritual groups nationwide. The documents provide "irrefutable
evidence that China's government, at the highest levels, aims to repress
religious expression outside its control, and is using more determined,
systematic and harsher criminal penalties in this effort," says Freedom
House's press release.




FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT THE FALUN DAFA INFORMATION CENTER-
Contacts: Levi Browde 914-720-0963, Adam Montanaro 917-405-4507, Erping
Zhang 646-533-6147, or Feng Yuan 646-523-5676. Email:
 faluninfoctr@nycmail.com, Website:  http://www.faluninfo.net/