(Clearwisdom.net) On the third day of the Chinese New Year's festivities, sixty Western Falun Gong practitioners went to Tiananmen Square to peacefully appeal and protest the Chinese government's persecution of Falun Gong. Out of those, the first group of 25 American practitioners arrived back in the US at Michigan's Detroit Airport at 11:30 a.m. today. Over thirty local practitioners from Detroit and Windsor City/Canada area received them with a warm welcome.

About four or five of the 25 practitioners are female; some are Caucasian, some African-Americans and some are Asian Americans. The practitioners returning to this free country looked very tired. We saw determination and fortitude in their eyes; they had blue bruises on their bodies as a result of the beatings at the hands of the Chinese police. They wore thin shirts, buttons missing, that had been torn by Chinese police officers. One female practitioner's pants gaped from a big rip, and one sleeve of another female practitioner's shirt was almost torn apart with her shirt; three practitioners were barefoot.The Beijing police robbed them of all their hand luggage and belongings.

The practitioners gave interviews to the media, including Fox News TV Station, U.S. Associated Press, Epoch Times, etc. The practitioners said police officers in Tiananmen Square viciously beat them. A female practitioner said a police officer grabbed her and threw to the ground repeatedly; her pants were torn and her back was injured. Even now she still can't bend her back; another petite female practitioner who looked only 5 feet tall said the police pulled her into the police car by her hair. Her long hair was ripped out in bundles and she felt as if her scalp was about to be ripped open. After throwing her into the police car, the police violently beat her; they forcibly pushed her head toward her chest, which caused immediate and severe pain that has not ceased, even now. Many of the male practitioners also had visible blue bruises on their faces; some of them had red eyes from the beating; one especially pale male practitioner was barefoot and wore an almost torn-up and button-less, dirty white shirt. When he showed us his back, what was revealed in front of people were red welts from whipping.

According to the practitioners, Beijing was especially heavily guarded during the Chinese New Year's holiday period. One practitioner said that around the corner of the hotel where they stayed, a dozen police officers could be seen. Tiananmen Square was even more heavily guarded by countless police forces; some practitioners were interrogated and taken away by police through the underground corridor leading to the square before they arrived at the square. We were told that now it is very hard for Westerners to tour Tiananmen Square because of strict police interrogations. More than 20 other practitioners were forcibly taken away at the hotel. An Asian-American practitioner said she always spoke English and not Chinese in Beijing; therefore she was able to come back. Four Taiwanese practitioners and one Asian-American practitioner have disappeared; we assume that they have been detained by Beijing police officers.

The Western practitioners also witnessed something else that surprised them: when the Tiananmen Police forces turned them over to the detention center, they noticed that the officers were only around 20 years of age. They had only listened to the Chinese government's propaganda and didn't know that Falun Gong is welcome in more than 40 countries around the world. These young officers even refused to acknowledge the fact that many practitioners in China were tortured to the point of disability and even death. The detention center officers said it is inconceivable that police would beat people in the square. We can see how the Chinese dictator's terrorist policies have brainwashed Chinese citizens to such an extent.