Western Practitioners Recount Police Brutalities at Detroit Airport
On February 14 at 2 p.m. Beijing time, several dozen western practitioners from over 10 countries staged a large-scale demonstration on Tiananmen Square and were beaten up and arrested. 25 of the practitioners arrived at Detroit International Airport on February 15 at noon and held a brief press conference. According to these practitioners, still more practitioners were detained in China and their whereabouts are still unknown.
Practitioners Hold Press Conference at Detroit Airport
Because of the Jiang regime's propaganda and brainwashing, many Chinese citizens have been misled to believe that Falun Gong is also persecuted elsewhere. The western practitioners from around the USA went to China to let the Chinese people know that Falun Gong is good and practitioners follow the principle of Zhen-Shan-Ren. With compassionate hearts, they wanted the Chinese people to know that Falun Gong is freely practiced and loved by people outside of China. Many police were shocked to learn that people around the world are practicing Falun Gong freely. Scott Chinn from NY said that one policeman showed him a message he had typed on his cell phone: "I know Falun Gong is good. I am terribly sorry."
It seemed that the police were all prepared before February 14's demonstration. Keith Ware from Washington D.C. said that many practitioners were body searched and arrested at their hotels before the demonstration. Scott Chinn said, "Every westerner was questioned and searched in the passageway to Tiananmen Square. If anything related to Falun Gong was found on them, they were taken away, no matter whether they were practitioners or not." David from San Francisco said that six plain-clothed police trailed him at close range.
Practitioners who participated in the event suffered different degrees of beatings, humiliation, body searching, detention and loss of personal property. At 2 p.m., Keith Ware and his wife Donna were arrested, kicked and thrown into a police van under the eyes of many visitors on Tiananmen Square. The police rudely pulled Donna by her hair. Keith said, "During detention, the police said we were their guests, not detainees. However they treated us with animosity and did not allow us to make phone calls or have any contact with the outside world. Some practitioners were severely beaten."
College student Court Pearman was also beaten and thrown into the police van. He said, "On the way to the police station, a policeman forced my head down. Then I was taken to a detention center by six policemen and constantly beaten. They continued to threaten me with leather belts." Court's eye and back still have clearly visible bruises from the beatings.
Twenty-two year old college student Mark Gardner from Los Angeles, 25 year old economic consultant Albert Roman, and 29 year old Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner Gina Sanchez were arrested, beaten and thrown into a police van because they unfurled a yellow banner and shouted, "Falun Dafa Hao." Mark said, "I was just about to open my pocket and pull the yellow banner out when I was thrown down. When I tried to stand up, I was beaten down to the ground again. They then forced me to put my head between my legs so I could not shout Falun Dafa Hao. They also viciously beat my eyes." Blood could be clearly seen on the right side of Mark's face. The left side of his neck also has red bruise marks.
Keith said, "Even more shamefully, the police kicked me into Northwest Flight 88 when we were deported back to the USA. Their violent and raucous behavior even frightened other passengers on the flight."