Reported by: 9News

Photographed by: 9News

8/30/03 11:38:56 PM

The family of a U.S. citizen being held in China spent part of their Saturday afternoon on downtown's Fountain Square hoping to draw attention to his plight.

According to Yeong-Ching Foo, the fiancée of Dr. Charles Li, the doctor has been unlawfully detained for more than six-months by Chinese officials because of professing his belief in a spiritual practice called Falun Gong.

The practice of Falun Gong involves mental and physical relaxation exercises designed to bring inner peace, even healing, to an individual.

Li's fiancée says he traveled to China to help practitioners of the faith whose rights have been allegedly violated by the Chinese government.

"I am very proud of him," said Foo. "He risked his life for other people. He joined many of the other people in history like Martin Luther King to get rights for others."

Li's family says they have evidence that he has been tortured, both mentally and physically.

They are traveling around the country collecting signatures on a petition calling for the doctor's immediate release.