Handcuff Bruises on My Wrists Still Visible the Night after Being Detained for the Whole Afternoon Without Reason
(Clearwisdom.net) I work in Cambridge, England. On January 22nd, 2004, my friends and I came to Paris to attend the Chinese New Year celebration activities. I was among those who played waist drums. Since we did not get approval to attend the float parade on Champs Elysees Ave that day, we went to tour Arc de Triomphe.
At around 12:30 p.m., another practitioner from Cambridge, England and I came to the sidewalk close to the Arc de Triomphe. I was planning to have my friend take a picture of me when several policemen suddenly came out of nowhere, grabbed me and twisted my arms behind my back. After searching me several times without finding anything, the police tied my hands behind my back with a plastic rope. My friend was also arrested and tied up. After a while, I found that some other practitioners from England who were sightseeing elsewhere were also taken to the place where I was staying. A French practitioner who drove by was stopped and arrested, with his hands cuffed behind his back.
Most of us wore yellow scarves imprinted with "Falun Dafa" and "Truth-Compassion-Tolerance." Three practitioners were not wearing the yellow scarf, yet they were also arrested. None of us had any fliers with us. We were all sightseeing at the time of arrest. The only thing that differentiated us from ordinary tourists was that we wore yellow scarves.
Several minutes later the seven of us practitioners from England and the French practitioner were taken to a police van. After staying at the Arc de Triomphe for about 30 minutes, we were driven to the 17th District Police Station. While in the van, we were not allowed to make phone calls or take pictures.
Upon arrival at the police station, we were taken out of the van one by one. Chris, a western practitioner, was the first one to get out of the van. After quite a while, my friend and I, both from Cambridge, were also taken out. Since I left my passport in the hotel, the police asked me to use my bank card to register. Only then did they remove the rope from my hands. However, once I was taken inside, they cuffed me to a chair. Before us, Chris was already handcuffed there. We were handcuffed till about 4:00 p.m. in the afternoon.
A plainclothes official briefly explained why we were arrested. He told us that it was because we passed out fliers. He said we would be released after the parade ended at 6:00 p.m. Then he asked us to fill out a case report form. He said he knew that we were peaceful and innocent, but he did not allow us to ask more questions, saying that the arrest was ordered by higher authorities.
Since I understand neither English nor French, I wasn't able to appeal during the whole process. Even the explanations given by the official had to be translated by another practitioner for me to understand.
We were finally released at 5:15 p.m. that afternoon. Several hours later, we returned to our hotel. There were still visible marks on my wrists that night.