(Clearwisdom.net) As the host country of the 2009 Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, Thailand held the annual ASEAN summit on February 28 to March 1, 2009, at the Thai beach resort of Cha-am, and planned to hold subsequent meetings at the Royal Cliff Beach Resort at another Thai beach resort of Pattaya on April 11-12. Attendees included the ten member nations of ASEAN and six major partners including Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea. As protesters who are supporters of former prime minister Thakisn Shinawatra stormed the venue, the summit was brought to a halt. Foreign leaders were evacuated by helicopter.

Prior to the summit that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) attended, local police, at the behest of the CCP, rounded up and took into custody of a number of Falun Gong practitioners in the name of security.

Since late March 2009, Falun Gong practitioners who have been distributing truth clarification materials and the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party at Pattaya for years often found unidentified people taking photos of and filming the practitioners, asking for materials and inquiring about information while posing as tourists. Materials and bicycles were also stolen from practitioners. Some practitioners were followed to their residences, and someone even tried to get the practitioner's landlord to evict them. This attempt failed after the practitioners explained the facts to the landlord and gained his support. When negotiating with the Thai police in Pattaya, the practitioners learned that the series of acts are connected to the ASEAN summit to be held in Pattaya, because the head of the CCP will attend the summit.

At about 10:00 a.m. on April 9, 2009, the Thai Special Branch Police broke into three Falun Gong practitioners' residence in Pattaya. They arrested three Falun Gong practitioners: Han Li, Chu Guizhi and Wei Lisheng, who are from China and under the protection of the UNHCR. The stated reason for the arrest was illegal entry and staying in Thailand. Wei Lisheng is still processing his application for refugee status. The police searched the entire residence. They confiscated Falun Gong books, truth clarification materials, CD's, three laptops, a camera and a wallet. Later, the three practitioners were taken into custody at the Pattaya Police Department.

At 4:00 p.m. on April 10, the three practitioners were put on trial, and each was sentenced to six months of imprisonment with a two-year reprieve. The charge against them was illegal entry and stay. They were also each fined 3,800 Thai Baht. After paying the fine, the practitioners were not released. The police plan to send them to the Bangkok Immigration Bureau Prison to be held indefinitely. The practitioners requested that the court ask the Special Branch Police to return the confiscated goods, but their request was set aside.

Other Falun Gong practitioners in Pattaya called upon the international community to look at the CCP exporting the persecution of human rights and beliefs overseas, and to condemn the Thai police for succumbing to the CCP's pressure.

The following is the contact information for the Special Branch Police Bureau in Thailand:

Special Branch Commander
Teradej Rodpothong
Fax: 662-2527940, 662-2527941

Special Branch Deputy Commander
Fax: 662-22527947, 662-22525360, 662-22528029

Special Branch Police
Tel: 662-2052253, 662-2051289
Fax: 662-2518705
Email: sb@police.go.th
Special Branch Police Bureau
Bldg.# 20 National Police Office
Rama 1 Rd., Pratumwan, Bkk.10330