LONDON, Jan 24 (AFP) - About 10 members of the Falungong spiritual movement, which is banned in China, protested late Tuesday outside the Chinese embassy in London to mark the Chinese New Year.

With police discreetly in the background, they practised their routines on the opposite side of the road to the embassy in central London.

Some carried banners demanding a stop to the "torture and killing" of Falungong members in China, and carried pictures of fellow practitioners they said had been tortured or killed by authorities there.

They planned to stay outside the embassy overnight.

In a statement, the Falungong information center in Britain said the aim of the protest was to appeal to Chinese President Jiang Zemin to stop the persecution of Falungong practitioners in China.

"We look towards the New Year to bring new hope for the millions of Falungong practitioners who have lost their basic human rights," it said.