(Clearwisdom.net) A peaceful protest at Beijing's infamous Tiananmen Square last week went horribly wrong for former Westmead resident Kay Belonogoff.
The 22-year-old said she and 34 others of 12 different nationalities were left battered and bruised by police last Tuesday during their ... mission to the Chinese capital to protest against the persecution of Falun Dafa practitioners.
Ms Belonogoff was holding a banner emblazoned with Falun Dafa principles "truthfulness, compassion and forbearance" when the group was surrounded by more than a hundred policeman.
She said protesters were "kicked, punched and dragged by the hair" into waiting vans and transported to a nearby compound for police interrogation.
Ms Belonogoff knew the exercise would be fraught with danger following claims of up to 300 Falun Dafa practitioners executed and many followers subjected to torture and labour camps. She said it was a matter of standing by her principles.
"It was a peaceful protest and I just couldn't believe the response it caused," she told the Sun.
"When we spoke with some of the police they didn't even know what Falun Dafa was."
Ms Belonogoff, who recently moved to Sandy Point but still works for a software company at Girraween, said the dramatic ordeal continued at the police compound with the group herded into a tiny cell and interrogated one by one.
"We were pushed around by the guards and denied access to our ambassadors," she said.
"They asked all sorts of questions about how we managed to get into China and who was responsible, trying to link it all to a certain source."
The protesters were eventually expelled from China for five years. [...]
Ms Belonogoff said her parents only became aware of her ordeal after she had left the country. She hopes that Falun Dafa will one day be recognised in China.
"At the moment I think the Chinese government is afraid of the popularity of Falun Dafa and because it controls the media, can manipulate public perception," she said.
The Australian government has no position on the doctrines of Falun Dafa but believes China's stance on its followers breaches fundamental human rights standards.