Media Reports: Hong Kong Hunger Strike and Detainment
1. Dow Jones Newswires: Hong Kong Falun Gong Members to Continue China Protest
2. CNN: Falun Gong hunger strike to grow
3. Hong Kong iMail: Beijing office called in police over [group] demo
Dow Jones Newswires: Hong Kong Falun Gong Members to Continue China Protest
August 28, 2001
HONG KONG (AP)--Falun Gong followers who have staged a sit-in since Saturday to protest China's detention of members on the mainland said Tuesday they intend to continue the protest until China changes its policy.
"We have to keep a close watch on the situation in China. We'll end at an appropriate time--if they release or improve conditions for those in prison," said Kan Hung-cheung, a Falun Gong spokesman in Hong Kong.
The 10 Falun Gong followers staging the sit-in became the group's first members to be arrested in Hong Kong, when police removed them from in front of China's representative office on Saturday for allegedly obstructing the public.
They have been refusing food but say they have no intention of staging a long hunger strike.
Falun Gong follower Joanna Lau said 10 new protesters will take over on Wednesday, with practitioners planning to rotate through four-day shifts to make sure nobody's health is harmed.
The 10 arrests on Saturday occurred after the Chinese liaison office complained to the authorities, police disclosed Monday. The protesters were released without being charged.
A police spokesman, Superintendent Charles Wong, said Tuesday that authorities will continue to facilitate protests that are peaceful and lawful.
"So long as they have not created an obstruction, and the protest remains lawful and peaceful, and we don't receive any complaints, they can continue," Wong said.
Falun Gong's longest-running protest here came in July 1999, when followers in Hong Kong sat opposite China's liaison office for 11 days after China outlawed Falun Gong, Kan said. The group remains legal in Hong Kong and frequently protests suppression in mainland China.
CNN: Falun Gong hunger strike to grow
August 28, 2001
By CNN's Patricia Lai and wires
HONG KONG, China -- Hong Kong Falun Gong followers continued a hunger strike into day four, saying they were going to broaden the protest to involve others.
Police arrested and released 10 Falun Gong practitioners on Saturday, saying they had received complaints that the hunger strikers were obstructing a public area.
The group, to be replaced with new people on Wednesday, is protesting to achieve the release of 130 mainland followers being held in a China labor camp.
"We are concerned about our practitioners' health. Some of them started vomiting already," Hong Kong Falun Gong spokesperson Kan Hung-cheung told CNN when asked if this "turn-taking" hunger strike is an effective way to send across their message to the Chinese government.
"We have to strike a balance between protest and our members' health . . . we want to use this strike to alert people's awareness."
He said the group has not fixed a date when the marathon protest will end.
The protest moved into a fourth straight day, with the police keeping them 100 feet clear of the Chinese office.
Before the arrests, Hong Kong officials had merely escalated their rhetoric against Falun Gong, with Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa calling the group a [term omitted] and saying that it needs to be monitored.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Hong Kong iMail: Beijing office called in police over [group] demo
By Eli Lau
August 28, 2001
THE arrests of 10 Falun Gong demonstrators on Saturday came after two complaints were lodged by the Central Government Liaison Office. This was confirmed yesterday by police who had said earlier there were two complaints, but had refused to disclose where they came from.
The confirmation came as Secretary for Justice Elsie Leung Oi-sie insisted the arrests - the first of [group] members in Hong Kong - did not indicate a crackdown on the Falun Gong.
The demonstrators were carried away at about 1pm on Saturday from the entrance of the liaison office on Connaught Road West, where they had started a hunger strike. They were freed four hours later with a verbal warning, but later returned to continue their protest, this time in an area designated by police.
"The police took the action after we received two complaints from the building management of the Central Government Liaison Office,'' a spokesman said.
The hunger strike, which continued yesterday, is against the detention of 130 Falun Gong followers at a labour camp in Heilongjiang province. Speaking after meeting Guangdong governor Lu Ruihua yesterday, Ms Leung said the arrests had not been "particularly targeting'' the Falun Gong, but had been a police response "according to the situation''. Anyone obeying the law could enjoy freedom of speech, she said, refusing to comment further.
Chief Superintendent Charles Wong Doon-yee of the Police Public Relations Branch said the arrests had nothing to do with the Falun Gong's religious background. "The police will not adopt special methods in handling such a case just because of the people's background or religion,'' he said.
"We treat every Hong Kong citizen the same way and respect their right of expression.'' Liaison office deputy director Wang Fengchao declined to confirm whether the office had made the complaints.
"The more accusations coming from us, the more noise there will be from [the media],'' Mr Wang said. Police stood by yesterday as the Falun Gong adherents continued their protest for the third day inside the designated area.
Hong Kong Association of Falun Dafa spokesman Kan Hung-cheung said the protest was law-abiding.He described the earlier arrests as "wrong action by the police as our members are only exercising their freedom of expression''.
Category: Falun Dafa in the Media