March 15, 2002

March 16, 2002

Falun Gong practitioners appeal outside of West District Police Department, demanding the release of practitioners in detention 16 practitioners step out of the West District Judgment Bureau

News from Hong Kong on March 15, 2002

After using force to arrest peaceful practitioners sitting outside the China Liaison Office, Hong Kong police falsely charged the 16 practitioners for obstruction. Hong Kong practitioners pointed out that the Hong Kong authorities moved farther along the wrong path of following Jiang regime's persecution against Falun Gong. The practitioners request that all charges be withdrawn immediately and innocence be restored to the practitioners arrested. The practitioners also call on all practitioners seeing this news to send forth righteous thoughts to eliminate the evil behind this scheme.

Some have pointed out that the police suppressing the peaceful petitioners were truly the ones who obstructed the street.

The Hong Kong Falun Gong spokesperson said, "The government's charge against innocent practitioners is shocking and regrettable. The authorities are moving along the wrong path of following Jiang's persecution of Falun Gong. The hunger strike was held on the sidewalk of a street that was 30 feet wide outside the China Liaison Office and we only occupied a few feet. There was some distance to the office's main entrance. There was no inconvenience to passersby or the office staff going in and out - where is the obstruction? Obviously the complaint of the China Liaison Office to the police was groundless."

The video footage and other evidence showed that the petition of the Falun Gong practitioners was peaceful from beginning to the end. However, the police department dispatched dozens of police officers, who used violent and excessive force including pressing the sitting practitioners' foreheads, clutching their necks, forcefully twisting their arms, and pressing their acupuncture points behind their ears [the sensitive points to disable people; some Asian police are trained to use acupuncture points to control criminals]. The violence resulted in injuries to many practitioners, and some of them are still feeling the effects.

The Falun Gong practitioners dispute the police's claim of resistance regarding the struggle of those practitioners who were being violently mistreated by police: should the people always obey and let someone attack them at will? Isn't the behavior of violently hurting people and falsely accusing them similar to that of police in Mainland China?

Hong Kong practitioners said that some Hong Kong authorities knowingly violated the law, went against the spirit of rule of law, trampled on the duty that the people entrusted them with, and also ruined the international prestige of Hong Kong's respect for human rights. The practitioners request that the Hong Kong Special Autonomous Region Government withdraw all charges against the practitioners. The practitioners also hope that the Hong Kong people will offer understanding and support to the just act of the practitioners and help them find justice.

Today's arraignment was postponed until March 22 at the request of the suitor to wait for the verification and charge of the Law and Administration Bureau. The 16 practitioners were released on bail but told not to leave Hong Kong, resulting in the failure of the 4 Swiss and 3 Hong Kong practitioners to go to Geneva to attend the experience sharing conference and United Nations Human Rights Commission meetings.