Aftenposten (Norwegian Newspaper): Court Rules Against Falun Gong Practitioners in Hong Kong
Aftenpostens correspondent in Hong Kong: Per A. Christiansen
A court in Hong Kong yesterday ruled against 16 followers of the spiritual movement Falun Gong who were charged with disturbing public order during a protest in March this year.
Four of the defendants are Swiss, one is from New Zealand, and two live in the USA, but are originally from Hong Kong. All of them protested their innocence and declared that they intend to appeal the decision.
Falun Gong [...] is outlawed in China, where the authorities have categorized it as [Jiang's slanderous words omitted], and mercilessly persecuted its followers.
In Hong Kong however, the movement is legal, this in accordance with the liberties the former colony retained when it was reunited with China five years ago. Yesterday's sentence has, however, triggered criticism towards the authorities and allegations that they, under pressure from Beijing, are trying to gag freedom of speech.
The 16 were arrested March 14th during a quiet demonstration outside the Peoples Republic of China liaison office in Hong Kong, where they were protesting against the Chinese authorities' [persecution].
Falun Gong followers asserted during the trial that they did not block the pavement, and that it was open for traffic until the police came and blocked it.
Aftenposten 2002-08-16 (Translated from Norwegian)
Category: Persecution Outside China