(Clearwisdom.net) A Statement to the Press from the Falun Dafa Information Center

"No amount of hatred can crush our compassionate hearts, and no propaganda can forever hide the truth."

HONG KONG, August 7, 2002 (Falun Dafa Information Centre) -- In response to Jiang's escalating assault on innocent Falun Gong practitioners, including his order to "shoot on sight," many practitioners have appealed in China and overseas. On their own initiative, with upright hearts, four Swiss practitioners whose Mainland visas had been cancelled chose to spend their own time and money to appeal close to China, in Hong Kong.

On March 14, 2002, twelve Hong Kong practitioners joined the four Swiss to begin a quiet, three-day sit-in and hunger strike in front of the Peoples' Republic of China Liaison Office. Photographic and video documentation (photos and timeline) clearly illustrate that the practitioners appealed peacefully, posed no threat, and left ample room for pedestrian traffic.

Shortly after the appeal began, however, a Liaison Office official made a series of five phone calls to the Western Station Police, applying pressure to stop the appeal. The police responded, barricading the area and causing a complete obstruction of the pavement, forcing pedestrian traffic into the street. A few hours later, dozens of policemen began dragging the practitioners into police vans. Excessive force was used, such as strangling and applying painful pressure to sensitive acupuncture points. Nine practitioners were injured.

Under the climate of growing pressure from Jiang's regime, the police put the practitioners on trial to face charges of obstruction and assaulting police. Evidence provided in the trial revealed that while the practitioners obstructed no one, the police obstructed the entire pavement and engaged in an unlawful and violent arrest. During the trial, the prosecutor could not produce a single third-party witness. The judge was even accused of bias and asked to step down. He refused.

The truth is, the arrest and trial should never have happened -- they violate both Hong Kong and international laws. They breach the freedoms of expression and assembly that Hong Kong residents and visitors have historically enjoyed, and they challenge the integrity of Hong Kong's justice system. They are blatant examples of the pressure that Jiang Zemin applies to governments around the world in his attempt to defame Falun Gong and thereby justify his cruel persecution.

In humankind's history, when innocent people of good conscience are persecuted by political powers, the consequence has often been disaster befalling a nation, a region, or even the whole world. It is hoped that Hong Kong will not follow such a course. Upholding the rule of law and protecting Falun Gong practitioners from political persecution are, in fact, protecting the interests common to all Hong Kong people.

"We will continue our appeals until the end, regardless of the pressure. The universal principle of Truthfulness-Benevolence-Forbearance bears hope for all people. No amount of hatred can crush our compassionate hearts, and no propaganda can forever hide the truth. The world's people are awakening and standing up. Together, we will end this persecution."

Timeline and photos available at: http://www.faluninfo.net/focus/hongkong.asp

Contacts: Hong Kong: Leeshai Lemish 852 9442 5022, Sophie Xiao 852 9108 2057 New York: Levi Browde: 1 914 720 0963, Erping Zhang: 1 646 533 6147 Website: http://www.faluninfo.net/