HONG KONG, Aug 8 (Apple Daily) -- Falun Gong practitioners around the world have initiated a large scale communication [campaign] to voice their discontent at Hong Kong police's accusation against 16 practitioners who were charged with public obstruction and assaulting police. Some government offices and officials, members of the legislative council and a majority of news media agencies have received protesting phone calls or faxes and were asked to be concerned with the developments of this case.

The 16 - four Swiss nationals, a New Zealander and 11 Hong Kong residents - are accused of causing a public obstruction and assaulting police officers during a protest of China's persecution of Falun Gong outside of Beijing's main representative office in Hong Kong on March 14. The trial started at the West District Court several weeks ago. The prosecutor closed his arguments yesterday.

Surveys shows that the freedom to demonstrate has decreased

Many Hong Kong governmental agencies and overseas Hong Kong offices have received large amounts of letters, faxes from the US, Japan, Taiwan and other areas. Some members of the legislative council also received similar telephone calls, faxes, and emails, urging them to uphold Hong Kong's democracy and legal system. South China Morning Post also received many similar communications requesting the Hong Kong media to be concerned with the development of this case.

A survey of over 1000 Hong Kong residents conducted by Hong Kong University's Public Opinion Study in mid-July shows that the residents' degree of satisfaction towards the freedom of demonstration has decreased. The newest grade is 6.75 on a possible 10, falling 0.3 compared to that of April. The decline range is biggest in the Freedom indices.