Policewoman Does Not Understand Why We Were Taken to the Police Station for Doing Nothing
I am Gao Yudong, female, of Chinese nationality, and I now live in London, United Kingdom. (Address and phone number omitted)
On January 23 my husband, my son and I came to Paris. On January 24 at about 12 o'clock noon, we went to the Arc de Triomphe and were ready to see the parade in Champs Elysees. At an Arc de Triomphe metro exit, I got a leaflet handed out by an airhostess of Air France, but then I accidentally dropped it at the exit. Upon my return from retrieving the leaflet, I saw a few men standing next to my friends waiting for me, waving to me, gesturing me to go to them. As I got close, a few big men suddenly clamped both my arms very roughly. I asked them "why?" in English. They said they didn't understand English and they squashed my arms even harder, lifting me up, and stuffing me into a police van that was parked nearby.
At around 2 p.m., my friends and I were taken to 17th District Police Station. There were all together ten people in the van, two of whom I did not know. I recognized the other seven, because they were all Falun Gong practitioners from France or the UK.
When we reached the police station, our names and addresses in Paris were recorded. I was taken to a room and saw that those who had been taken there before us were all handcuffed to benches. After half an hour, I asked a police officer why we had been taken there, and told him that we ought to be released immediately. This police said that he would report this to his superiors, and wait for them to decide.
Another hour passed. I was taken to an office with another lady where a policewoman said she would record our personal information. I demanded she explain why we were arrested and taken here in the first place. She pointed at a Falun Gong leaflet on the desk and said, "In France, handing this out on the street is not allowed without permission." I said I didn't hand out any leaflets. I asked her if I was arrested because of the yellow scarf I was wearing. She said yes.
I asked her why another lady was taken to the police station when she was neither distributing leaflets nor wearing a yellow scarf. She pointed at the Falun Gong leaflet on the desk again, saying that it is because you are all part of this. Her superiors made this decision because of political pressure.
She did not do anything to us. She too did not understand why we were taken to the police station. After registering my information, I was released at about 5 p.m.