(Minghui.org) While peacefully protesting against the Chinese government's human rights abuse the day before the 2018 G20 Summit in Buenos Aires, Falun Gong practitioners were besieged by Argentine police and a group organized by the Chinese Embassy. The practitioners' banners were ripped away, some were brutalized by the police, and several of them were unlawfully arrested.
The Falun Gong demonstrators, who gathered on November 29 outside Sheraton Buenos Aires Hotel, where Chinese president Xi Jinping stayed, were first surrounded by people in red clothing carrying China's red flags. This group was organized by the Chinese Embassy and pro-Chinese Communist Party (CCP) groups. Then, several Argentine police officers rushed forward and grabbed the practitioners' banners without any explanation.
Falun Gong practitioners hold banners that read, “Stop the persecution of Falun Gong” and “Bring Jiang Zemin to Justice” outside the Sheraton Hotel where Chinese President Xi Jiping stayed.
A witness stated that after a military officer from the Chinese Embassy talked to a plainclothes police officer, the police on site began forcefully seizing practitioners' banners.
Attempting to protect their banners, the practitioners held them tightly. At this time, several more police officers rushed over and began grabbing the banners. Some police officers even used violence while attempting to seize the banners. One police officer used a baton to beat practitioners, and also stomped on the their feet. Another police officer used his baton to strangle a practitioner.
At the same time, a group of Chinese people with red flags blocked the practitioners from behind with their flags and began tearing up any Falun Gong flyers that fell from the practitioners' backpacks.
Some police officers were sympathetic to the practitioners. A female police officer told practitioners, “We can't help you. Our orders came from upper level officials. There are a lot of corrupt officials here. I know some Falun Gong practitioners. I know that you are here to do good. I often see you in Chinatown.”
Another police officer told the practitioners that they were ordered to suppress people with yellow clothes or banners (Falun Gong practitioners) but not those with red clothes or red flags (people organized by the Chinese Embassy to welcome the Chinese delegation).
He added that he did not understand why. When a practitioner handed him a flyer which was yellow, the police officer said nervously, “Put it away. It's yellow.”
While grabbing the practitioners' banners, a police officer in a suit pointed to a practitioner who had a backpack and told a lie, saying, “There is a bomb inside.” The other police dragged the practitioner away.
A lawyer for the Falun Gong practitioners soon arrived and questioned the police. They said they were just temporarily detaining several practitioners and would release them if nothing unusual was found.
However, as soon as the lawyer left, the police handcuffed the practitioners and detained them for the entire night. They were not allowed to contact anyone while they were detained. They were not released until 5 p.m. the next day after they were taken to a prosecutor.
Ms. Liwei Fu of the Argentine Falun Dafa Association said that nine practitioners were illegally detained. She said initially they did not know where the practitioners were being detained. The other practitioners went to each police station to inquire after the whereabouts of the detained practitioners. After searching for three hours, they found the location.
Ms. Fu pointed out that the incident was instigated by the Chinese Embassy. She called on the embassy officials to stop the persecution and not continue being CCP accomplices.
Falun Gong practitioners continued to hold up banners calling for an end to the persecution in China from November 30 to December 1, during the Summit. They held their peaceful protest beside the road to the Sheraton Hotel where Chinese President Xi stayed and in front of the hotel afterwards.