Saturday, February 16, 2002

She doesn't know what has happen to her boyfriend in China

"Ulrik went to China Saturday. This Tuesday I received an e-mail saying the trip went okay, after that I haven't heard anything from him," says the girlfriend Charlotte Folkhammar.

Ulrik Dahlgren, 31, from Kalmar, might be one of the Falun Gong protesters who right now are being held in custody in Beijing by Chinese police after participating in a demonstration in Tiananmen Square on Thursday.


Along with elevator worker Ulrik Dahlgren, two other Swedes went to China to participate in the demonstration on Tiananmen Square. The university student Christian Nilsson, 21 and film teacher Petter Schiller, 32, are from Lund.

Some 40 followers of Falun Gong demonstrated Thursday for their fellow Chinese imprisoned practitioners. According to the news agency TT, Chinese police arrested the group very quickly. Another 14 Falun Gong practitioners were arrested in a hotel the day before the demonstration. At least one of three Swedes might be one of them. The Falun Gong movement in Sweden now fears that all Swedes might still be in China and that police have arrested at least one of them.

No firm answers

"I don t know if Ulrik is on his way home or if he's still in Beijing. According to the news agencies, two Swedes might be on their way home, but no one seems to be certain of the real situation," says Charlotte Folkhammar.

The Swedish Foreign Ministry is still waiting for information from the Swedish embassy in Beijing. [...]

The embassy has been working to get information from the Chinese Foreign Ministry all day, but they still haven't received official confirmation that any Swedes had been arrested.

We are still very worried and trying to find out if they might be on their way home on any night flights," said Anders Eriksson from Falun Gong's information centre yesterday.

Charlotte Folkhammar says that the purpose of the demonstration, which was being held on Thursday, was to help the citizens in China.

"That's why Ulrik went there. To try to save people in need," she explains.

According to various human rights movements, some 350 Chinese Falun Gong practitioners have died after abuse from police.

The Chinese government is trying to wipe out all of what Falun Gong stands for in people's minds. On Thursday the demonstrators tried to appeal to the Chinese regime to stop the persecution of Falun Gong followers.

According to practitioners, Falun Gong stands for Truth, Compassion and Tolerance.

Among the appealing Western demonstrators there were, apart from the three Swedes, persons from the USA, Canada, Germany, Finland and Great Britain.

Among the 14 who were arrested Wednesday at a hotel, there were two Finlanders who, according to the Falun Gong information centre, have returned home. Apart from the Finlanders, it is further believed that some demonstrators have been expelled from China.

"Six Germans arrived in Frankfurt at 3.00 o clock on Friday afternoon," says Anders Eriksson from Falun Gong's information centre.

[...] The German embassy stated that a Swede and a German are still in police custody in Beijing. The German practitioners who arrived last afternoon all spoke of how each of them had been abused, some very seriously. An American practitioner was said to have been beaten bloody in a separate room because he refused to be filmed by CCTV The Swedish Falun Gong movement notified us that they were very worried for the Swede and German who still might be arrested.

"We are also worry for the other two Swedes, since we don't know where they are."

Torture and murder

[...] In July 1999,Falun Gong was totally banned by the Chinese President. Since then, some 350 Falun Gong followers have died due to torture and persecution. Earlier this summer when stran met Ulrik Dahlgren, he talked about China's hateful approach towards Falun Gong practitioners.

"You don t even have to be active yourself; it might be enough to know somebody or be related to a Falun Gong practitioner," he said in stran, July, 21, 2001.

According to Dahlgren, the police have been promised that if they beat a Falun Gong practitioner to death, it will be officially be announced as suicide.

It might be hard to understand why a non-political, non-religious and non-commercial movement like Falun Gong is so threatening to China's communist party. Dahlgren talked about how the government supported the Falun Gong movement when it was founded 1992, yet when they saw that the movement was growing they saw it as a threat to the Party.

It is said that 70-100 million Chinese today are practicing Falun Gong.

In Sweden this form of meditation is practiced by a couple of hundred people. In Kalmar the movement has some 20 practitioners.


Barometern Oskarshamns-tidningen (Swedish newspaper): Kalmar-citizen might be arrested in China

By Peter Nyberg

February 16, 2002 áá

Ulrik Dahlgren from Kalmar was one of the three Swedes at the protest demonstration in Tiananmen Square, and two of them have been arrested, as reported. Where the third is, is unclear.ááá

In Kalmar sits Ulrik Dahlgrens girlfriend, Charlotte Folkhammar, together with her friend Carol Craulier. They are of course worried for Ulrik Dahlgren, but at same time point out that they support his trip and that it was necessary to take action.

"There must be an end to the persecutions of Falun Gong adherents in China. The regime has said they are going to eliminate them," says Charlotte Folkhammar.ááá

Doesn t know if he still thereá
She is in contact with the Falun Gong movement in Sweden, [...] but still they haven't found out anything about the arrested. The girlfriend doesn't know if Ulrik Dahlgren is still in China.

"We don t know anything more than that two of the Swedes are to be expelled from China. The third Swede has disappeared and one can't find out anything about him."á

Ulrik Dahlgren is one of the most visible figures within the Falun Gong movement in Kalmar. He has held several courses in Emmaboda, Nybrooch, Kalmar and has denounced the Chinese regime.ááá

Seen as a threatáá
Falun Gong had more practitioners than the Party, thus, they were considered a threat and banned," said Ulrik Dahlgren this summer in an interview in Barometern-OT.ááá

He went to China on Monday. Charlotte Folkhammar doesn't think her boyfriend thought very much about his own security, but thinks his concerns were directed at the persecuted practitioners of Falun Gong.

"He was probably aware of what could happen, but it is more important to help."áááááá
More have been expelled

Apart from the 40 foreign citizens who were arrested in Tiananmen Square, another 14 persons were arrested in different hotels in Beijing the day before.

Most of the arrested have already been expelled from the country. (...)ááá

"Of course I am worried, but I think it is very good that he went," says Charlotte Folkhammar.