Associated Press
Wednesday, March 27, 2002

BOSTON - A Clark University student has reportedly vanished in China while on a trip to appeal a crackdown on practitioners of Falun Gong, a form of meditation the Chinese government has banned as [Jiang Zemin regime's slanderous term omitted].

After Daniel Pomerleau, 22, of Vassalboro, Maine, arrived in China on Sunday to protest the government's policy, he failed to meet a local contact, and did not call the United States as planned, said Riordan Galluccio, a spokesman for the Boston Falun Info center and himself a recent detainee.

"We're deeply concerned about his whereabouts, because of the recent situation that's erupted in China,'' Galluccio said. "We're 99.9 percent sure that he's been detained, because there's really no reason for him not to contact us.''

In Washington, State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said Wednesday he did not know anything about the case. A spokesman at the Chinese Embassy did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment.

The Chinese government outlawed Falun Gong in 1999. Thousands of [practitioners] have been detained in China and Falun Gong supporters abroad claim hundreds of people have been killed in captivity, [...]

In recent months, dozens of practitioners from overseas have been deported after protesting, including Galluccio.

Pomerleau went to Beijing by himself on Sunday, and was scheduled to arrive early Monday morning Eastern Standard Time.

But he missed two phone check-ins with people in Massachusetts, and didn't show up [at] a meeting with a contact in China, Galluccio said.

Galluccio said Pomerleau went to China specifically to protest the persecution of Falun Gong adherents. Pomerleau is himself a Falun Gong practitioner, and an activist with Amnesty International at Clark, Galluccio said.

There was no answer at Pomerleau's family home in Maine.

Category: Disappearance