(Clearwisdom.net) NEW YORK, July 31, 2002 (Falun Dafa Information Center) -- At 12:15 PM on July 31, Falun Gong practitioners from the Greater New York area gathered in front of the Chinese Consulate in New York to hold a press conference on the issue of the court case in Hong Kong against 16 Falun Gong practitioners who were arrested during a peaceful appeal. At the press conference, deep concerns were raised over whether Hong Kong would be able to maintain a free society and thus ensure its flourishing economy and culture. Moreover, the practitioners expressed their indignation that the Hong Kong police violently arrested Falun Gong practitioners who were peacefully appealing, and then unreasonably accused them in complete disregard of the truth, which in fact extended Mainland China's persecution of Falun Gong to Hong Kong.

Mr. Adam Montanaro, spokesperson for the Falun Dafa Information Center presided over the press conference. Ms. Weng, who had been a Hong Kong resident and now lives in New Jersey said in her speech: "On July 9, when the trial was held to deal with the case against Falun Gong practitioners, the defendants' attorney pointed out after analyzing the photos and video footage taken on the spot of the incident, that the Hong Kong police's accusations would not stand up, as no convincing evidence was provided. He pointed out further that the so-called "obstruction" and "attacking police" charges were absolutely absurd. Yet this trial, originally estimated to take 11 workdays, has been continuously exceeding the time limit. Furthermore, during the trial, the judge has often spoken along the same lines as the accusers, and evidently has taken sides. Various facts demonstrate that this is a political trial. The nature of the case is not ordinary "obstruction," but rather, this a political trial created by the Jiang regime's determination to persecute Falun Gong."

Frank, a computer engineer and also a practitioner, represented the practitioners in the Greater New York area with his speech: "Falun Gong practitioners can be found all over the world. Hundreds of thousands of Falun Gong practitioners and kind-hearted people who support Falun Gong practitioners' freedom of belief as well as governments and organizations from different countries are all paying attention to what is happening in Hong Kong." He pointed out: "We will continue to express our support for these 16 Falun Gong practitioners. We will also continue to call on the international community, media and people from all walks of life to give moral support, to work together to end this unreasonable court case and political persecution of Falun Gong practitioners, and to support every legal right of Hong Kong Falun Gong practitioners, including the freedoms of belief, assembly and speech."

A Falun Gong practitioner, Mr. Guo, who had lived in Hong Kong for quite a long time expressed his indignation that the Hong Kong police used false charges to extend the persecution of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance to Hong Kong. He said that whether Hong Kong is able to maintain the characteristics of a free society would affect its stability and development. As a Hong Kong resident, he is deeply concerned over this issue.

The press conference lasted more than one hour, with several media conducting interviews.