Adherents in China, as well as several of the attorneys representing practitioners, continued to face significant difficulties obtaining permission to travel overseas, including the issuance of passports. In addition, several incidents indicated increased restrictions on freedom of movement within the country and in particular, efforts by the authorities to prevent adherents from traveling to Beijing surrounding the period of the Olympic games.
As reported by the media and cited by the CECC: “The Shanghai Public Security Bureau sent a warning to Falun Gong practitioners and other dissidents in April 2008 demanding that they remain in the city during the Olympics and report to the public security office at least once a week until the end of October. The notice threatened to detain or punish anyone who violates the order.”
In August, the Falun Dafa Information Center reported that at train and bus stations 70 miles from the heart of Beijing, police had been placing photos of Falun Gong founder Mr. Li Hongzhi on the ground. To exit the station, all travelers were required stomp on the spiritual teacher’s image. Those who refused were presumed to be Falun Gong adherents and taken away. According to reports received by the Center, at least two Falun Gong adherents in Hebei province’s Chicheng city (70 miles from Beijing) and Huailai county (100 miles) were rounded up this way in late July.
Measures were also taken to prevent Falun Gong adherents from overseas from entering the country during the Olympic period. Several Falun Gong adherents (not of Chinese dissent) reported being denied entry visas to visit China during the period of the Olympics.
According to media reports and cited by the CECC: “Chinese public security officials also used supposed security concerns to justify a request made to the government of Japan in which they solicited information on Falun Gong practitioners residing in Japan who might attend the Olympic Games. The Japanese government refused to cooperate.”