Sparked by the harassment of a respected teacher who publicly supported Falun Gong, hundreds of protesters turned the tables on a Chinese Communist Party front organization employed to bully dissenting voices in Hong Kong.
A number of Falun Gong adherents were denied entry to the territory in the weeks surrounding the Olympic games and related events, including an American citizen and a British academic of Chinese descent. At least two Hong Kong residents were sentenced to prison in China during the year for their involvement with Falun Gong.
The Communist Party’s campaign against Falun Gong escalated sharply in 2008 as China’s rulers took advantage of the Olympic games to catalyze and justify the large-scale arrest, imprisonment, and monitoring of Chinese citizens known to adhere to the spiritual practice, the Falun Dafa Information Center said in an annual report published on Tuesday.
More than 800 Falun Gong practitioners have been denied entry to Hong Kong in recent days, having traveled there for demonstrations over the ten-year anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover to China.
Hong Kong’s immigration authorities have blocked over 140 Taiwanese practitioners of Falun Gong from entering the region in the days leading up to a scheduled annual protest, the Falun Dafa Information Center has learned.
Soon after Chinese leader Jiang Zemin initiated the brutal persecution of Falun Gong in 1999, incidents appeared of Chinese officials threatening, harassing and assaulting Falun Gong practitioners, as well as pressuring foreign officials, businesses, and free media around the world to adopt Jiang’s stance against Falun Gong.
60,000 people marching through the streets, as a chorus of "We Shall Overcome" filled the air -- it was not your typical day in Hong Kong.
The defense counsel in the Hong Kong case charging peaceful Falun Gong demonstrators with obstructing the sidewalk cited "over policing" and "unprofessional" behavior among the Hong Kong police during violent arrests last March.