Canadian Mother Arrested on Tiananmen Square; Hearing Scheduled for Tomorrow in Beijing

Falun Gong Worldwide Calls for Her Release

NEW YORK, January 23, 2002 (Falun Dafa Information Center) — Practitioners and supporters of the Falun Gong spiritual practice are calling for the immediate release of Connie Chipkar, who was detained in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square early this morning. Mrs. Chipkar, a 61-year-old mother from Mississauga, Canada, was detained after staging a peaceful demonstration in support of the Falun Gong practitioners who are persecuted in China.

Mrs. Chipkar is the mother of Joel Chipkar, who was in Beijing last November and filmed the peaceful demonstration and subsequent detainment of 36 Westerners.

The Associated Press reported that Mrs. Chipkar’s demonstration consisted of her wearing a sash reading “Falun Gong” and “S.O.S.”, and singing a song. Moments later, uniformed police and plain-clothes police loaded her into a van and drove her away. She has not been heard from since, but the Canadian Foreign Office told her son that a hearing is scheduled for Mrs. Chipkar tomorrow at 12PM, Beijing time.

Canadian Falun Gong spokesperson Cindy Gu expressed concern for her safety. “Even when ten countries were exerting pressure on Beijing last November to release the westerners who had staged a peaceful appeal on Tiananmen Square, many of them were beaten and abused. Connie, however, is alone and so we are very concerned for her safety.”

“Jiang’s regime has ignored all rule of law while persecuting Falun Gong practitioners in China, and so the fact that they will hold a hearing for her later this evening is disturbing,” Ms Gu continued. “It’s pathetic that a small, 61-year-old woman can’t sing a song for peace in China without being arrested and put before a hearing. It’’s an embarrassment for China. We demand her immediate release.”

Mrs. Chipkar’s son, Joel Chipkar, is available for interview: (416) 788-4176.