Falun Gong Practitioners Stage Large International Appeal on Tiananmen Square to End Persecution in China
Largest Presence of Chinese Police "in Recent Memory" on Tiananmen Square in Anticipation of Demonstration
NEW YORK, February 14th, 2002 (Falun Dafa Information Center) - According to eyewitnesses, approximately 30-40 western practitioners from around the world staged a peaceful appeal on Tiananmen Square in Beijing today to call for an end to the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China.
At approximately 2:00 PM Beijing time, three or four small groups of western practitioners unfurled banners and called out “Falun Dafa is Good” in Chinese. Some ran through the square, chased by Chinese police who tackled them to the ground. Each group’s demonstration occurred approximately 3 or 4 minutes apart. Among the demonstrators were 7 from Germany. The entire demonstration lasted approximately 15-20 minutes, according to witnesses.
One reporter said 5 or 6 police vans were used to take the demonstrators off the Square. Several reporters who witnessed the event described the arrests of the westerners by police as “very brutal,” including violent kicking, dragging, and throwing practitioners into police vans.
Earlier in the day, 14 European Falun Gong practitioners were taken into custody by force after Chinese police broke into their hotel rooms. One woman from the U.K., Rosemary Katzen age 42, was grabbed by the hair and dragged during the raid, losing a large clump of hair.
“As Western practitioners we go to Tiananmen Square in the hopes that our peaceful appeal will bring an end to the torture and murder of innocent people and help to awaken a society that is being torn apart by lies and deceit” one westerner explained before embarking on his trip to Beijing. “Falun Gong is not a China issue. Falun Gong is an international issue. We won’t stop until the killing stops.“