Local Pro-Communist Associations Hosting Chinese UN Ambassador Assault Falun Gong in New York City
Assailants Beat and Threaten to Kill Falun Gong Practitioners Outside Chinatown Restaurant
NEW YORK (FDI) – Chinese association members assaulted several practitioners of Falun Gong in New York City Monday evening during a banquet hosting high-level Chinese officials in a nearby restaurant.
“I was surrounded by men who started punching me in my face and abdomen,” says New York resident Mr. Jun Li. Mr. Li bears a swollen black eye and abrasions on his torso and arms. “One man was screaming, ‘I’m going to beat you to death,’” Mr. Li recalls.
Falun Gong practitioners were present outside “Palace 88,” a restaurant in Manhattan’s Chinatown, where several Chinese diplomats and local Chinese business association leaders were attending a banquet for Yingfan Wang, the departing UN ambassador from the People’s Republic of China. According to the World Journal, Hongxi Zhang, the Consular-General from the Chinese consulate in New York City also attended the banquet.
Falun Gong practitioners held banners and distributed flyers outside the restaurant to passers-by providing information about the persecution of Falun Gong in China. The literature also detailed the lawsuit filed against former Communist Chinese leader, Jiang Zemin, for genocide and crimes against humanity. (news)
Witnesses say association members harassed the Falun Gong practitioners between 7pm and 10pm, cursing at them as well as taking their banners and tearing them up.
Shortly before 10pm, witnesses say a woman exited the banquet followed by many attendees. Observing the Falun Gong practitioners outside, witnesses say the woman said something to the people gathered around her and then climbed into a black Mercedes-Benz and drove away. Some of these individuals then confronted the Falun Gong practitioners, cursed at them and threatened to “beat [them] to death” for supporting Falun Gong. They then proceeded to surround and beat several individuals, causing one man to bleed from his nose.
One woman said she was sexually harassed during the incident.
Several victims of the assault filed police reports at the local precinct.
“Tonight Chinatown got a brief glimpse of what Jiang’s persecution [of Falun Gong] in China is like,” commented Gregory Xu, an eyewitness and one of the victims of the assault. “Simply for peacefully exercising our right to freedom of speech, we were physically assaulted.”
Mr. Xu concludes, “If they will openly attack people here in the U.S. just because we support Falun Gong, imagine what they do in China behind closed doors.”
A local Chinese-language TV station captured some of the assault on video.
For interviews, firsthand accounts, and video footage of the event, please contact Ms. Janet Xiong at 646-932-9711.