Hong Kong Obstructs Falun Gong's Protest

July 11, 2008 Updated: July 11, 2008

Falun Gong practitioners in Hong Kong claim that the Hong Kong government is trying to please Beijing by suppressing their activities during the recent visit by China's Vice President Xi Jinping.

In the morning of July 6, 2008, Falun Gong practitioners in Hong Kong went to the Western Police Division located across the street from the Liaison Office of the Central People's Office as they usually do. Once they arrived, they found that a dozen of plain-cloth and armed police officers and staff from Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) were awaiting them, forcing them to take down their banners, and warning them that strong actions would be taken if they did not comply.

Lu, a Falun Gong protester, said practitioners had protested at the same location for the past several years and the police, knowing the protest was peaceful, had never interfered.

The police's attitude seems to have changed recently during Xi's visit. Lu said that in the last couple of days the FEHD put up many banners advertising the Beijing Olympics after the police took down Falun Gong's banners. Lu believed the change in police's and FEHD's attitude was related to the Liaison Office.

Lu said she was disappointed to see that the Hong Kong government has become an accessory of the Liaison Office. The incident in the past two days have made Lu think Beijing's 'one country, two systems' promise to Hong Kong was never implemented, she said.

Similar incidents have occurred on other occasions as well.

In the afternoon of July 7, a group of Falun Gong practitioners marched from Chater Garden to Shangri-La Hotel. A police officer surnamed Li purposely deviated the practitioners from their planned route and took them to a remote area.