Falun Gong adherent Jason Wang recounted the assault with The Epoch Times.
On Saturday, Wang drove his car together with his mother, his 6-, and 4-year-old children toward downtown Paris for a weekly Falun Gong event. He had a large placard on the roof of his car, which called for an end to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), written in French and Chinese.
When the family reached Boulevard Saint Denis around 2:32 p.m., he noticed a Chinese man photographing him from a parked car, while making rude gestures toward the family.
Wang ignored the man and continued driving but soon after, the man began driving and cut him off. Wang took a picture of the man’s car plate number.
At around 2:40 p.m., Wang saw that the car stopped ahead of them. The man and another got out of the car. One of them was carrying a metal baton. As Wang’s car passed them one of the men struck Wang’s vehicle between the two side windows with the metal baton, denting the surface.
Then, the attackers returned to their car and began to chase Wang. They pulled alongside them, rolled down their window, and threatened Wang’s life.
“We’ll kill you if you disseminate this,” they shouted while pointing to the sign on the car roof, according to Wang.
Instead of fighting back, Wang says he discouraged them from continuing their actions at the behest of the CCP. He warned them that there would be legal consequences for their actions and he asked them to differentiate between China and the CCP, and not to serve such an organization as hired thugs.
Afterward, as Wang was calling the police, the two men took several more pictures and then fled.
Police attended the scene and are now investigating the case.
Several groups have condemned the act.
“I’m extremely shocked at the attack by the thugs committed in broad daylight,” Tang Hanlong, president of the Falun Dafa Association of France, told The Epoch Times. “I strongly condemn such street gang abuses.”
Two rights groups also censured the incident, including the Europe Service Center for Quitting the Chinese Communist Party and the New York-based World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong.
Falun Gong practitioners in China have been persecuted by the ruling communist regime since 1999.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is an ancient Chinese spiritual practice consisting of slow-moving exercises and moral teachings that promote truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance in everyday life. Its popularity peaked in the late 1990s in China, with 70 million to 100 million adherents, according to official estimates.
Janey Williams contributed to this report.