Seven public information stands exposing the Chinese regime’s persecution of the spiritual practice Falun Gong were recently vandalized over a 24-hour period in Hong Kong. The local Falun Gong association believes that the vandals, who used knives and spray paint to damage signage at the stands, were tied to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
From 11 a.m. local time on April 2, four masked perpetrators vandalized Falun Gong information booths in the Hong Kong districts of Mong Kok, Hung Hom, and Wan Chai, tearing down banners and slashing and pushing over boards on display, the Hong Kong Falun Dafa Association said on April 3. They fled the scene within minutes and without a word, as recorded in a video filmed by a passerby and uploaded on YouTube.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a spiritual practice that involves meditative exercises and moral teachings based on the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance. Since 1999, adherents of the practice have been systematically persecuted by the CCP, with millions detained in prisons, labor camps, and other facilities. There have been thousands of reports of practitioners suffering torture, abuse, and even death in detention, according to the Falun Dafa Information Center.
For more than two decades, Falun Gong practitioners outside of mainland China, including in Hong Kong, have appealed for an end to the persecution. Many have set up public information stands on city streets to raise awareness and expose the severe human rights abuses committed by the CCP.
However, local Falun Gong practitioners in Hong Kong have found it harder to carry out these activities in recent times.
On April 2, a Falun Gong roadside booth on Argyle Street in the Mong Kok district suffered a loss of around HK $21,000 ($2,700), after vandals damaged four banners, two flagpoles, and 14 display boards, according to a Falun Gong practitioner who tried in vain to stop the perpetrators. Three more stands were vandalized on the same day.
The next day, another three stands in the Mong Kok and Wong Tai Sin districts were sabotaged by a group of six individuals between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m, the association said.
The police were called and said they would provide a heavy patrol presence following the incidents.
An Order From the Communist Party
Sarah Liang, chairwoman of the Hong Kong Falun Dafa Association, condemned the attacks on Falun Gong street stands.
Liang told The Epoch Times that the sabotage is clearly tied to the CCP and that it may have been an act of desperation, a sign that the regime “is reaching the end of its rope.”
Since March 6, unattended poster displays that slander Falun Gong and its founder have appeared on the streets near where Falun Gong information stations are set up in Mong Kok, Tsim Sha Tsui, Causeway Bay, and Wan Chai.
The posters are written in simplified Chinese characters—rather than traditional Chinese used in Hong Kong—and worded in a similar way to CCP propaganda in mainland China, according to Liang.
On March 25, a woman tending to the propaganda posters told The Epoch Times that the “Communist Party in Shenzhen” issued the order to defame Falun Gong and asked her to send video recordings to mainland China every day. She denied receiving money from the Party.
This is not the first time that Falun Gong information stations have been sabotaged in the city.
Several booths were vandalized last year, most notably on Dec. 20, 2020, when a man stole printouts from a Falun Gong booth in Tsim Sha Tsui and threw display boards into a nearby harbor.
Last year, a national security law went into effect in Hong Kong on the eve of July 1, pushed through by the CCP. Since then, public freedoms in the territory have been severely undermined. Dozens of pro-democracy figures have been charged or convicted under the legislation or similar laws.
Liang believes that the Falun Gong information booths, upholding Hongkongers’ right to be informed about the persecution, have had a positive effect on the city. “They bring Hong Kong people hope for the future,” she said.