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New Zealander Deported from Hong Kong

Media Release

New Zealander Deported from Hong Kong

Jenny Lee, a New Zealand citizen, was detained in the Hong Kong airport on 6th December night. Hong Kong police denied her request to call the New Zealand consulate in Hong Kong and a lawyer, Ten police officers seized the elderly woman forced her onto a plane and deported her the next day. The New Zealand consulate in Hong Kong was told of the incident after she had left the country.

Ms. Lee is one of the defendants in a politically heated trial in Hong Kong, and she says she was going to the Chinese territory because her case was up for appeal on December 8. Lee and 15 others were arrested in March 2002 during a public demonstration in support of Falun Gong, a meditation practice severely persecuted in Mainland China.

Their trial in August 2002 found them guilty on a range of charges, but in November of this year most of those convictions were overruled upon appeal. Lee has a few lingering charges though, which she has brought to the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal. Falun Gong is not banned in Hong Kong as it is in Mainland China. However, many saw the violent break up of the 2002 demonstration and subsequent trial as an extension of China’s persecution.

Interestingly, Jenny Lee is involved in another court case here in New Zealand. She is a plaintiff in a lawsuit filed in the Auckland High Court against Jiang Zemin, the former leader of China. Lee was arrested eleven times in China since the persecution of Falun Gong started in July 1999. She was badly mistreated, and with a group of other New Zealand based Falun Gong practitioners, has sought justice through our legal system.

Background

Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a practice of meditation and exercises with teachings based on the universal principle of "Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance." Practiced in over 60 countries worldwide, Falun Gong has roots in traditional Chinese culture. With government estimates of as many as 70 million practicing Falun Gong, China's Communist leader Jiang Zemin outlawed the peaceful practice in July 1999. Since that time, Jiang's regime has intensified its propaganda campaign to turn public opinion against the practice while imprisoning, torturing and even murdering those who practice it. Hundreds of thousands have been arrested with over 100,000 sent to forced labor camps, typically without trial. The Falun Dafa Information Center in New York has confirmed over 1100 deaths in police custody, but sources inside China report that the number is far greater.
END.

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