At 11am on February 20, 2005, an incident occurred at a Macao tourist site in which police harassed Falun Gong practitioners and prevented them from displaying photos, distributing information and talking to tourists about Falun Gong and the persecution. At the time, two practitioners were distributing information to tourists. It is reasonable and legal for Macao practitioners to display photos and distribute materials to expose the persecution of Falun Gong to people at tourist sites. Although there are police officers who monitor their activities and take photos every day, practitioners have been persisting in their efforts for five years in order to call for an end to the brutal persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China. Unexpectedly, on February 20, police officers from Division No. 1 of the police department suddenly and forcibly took a woman practitioner who was distributing materials as usual, as well as all the photos on display, to the division No. 1 headquarters. They charged the practitioner with "obstructing the street." Later, she was released.
During the past five years, the local police officers who were assigned to monitor practitioners in Macao have basically learned the truth about Falun Gong, but not long ago, all those police officers were replaced by a new group.
After the incident, Macao practitioners immediately delivered an open letter to Mr. He, chief of the prosecutor's office, the court and the police departments, explaining the incident and at the same time requesting to have a dialogue with related personnel at Division No.1 to resolve the problem. On March 15, practitioners met with three responsible officers at Division No.1 headquarters. During this time, the officers explained and read the related ordinances about the definition of obstructing the street in Portuguese. Generally it says that if someone displays objects on the street or roadside and causes an inconvenience to pedestrians and obstruction of public traffic, the person's behaviour can be interpreted as "obstructing the street." In reality, our photo boards were not displayed on the street or roadside, but set up on the parterre of the roadside. (Please see the photo) Practitioners therefore thought the ordinance did not correspond with our actual situation.
|Macao Falun Gong practitioners distribute leaflets and exhibit photo boards at a tourist site|
The police claimed, "If you hang photos on your body, you will not be restricted by the law." But in fact, if we hung photos on our body, it would also cause some obstructions, and it does not conform to the image of freedom and rule of law enjoyed by Macao. To resolve the problem, practitioners suggested hanging photos further from the road, so that we would not cause any potential obstruction. The practitioners also expressed our willingness to discuss with the police about the proper number of photos we should display. At the time, the responsible officers accepted our suggestions and expressed that they should ask for approval from their superiors in the Public Security Department. However, the reply from their superiors was that this would still constitute "obstructing the street." The police repeatedly expressed: We have to execute the law and cannot disobey our superior's instructions.
The practitioners stated that our reasonable and legal activities have not caused any obstructions to pedestrians and traffic, so it should not be called an "obstruction." What we are doing is not commercial, nor for pursuing personal gain, but for exposing the persecution happening in Mainland China, help people know the facts about Falun Gong, and awaken people's kindness and conscience, so that they can stand up for justice, stop the persecution, restore the reputation of Falun Gong and Falun Gong's founder, and restore the legal status of Falun Gong practitioners in China.
On the afternoon of March 16, the practitioners went directly to police chief and the police chief's assistant at police headquarters to talk to them and deliver an open letter. The assistant accepted our open letter and expressed that they would deal with this matter. Practitioners took the opportunity to explain the facts about Falun Gong to related personnel and gave them copies of the open letter and leaflets.
Later, practitioners accepted media interviews, and two Chinese newspapers in Macao reported the news.
Through the interviews, the people learned that Macao Falun Gong practitioners have been persevering in rationally and peacefully displaying photos and distributing materials to those who are interested for over five years. We have never caused any obstruction of public traffic and no issue of "obstruction" exists. The practitioners expressed that this sudden incident might be the result of pressure on the police from Mainland China. However, Macao should be a highly autonomous society, and democracy and rule of law are the foundation for Macao's survival and development. Macao citizens should be protected by the law in Macao. Chief Executive Edmund Ho Hau Wah personally signed and publicised the "Human Rights Act" and "The Convention on Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide" (No. 4/2001 bulletin of chief executive.) The police should not violate the international conventions and damage the image of Macao.
The practitioners also made the point that distributing leaflets at tourist sites is to expose the persecution carried out in China against Falun Gong practitioners. The campaign of persecution has brought harm to countless Falun Gong practitioners and their relatives in Mainland China. Tens of thousands of Falun Gong practitioners have been illegally incarcerated and suffered brutal torture. Thousands of practitioners have been sent to mental hospitals to be injected with unknown drugs. Over 1,600 practitioners have been confirmed killed as a result of persecution. In order to expose the lies and deception, to end the brutal illegal suppression, and to safeguard justice, morality, human rights and resist persecution, Falun Gong practitioners in over 60 countries have been distributing materials and displaying photos to clarify the facts about Falun Gong to the general public, so that more and more people can learn about the persecution and support Falun Gong.
At present, Macao practitioners have resumed their activities at tourist sites by holding up photo boards. At the same time, practitioners will make further contact with the police to clarify the matter. The practitioners sincerely hope that the Macao police can resist the pressure from the Chinese communist party and treat Falun Gong and Falun Gong practitioners justly.
Public Security Department: acting chief Li Xiaoping, deputy chief Ma Yaoquan, acting deputy chief Li Wenjian
Address: Macao October 1 headquarters of public security department
Telephone: +853 573 333 Fax:+853 780 826
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