BBC Monitoring: Hong Kong lawyer says detained Falun Gong members feel persecuted

Source: RTHK Radio 3 audio web site, Hong Kong, in English
0800 gmt 7 Aug 02

BBC Monitoring

[Editor's note: The photos on clearly show how the so-called "obstruction" was impossible.]

Text of report by Radio TV Hong Kong audio web site on 7 August

A lawyer representing 16 Falun Gong practitioners says his clients feel they have been politically persecuted. The group, which includes four Swiss nationals, is on trial for offences including causing obstruction outside Beijing's liaison office in Western [District] during a protest last March. Suresh Chanda reports.

[Chanda] "In making his final submission, one of the defence lawyers, John Haynes, said his clients were feeling that they had been discriminated [against] by the authorities here because of what he called the brutal ban on their [group] on the mainland. He said the group had only gone to the liaison office to urge the mainland authorities to stop persecuting their fellow members. Mr Haynes pointed out that the pavement was nine metres wide and was capable of accommodating a small group of protesters without disrupting pedestrian flow."

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