In Hong Kong, the protection of Falun Gong practitioners is once more being referred to as into query after a number of roadside info cubicles run by practitioners have been vandalized by individuals believed to have ties to the Chinese language regime.
Whether or not the native practitioners might proceed to freely apply their beliefs grew to become a priority when Beijing imposed a draconian nationwide safety legislation on Hong Kong in late June. The legislation punishes vaguely outlined crimes equivalent to “subversion” and “collusion” with a most penalty of life imprisonment.
Falun Gong, also called Falun Dafa, is a apply centered round meditation workout routines and ethical teachings primarily based on truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance. Amid Falun Gong’s rising reputation in mainland China, the Chinese language regime, fearing the apply would threaten its rule, started a sweeping suppression marketing campaign in July 1999.
Tens of millions of Falun Gong adherents have been detained inside prisons, labor camps, and different services in China, with tons of of hundreds tortured whereas incarcerated, in keeping with the Falun Dafa Info Middle.
Hong Kong, as a Chinese language-ruled however separate territory, respects non secular freedom. Nonetheless, for the reason that nationwide safety legislation got here into impact, locals have questioned whether or not Beijing authorities would quickly use related techniques as in mainland China to silence dissidents, equivalent to human rights attorneys, underground church leaders, and Falun Gong adherents, with trumped-up expenses that embrace subversion.
The Hong Kong Falun Dafa Affiliation beforehand raised the alarm that native adherents may very well be “arrested and persecuted for groundless claims at any time” beneath the safety legislation.
In response to China’s persecution, adherents in lots of nations and areas around the globe have arrange cubicles in public areas as a way to elevate consciousness of Beijing’s human rights violations towards Falun Gong adherents in China.
Over the weekend, Falun Gong info cubicles in three districts of Hong Kong—Causeway Bay, Tsim Sha Tsui, and Mong Kok—in addition to one sales space close to the favored vacationer website Wong Tai Sin Temple, have been vandalized. Comparable incidents occurred earlier this month and in September.
On Dec. 19, an individual pushed over a number of boards on show on the sales space in Causeway Bay, earlier than fleeing within the course of a close-by procuring heart, in keeping with a Falun Gong practitioner who was manning the sales space.
On the identical day, a person carrying a masks and a hat tore down a number of show boards and banners on the sales space close to Wong Tai Sin Temple, in an incident filmed by a Falun Gong adherent surnamed Zhuang. The vandal ultimately fled, taking with him a number of the banners he had torn down.
In keeping with Zhuang, the person had a mainland Chinese language accent when he spoke. Native police have been referred to as to the scene, and law enforcement officials took pictures to assemble proof.
On Dec. 20, a person who confirmed up on the sales space in Tsim Sha Tsui broke one of many poles for the sales space and threw show boards into the close by Victoria Harbor. A feminine practitioner surnamed Chen confronted the person, however he ultimately fled.
Cops helped to retrieve show boards thrown within the harbor after being referred to as to the location.
Additionally on Dec. 20, a number of people sprayed black ink on a number of show boards on the sales space in Mong Kok. An area Falun Gong adherent who often operates the sales space mentioned individuals had proven as much as harass the practitioners for a number of days earlier, together with one one who shouted at them that “they’d find yourself in jail eventually.”
Sarah Liang, chairwoman of the Hong Kong Falun Dafa Affiliation, condemned the vandals, whom she suspected of getting ties to the Chinese language Communist Occasion. She referred to as on Hong Kong residents to concentrate to what has been taking place to Falun Gong practitioners there, as a way to safeguard town’s freedom of speech.
Retired Hong Kong civil servant Kwok Cheuk-kin, who has made a reputation for himself regionally because the “king of judicial critiques” for submitting authorized challenges to authorities insurance policies, mentioned native legal guidelines enable Falun Gong adherents to arrange roadside cubicles.
Article 32 of Hong Kong’s mini-constitution, the Fundamental Regulation, states that “Hong Kong residents shall have freedom of non secular perception and freedom to evangelise and to conduct and take part in non secular actions in public.”
Kwok mentioned he believed the latest vandalism actions should do with Beijing not wanting individuals to study concerning the regime’s persecution of Falun Gong adherents in China. He urged locals to talk up or report any incidents to the police as a way to safeguard their constitutional rights.
The Hong Kong version of The Epoch Occasions contributed to this report.