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Friday, 27 October, 2000, 10:33 GMT 11:33 UK
New Falun Gong protest broken up
Beijing protest
Followers have staged repeated protests in Beijing
Supporters of the Chinese spiritual movement, Falun Gong, have again held protests in Beijing's Tiananmen Square.

The Falun Gong evil cult organisation has completely thrown itself in with the international hostile foreign forces

Chinese state media editorial
The move comes after police detained about 100 of the movement's members during a larger protest on Thursday.

In the latest incident, some 50 Falun Gong protesters are reported to have been arrested after they unfurled banners, threw leaflets or chanted slogans in a series of scattered demonstrations in the city.

According to witnesses, plainclothes police were seen wrestling a number of protesters to the ground.

Many were repeatedly punched and kicked, with some reported to have been dragged along the ground by their hair.

'Evil cult'

Police drag away a Falun Gong protester
China's authorities are keen to wipe out the movement
One old man reportedly shouted "Falun Gong is good," whereupon a group of seven plainclothes officers wrestled him to the ground, punched and kicked him, before carrying him to a waiting police van.

The Chinese authorities have launched a series of increasingly bitter attacks on the group since it was banned in July last year.

The ban followed a meeting in April of more than 10,000 followers in Beijing - a move which stunned the Chinese Government, which regards any group capable of such mass mobilisation as a challenge to its authority.

Falun Gong crackdown
59 members beaten to death in custody
450 members jailed, some for up to 18 years
600 sent to mental hospitals
10,000 placed in labour camps
20,000 in temporary detention centres
Source: Information Centre on Human Rights and Democracy (Hong Kong)
In the latest comment, an editorial in the major state-owned newspapers again accused Falun Gong of being an "evil cult" which was plotting to overthrow China's socialist system.

"The Falun Gong evil cult organisation has completely thrown itself in with the international hostile foreign forces and will spare no pains to become a tool in their interference in our domestic politics," it said.

According to the Hong Kong-based Information Centre on Human Rights and Democracy, at least 59 Falun Gong members have been beaten to death in police custody since the ban on the group was initally imposed.

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See also:

26 Oct 00 | Asia-Pacific
Police break up Falun Gong protest
04 Aug 00 | Asia-Pacific
Leadership wrangles hit Falun Gong
09 Oct 00 | Asia-Pacific
Falun Gong sues Chinese leader
01 Oct 00 | Asia-Pacific
Hundreds of Falun Gong arrests
29 Jun 00 | Asia-Pacific
Falun Gong launching own radio station
22 Jul 99 | Asia-Pacific
The complex Web of Falun Gong
26 Apr 00 | Asia-Pacific
Falun Gong: Living in fear
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