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Cops hold 11 in Falun Gong case

2014-04-02 09:11 Global Times Web Editor: Li Yan

Eleven people were detained for disturbing social order with cult activities in Jiansanjiang, Northeast China's Heilongjiang province, police announced in a statement on Monday.

Four of the group had participated "in the name of lawyers," police said, but only one had a certificate to practice. The certificates of Jiang Tianyong, Tang Tianji and Wang Cheng were revoked in recent years.

The four stand accused of instigating and gathering 38 Falun Gong members and relatives at the entrance to a government agency and shouting slogans in support of the cult group on March 20, police said.

Falun Gong is a pseudo-religious group banned in 1999 by the government that classifies it as a cult that ruins people's lives and disturbs the social order.

The statement on Monday said the four instigators "made facts and spread them online," disturbing the social order.

The four, along with seven people from the crowd, protested in front of the provincial agricultural reclamation bureau's law education base.

The base, as seen in other places of the country, is a facility to educate Falun Gong followers to give up cult practices.

The 11 were placed under administrative detention on March 22 for five to 15 days and fined 200 ($32) to 1,000 yuan each.

"Their clients were detained by the base and the clients include those who practice Falun Gong," said Sui Muqing, a lawyer close to the case.

"They were trying to negotiate with the agency to release the detainees." None of the four men are members of Falun Gong, Sui said.

Wang was paid 15,000 yuan, Jiang 10,000 and Tang 4,000 by clients and repeatedly gathered crowds of Falun Gong members, police said, interfering with the social order.

The base had no right to detain people, Sui said, alleging the facility was a "black jail."

Forced education is acceptable, Wu said, as long as the education institution is set up by authorities and the procedures follow the law.

"According to the Law on Public Security Administration, when Falun Gong members expose themselves and their activities to the society and influence others, they can be accused of hampering public security through cult activities," Wu Boxin, a professor of criminal psychology at the Chinese People's Public Security University, told the Global Times.

The base is located at a district police branch in the city.

"Falun Gong members normally were gathered in these institutions to be educated and then released, and the process needs penalization measures such as detainment," Wu said.

The domestic development of Falun Gong has shrunk over the last few years, Wu said, but in places like Jiansanjiang, an agricultural reclamation area near the country's northern border, publicity about the dangers of Falun Gong are insufficient "and overseas powers can also contribute to the issue."

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