Falun Gong follower detained while in China

A local Falun Gong association yesterday accused mainland China of detaining one of its members while he was visiting Shanghai earlier this month.

The association urged the government and international human rights groups to help in the rescue of 29-year-old Lin Hsiao-kai, who was reported missing in Shanghai on Oct. 8.

According to the association, Lin traveled to Shanghai on Sept. 30 for a personal visit and he has been allegedly detained by national security authorities in the city.

Lin was scheduled to return to Taiwan on Oct. 8 but his whereabouts have been unclear since Oct. 7 when he last contacted his wife via mobile phone text message.

Lin’s newlywed wife Chen Shu-ya told reporters that her husband was arrested because his notebook computer contains information on the spiritual group branded a dangerous cult by Chinese authorities.

Chen, who is also a Falun Gong follower, said she reported the incident to the quasi official Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) last Friday, but the SEF has offered no further information on the case for the past four days.

The couple from the central county of Changhua met in February during a Falun Gong meeting and got married three months later. Chen works for a government organization while Lin is currently preparing for a civil service exam.

The SEF said it had sent a letter to its mainland counterpart, the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS), on Chen’s behalf.

In the letter, the SEF explained that Lin has no prior record and that he did not engage in any political activities during the Shanghai visit.

“Lin is a devoted Buddhist and he only intended to discuss Buddhist theories with friends in Shanghai,” the SEF said in the statement.

According to the SEF, Lin is the third “Buddhist” arrested by mainland authorities this year. The SEF had requested the assistance of ARATS as well as the association of Shanghai-based Taiwan businessmen in Lin’s case.

Taiwan’s Falun Gong group charged that a growing number of local citizens or their mainland spouses had been sent to prison or illegally detained in China because they practice Falun Gong.

According to the group, a businesswoman, identified as Wang Shiu-hua, was arrested by Shanghai police on Jan. 2 and was detained for a total of 28 days until her company and family offered a large amount of money for her release.

Chang Ching-hsi, a Falun Gong spokesman in Taiwan, alleged that China has a blacklist of Falun Gong followers in Taiwan and those who are on the list may be barred from entering mainland China.

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(Listed if other than Religion News Blog, or if not shown above)
China Post, Taiwan
Oct. 22, 2003

Religion News Blog posted this on Wednesday October 22, 2003.
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