China charges Falun Gong supporters - HK group

Reuters, September 23, 1999

HONG KONG, Sept 23, 1999 (Reuters) - China has started prosecuting people associated with the banned Falun Gong quasi-religious sect, a Hong Kong human rights group said on Thursday.

At least 10 people involved in the publication of Falun Gong books had been charged, the Information Centre of Human Rights & Democratic Movement in China said in a statement.

They would go on trial in October and each was expected to be jailed for up to five years, it said. Beijing would then charge leaders of Falun Gong across the country.

A total of 50 core leaders were now being detained by Chinese authorities and some of them might get jail sentences of at least 10 years, the Hong Kong centre said.

China has launched a round-up of Falun Gong members ahead of the celebrations marking 50 years of Communist rule on October 1.

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