Beliefnet News

Associated Press – June 24, 2008
BEIJING – Shanghai has banned dissidents, Falun Gong members and other regime critics from leaving the city during the August Olympics, a human rights group said Tuesday.
The Hong Kong-based Information Center for Human Rights and Democracy said the Shanghai Public Security Bureau sent notices to dissidents, petitioners and underground religious followers informing them they are required to check in with local police every week.
The new rules also bar them from leaving the city without permission and forbid them from talking with foreign media about political issues, the group said in a news release.
Falun Gong, a spiritual movement rooted in Buddhism, Taoism and traditional Chinese beliefs, has been ruthlessly persecuted since being banned in 1999 by the government as an “evil cult”
The information center said the order instructed recipients to “not make trouble in public places” and “not fabricate or distort the truth, spread rumors or use other ways to disturb the social order.”
The regulations, in effect from April 1 to Oct. 31, were “to ensure social security during the Beijing Olympic Games,” according to a copy of one notice provided by the group.
Anyone violating the rules “may be warned, detained or face criminal punishment,” the notice said.
Staffers who answered the phone Tuesday at the public security bureau refused to confirm the new regulations, saying they were not authorized to speak to the media.
Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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