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China Expels Canadian Falun Follower

January 25, 2002|From Associated Press

BEIJING — A Canadian follower of Falun Gong was expelled from China on Thursday after being detained for protesting in Tiananmen Square against the Communist country's ban on the spiritual group, a Canadian diplomat said.

Connie Chipkar, 61, left aboard a British Airways flight for London, said Charles Reeves, a spokesman for the Canadian Embassy.

Chipkar, a former teacher from Welland, Ontario, was detained Wednesday after she sang and held out her arms in Beijing's Tiananmen Square. She was wearing a sash that read "Falun Gong" and "SOS."

The square is the symbolic political heart of China and the site of frequent protests by Falun Gong supporters. Chipkar's son took part in a demonstration there in November by 35 Western followers of the group. They also were detained and expelled.

Chipkar was held overnight at a Beijing hotel but wasn't arrested, Reeves said.

"Her actions broke the laws of the People's Republic of China on gatherings and parades and related laws and regulations on cults," said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Sun Yuxi.

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