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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Jakarta: Falun Gong Loses Court Bid for Legal Status

Pedestrians walk past protesters as they hold a banner during a protest in front of The Chinese Embassy in Jakarta on August 6, 2008, held to highlight increased violence by the Chinese government towards Falun Gongs ahead of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games

JG - A Jakarta court on Monday dismissed a motion filed by the Falun Gong spiritual group against a government decree that blocked its bid to register as a legitimate organization.
Gatot Machali, a Falun Gong practitioner, said the ministry decree prevented the group from holding activities freely. “Police officers have refused to grant us permission [to hold] parades or seminars, saying we are not a legitimate organization. The ministry decree is discriminatory,” he said.

Ministry officials, however, could not be immediately reached for comment. Falun Gong, founded by Li Hongzhi in 1992, draws from Buddhist and Taoist traditions, encouraging its practitioners to reach enlightenment through training, meditation and the study of its founder’s teachings.

Nyoman Suryanta, a Falun Gong member, said the group did not have an hierarchy, favoring a “fluid” setup instead. “It was the government [that] told us to become a formal entity,” Nyoman said. “We submitted all the required documents in 2003 and again in 2010, but they refused to recognize us.”

Full Article at The Jakarta Globe

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