Pro-Lifers Arrested Again in China Protesting Forced Abortions at Olympics
by Steven Ertelt
August 7, 2008
Beijing, China (LifeNews.com) — A group of three pro-life advocates were arrested a second time in Beijing protesting forced abortions that occur in China as a result of the nation’s one-child family planning policy. With the start of the Summer Olympics, Chinese authorities are cracking down on any sort of protest.
The arrests involved Rev. Pat Mahoney of the Christian Defense Coalition, Brandi Swindell of Generation Life, and Michael McMonagle of Generation Life.
The same three who were arrested were also detained in Tiananmen Square yesterday and today they were forcibly taken into custody.
Today, the three were arrested as they knelt in prayer outside the Mao Tse Tung Mausoleum and speaking out against China’s forced abortion policies, religious persecution, and other human rights abuses.
While in custody Mahoney said, "We were in Tiananmen Square publicly praying for the people of China when police forcefully dragged us across the street."
Support staff back in the United States spoke with Mahoney and Swindell via cell phone as they were arrested for the second time. There have been no communications since the second arrest.
"Since their 11 AM (Beijing time) arressts we have been unable to contact any of the group, including my husband, or support persons for over 14 hours now," Katie Mahoney told LifeNews.com Thursday afternoon.
"We assume their phones have been confiscated and all are being held until their scheduled departure from Beijing at 3 PM local time [Friday,]" she elaborated. "But until we hear from them we are concerned for their safety."
"The group knows no one in China so there is no one we can contact there, and given the history of the Chinese government’s suppression of free speech and their civil rights abuses, we ask for everyone’s prayers for their safe return," she added.
According to an email from the pro-life group Operation Rescue, which has been assisting the three, said plain clothed policemen were filmed dragging Mahoney and Swindell by the arms as other men, presumed to be additional plain clothed officers, attempted to shield the arrest from cameras with large umbrellas.
The group told LifeNews.com it is unknown whether they will be released following today’s arrest or if they will be detained. In the last arrest, officials talked to them afterwards and soon released them.
"We stand in support of Rev. Mahoney and the other two brave Christians who have been arrested again for speaking out on behalf of the oppressed," OR president Troy Newman told LifeNews.com. "The human heart yearns for freedom and truth. The truth of the Gospel and the sanctity of life cannot be silenced forever."
The organization posted a video shot of the arrest on the popular sharing web site YouTube but it has already been taken down.
Yesterday, as people walked by the three pro-life advocates, they shouted, End the brutality. To those who are forced to go through forced abortions and have no voice, we are your voice.
China promotes the barbaric practice of forced abortion and sterilization, while those who speak out against human rights abuses by the Chinese government are crushed and trampled," Mahoney told LifeNews.com in a statement after the incident.
Swindell said she has no problem facing arrest to be able to speak up for Chinese woman who are victimized during their pregnancies and their families who support them.
"I gladly risk my freedoms to speak out for those who have none," she said in the statement LifeNews.com received.
"As a young woman, I passionately speak out against the pain and suffering that Chinese women must face daily through the practice of forced abortion and human trafficking," she explained.
"They routinely deal with the tragic and painful loss of children through forced abortion and young girls face the horror of being sold into sex slavery through human trafficking. My hope is through my witness today I may be a voice for them," she added.
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