Pro-Life Advocates Protesting Forced Abortions in China Deported Back to US
by Steven Ertelt
August 8, 2008
Beijing, China (LifeNews.com) — The three pro-life advocates protesting forced abortions in China at the start of the Summer Olympics have been deported back to the United States. The three were arrested two times and, after the second arrest, Chinese officials took them to the airport and put them on a plane bound for Los Angeles.
Pro-life supporters greeted Patrick Mahoney, Brandi Swindell and Mike McMonagle when they arrived safely at LAX airport on an Air China flight.
The three were arrested on Thursday morning in Beijing at Tiananmen Square as they attempted to speak to the press about the problem of forced abortions in China resulting from the nation’s coercive one-child family planning policy.
After the second arrest, Chinese officials disabled their cell phones preventing them from contacting friends and family.
Mahoney told AP that Chinese security officials detained them the second time and told them they were not under arrest but couldn’t leave the area where they were held for 10 hours.
He said the officials revoked their travel visas, demanded they sign some legal papers and pay $2,000 each for a flight home. When they refused to pay, the officials paid for the flights and took them to the airport saying they would face jail time if they tried to remain in the country.
"We didn’t do anything wrong. We were speaking up for the Chinese people. We refused to pay," Mahoney said.
The three said they were treated well and that Chinese officials filmed them to prove they were not harmed.
"They bought us Kentucky Fried Chicken and filmed us eating it," Patrick Mahoney said.
The pro-life advocates were given plastic bags filled with a change of clothes but the rest of their luggage was kept in China.
"We call for the end of the religious persecution," Mahoney told AP.
Katie Mahoney, whose husband was one of the three pro-life advocates denied the right to protest, told LifeNews.com in a statement that China has to reform its practices and stop abuses of human rights and freedoms.
"We pray that this oppressive government will perhaps recognize through this incident that their own citizens deserve to have the basic human rights of free speech, freedom to worship according to the dictates of their own conscience, as well as the protection of the weakest members of society — their precious unborn children," she said.
"That is the message that my husband and the others were simply trying to send," she added. "They are not criminals."
"China, the eyes of the world are upon you; if you want the respect and acceptance of other nations at this critical time during the Olympics, afford your own wonderful people the human rights they have been yearning for," she concluded.
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