3 Jul 2003

Fiji police investigate Falun Gong supporters for visa violation

5:19 pm on 3 July 2003

Fiji police say they don't know how long it will take to investigate three Chinese women who distributed pamphlets of the Falun Gong sect.

The three were questioned and their hotel rooms were searched after they handed out information at the opening of the South Pacific Games in Suva.

Police say they moved against them because of an alleged breach of their visitor's permits which police say does not allow tourists to engage in the promotion of a sect or religion.

The police probe also follows complaints by China's ambassador who appeared on Fiji television to say Falun Gong has been banned in China since 1999.

The Chinese policy has been criticised by human rights groups.

Fiji police say their probe will also involve discussions with immigration authorities.