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Falun Gong Activist Defiant After Arrest

Wenyi Wang, right, leaves U.S. District Court. She disrupted Thursday's White House ceremony for Chinese President Hu Jintao.
Wenyi Wang, right, leaves U.S. District Court. She disrupted Thursday's White House ceremony for Chinese President Hu Jintao. (By Gerald Martineau -- The Washington Post)

A spokesman for the National Security Council, which accredited the foreign media representatives attending the event, said that the Epoch Times is a legitimate news organization and that its reporters had attended White House events previously.

"They had always comported themselves in a professional way," Frederick Jones said. "We would have no reason to not allow them entry."

During yesterday's court hearing, Assistant U.S. Attorney Angela George argued that Wang's statements were not protected by the First Amendment.

"She was yelling at the president," George said. "You can't walk into a theater and yell 'Fire!' The First Amendment does not permit her to engage in criminal conduct."

But Wang's defense attorney, John Bos, ridiculed the notion that her remarks were threats or that they constituted intimidation.

"There's no evidence that President Hu heard the statements and no evidence that the statements caused him to stop and look up," Bos said.

Before the Secret Service escorted Wang from the media platform, a cameraman pulled the banner from her hands and tried to quiet her by placing his hands on her mouth. Bos said that, rather than Wang's shouts, could have caused Hu to pause in his remarks.

Wang did not address the court yesterday and would not answer questions from reporters after the hearing. Instead, she read a statement praising Falun Gong and condemning the Chinese government.

"I've devoted much of my time trying to stop the persecution of Falun Gong in China, especially the harvesting of organs," she said.


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