Falun Gong members seek refugee status

Several Chinese members of Falun Gong, a sect outlawed in China, on Tuesday called on Japanese immigration authorities not to detain them amid fears they will be deported to China where they face possible persecution.

The call by the Falun Gong members and their supporters was made in the wake of moves by the Justice Ministry's Immigration Bureau starting this month to detain Falun Gong followers or instruct them to present themselves to bureau officials — moves seen as a possible precursor to their detention or deportation.