US Secret Service “Threatens” Pastor Over Chinese Embassy Protest
By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
WASHINGTON (Worthy News) – A U.S. Pastor known for religious rights rallies was nearly detained by U.S. Secret Service personnel after Chinese embassy staff objected to his protest, Worthy News learned Thursday.
Patrick Mahoney, director of the advocacy group Christian Defense Coalition, said the Secret Service told him the embassy’s sidewalk was “not public” as Chinese officials said it “was Chinese property.”
The Secret Service apparently threatened Mahoney with arrest for “unlawful assembly” because he would be demonstrating on “Chinese property.”
Mahoney said he was at the Chinese Embassy in Washington D.C. as part of “a peaceful protest” over Beijing’s “failure to protect human rights and freedom in China.” He also expressed concerns about the “violation of U.S. sovereignty” by China’s decision to send “a spy balloon across America.”
Worthy News saw pictures of secret police officers in the area where Wednesday’s protest occurred. “It was shocking and stunning to see America’s Secret Service being bullied by the Chinese government to shut down free speech in the public square,” Mahoney added.
He said he began to “peacefully demonstrate despite the threat of arrest and being jailed.” Eventually, Secret Service discussed with his officers and reportedly told them the sidewalk was “indeed public,” and no arrests were made.
However, it was “hard for me to believe Secret Service agents would come up to an American citizen and threaten them with arrest for peacefully demonstrating on a public sidewalk,” Mahoney stressed. “What makes this even more troubling is the fact they were responding to the Chinese government’s claim that the sidewalk in front of their Embassy was now ‘Chinese property.’”
Although he was not detained, the pastor said he is consulting with the American Center for Law and Justice about possible next steps. He explained that he wants “to ensure that no American ever has to face these kinds of threats and intimidation by their own government.”
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