1,077 Falun Gong Practitioners Targeted for Their Faith in October 2020
In October 2020, at least 433 Falun Gong practitioners were arrested and 644 harassed for their faith, bringing the year-to-date arrest and harassment cases to 5,179 and 5,908, respectively.
Two hundred and eighty-two (65%) of the arrested practitioners remain in custody at the time of writing. Out of the total 1,077 arrested and harassed, 198 had their homes ransacked. Fifty-three practitioners arrested and thirty-nine harassed were over the age of 65, with the oldest being 92. Thirty-five practitioners had a total of 267,840 yuan confiscated by the police, ranging from 200 yuan to 100,000 yuan each, with an average of 7,653 yuan per person.
Similar to September 2020, Heilongjiang, Hebei, Jilin, Sichuan and Shandong remained the top five provinces with the most practitioners targeted in October. including 177 in Heilongjiang and 153 in Hebei Province. Several group arrests were also reported in Liaoning, Hunan, Heilongjiang and Shandong Provinces.
In Hengshui City, Hebei Province, the authorities have been pressuring practitioners to renounce Falun Gong. When the practitioners refused to comply, the authorities began to harass their family members to incite antagonism against the practitioners.
Some practitioners were victims of police violence during their arrests. Ms. Yang Shufang of Macheng City, Hubei Province, was arrested on October 21, 2020 after a village cadre reported her to the police for talking to people about Falun Gong. En route to the Songbu Police Station, a police officer threatened her, “I’m going to bury you alive!” Ms. Yang was later released after the police forcibly took her fingerprints, blood sample, and her photo.