194 Falun Gong Practitioners Targeted in January 2020
According to information collected by Minghui.org, 125 Falun Gong practitioners were abducted and 69 were harassed in January 2020. 58 of the arrested practitioners remain in custody at the time of writing.
Most incidents occurred prior to the more than 80-city lockdown that resulted from the coronavirus outbreak. Hebei, Heilongjiang and Shandong provinces had the most cases, while incidents in all other provinces numbered in the single-digits.
Among the 194 practitioners, 48 had homes ransacked and 18 experienced extortion by police, with amounts ranging from 100 to 100,000 yuan, for a total of 155,700 yuan. Eight practitioners were in their 70s and five in their 80s.
Authorities in the Hongshan District of Wuhan City in Hubei Province reportedly prepared a list of 40 Falun Gong practitioners in December 2019 and planned to force them into a brainwashing facility after the Chinese New Year. As the city was later locked down it is unknown whether the abductions proceeded.
Below is a snapshot of the abductions and incidents of harassment in January 2020. The increased control of information and strict transportation restrictions throughout China due to the coronavirus outbreak make timely reporting of mistreatment of Falun Gong practitioners even more difficult.
Healthy Practitioner Held in Coronavirus Quarantine Room (Heilongjiang Province)
Mr. Gong Fengqiang, 48, lost consciousness from abuse in a detention center on January 27, 2020 and was subsequently held in a quarantine room for coronavirus patients. His abduction on December 27, 2019 came weeks after his wife, also a Falun Gong practitioner, fell to her death when attempting to avoid abduction.
Ten Falun Gong Practitioners Arrested in Two Days (Heilongjiang Province)
Police abducted ten residents of Mudanjiang City, Heilongjiang Province on January 5 and 6, 2020.
On January 5 police reportedly followed eight practitioners leaving from a private home before abducting them. The police confiscated their keys, took them to Xi’an Police Station, and ransacked their individual homes.
The police had been previously monitoring the practitioners before the abductions and had obtained information about meetings at the private home, where practitioners gathered to study Falun Gong teachings and distribute Falun Gong informational materials.
The eight practitioners are: Ms. Liu Fengyan, Ms. Chen Yanwei, Ms. Wang Jinping, Ms. Sun Yujing, Ms. Sun Guichun, Ms. Huang Yanli, Ms. Li Shurong and Ms. Wang Chunhua.
Ms. Liu was released after failing a physical examination, and the other seven practitioners were given 15 days of administrative detention at Mudanjiang City Detention Center.
Two more practitioners, including Ms. Fan Limin, in her 40s, and Ms. Yu Changlan, were arrested on January 6, 2020.
The police knocked on the door of Ms. Yu’s home the night before, but she refused to let them in. She was arrested when she left for work the next morning.
It remains unclear where Ms. Fan and Ms. Yu are currently being held.
Granddaughter Fired Because of Grandmother’s Arrest (Heilongjiang Province)
Ms. Sun Jianyan, a native of Hegang City, Heilongjiang Province, was arrested on January 15, 2020, in Yichun City. She had just moved to Yichun a month earlier to avoid being persecuted for practicing Falun Gong. The police still managed to track her down and arrest her.
Many Falun Gong practitioners outside of China called the police agency and urged them to release Ms. Sun. In retaliation, the police got her granddaughter fired by forcing her workplace.
Practitioners’ Blood Samples Forcibly Taken (Heilongjiang Province)
On January 27 police arrested another practitioner, Mr. Ma Chengbao. The doctor also took his blood sample and examined him. He was detained at Yaziquan Detention Center for seven days.
Ms. Sun Fenglong, a practitioner from Harbin City, Heilongjiang Province, was arrested on January 27, 2020. The police took her to the hospital, where a doctor forcibly collected her blood sample and performed a thorough physical examination. She was held in detention for seven days before being allowed to go home.
Mr. Lang Wanhong was arrested on January 28. He failed the physical examination twice. Authorities extorted 500 yuan from him before letting him go.
Police Abuse Elderly Family Member While Abducting Falun Gong Practitioner (Beijing)
Ms. Li Ruiling, a resident of Beijing, was abducted on January 27, 2020 while putting up informational materials about Falun Gong. Seven officers ransacked her home and confiscated her Falun Gong books, related materials and computer.
Ms. Li’s uncle dropped by, unaware of what was happening in his niece’s home. The police grabbed his bag and dumped its contents on the ground. When the elderly man in his 70s argued with the police, they handcuffed him and held him against the ground.
Both Ms. Li and her uncle were then taken to the local police station. Ms. Li was later transferred to Dongcheng Detention Center, and her uncle was released. The police harassed her family several more times afterwards.
Abducted for Spreading Information about Falun Gong (Ningxia Province)
Ms. Qi Jirong, around 80, and Ms. Yu Dezhen, in her 50s, residents of Shizuishan City, Ningxia Province, were abducted on January 23, 2020, after being reported for talking to people about Falun Gong.
The police ransacked Ms. Yu’s home and took away her cellphones. She is currently held at Dawukou Detention Center. Ms. Qi’s situation remains to be investigated.
Ms. Liu Shuhua, 59, a resident of Xuchang City, Henan Province, talked to a man in his 80s about Falun Gong and gave him three booklets on January 8, 2020. The man showed his son the booklets upon arriving home. His son, who had been influenced by the slanderous propaganda against Falun Gong by the communist regime, reported Ms. Liu to the police on January 10.
The police identified Ms. Liu after reviewing videos taken by street surveillance cameras. They searched her home on January 13 and took away her Falun Gong-related materials.
Police held Ms. Liu under criminal detention at Xuchang City Detention Center, claiming that she was a “repeat offender” as she had been sentenced both in 2010 and 2013 for talking to people about Falun Gong.
Practitioners Harassed on New Year’s Eve (Hebei Province)
Police officers in Shenze County, Hebei Province, broke into Ms. Wang Qiufen’s home on January 24, 2020, the eve of Chinese New Year. They tore down new year couplets and decorations inspired by Falun Gong teachings. Police stayed for about 15 minutes and then left.
The police next went to the home of Ms. Wang’s neighbor, Ms. He Xiuling after seeing similar new year couplets on her door. They also tore down Ms. He’s couplets and demanded her name and phone number, threatening arrest if she refused.
Woman’s Family Extorted out of 100,000 Yuan (Shanxi Province)
On January 15, 2020, authorities in Yangquan City, Shanxi Province, ordered Ms. Guo Cuiying’s daughter to go to the local residential committee office.
A team of police officers received the daughter and demanded that she persuade Ms. Guo to give up practicing Falun Gong. They threatened that her children’s futures would be affected if their grandmother did not renounce Falun Gong.
The authorities extorted 100,000 yuan ($14,100 USD) out of Ms. Guo’s daughter and said they would return 10,000 yuan to her each year if Ms. Guo isn’t arrested for talking to people about Falun Gong in that year. But if Ms. Guo was arrested, the 10,000 yuan for that year would be confiscated.
Due to the pressure Ms. Guo’s husband is contemplating divorce.
83-Year-Old Retired College Instructor Harassed (Sichuan Province)
Around 9 p.m. on January 22, 2020, Peng Yuncheng and another police officer showed up at Ms. Liu Xiuwen’s door. Ms. Liu, an 83-year-old retired college instructor in Chengdu City, Sichuan Province, let them in.
One officer attempted to take photos of her home. When Ms. Liu stopped him, the officer replied, “I wasn’t taking photos of your home, I’m taking photos of Officer Peng.” That officer made a few more attempts to take photos of her home, but they were all stopped by Ms. Liu.
Ms. Liu asked them, “Why did you come here?” Peng said they just wanted to visit her. She told them that she was doing fine and that it was illegal for them to harass her. The police left after a short while.
Man Abducted After Applying for Household Registration Renewal (Sichuan Province)
Mr. Yu Ziming, 64, is a resident of Longchang City, Sichuan Province. He went to the local police station on January 2, 2020 to renew his household registration. The police demanded to take a look at his home and upon entering ransacked his home.
Mr. Yu demanded to see a search warrant. One officer replied, “You Falun Gong [practitioners] are outlawed, and we don’t need any documents to search your home.” It’s not clear how the police found out that Mr. Yu practiced Falun Gong.
Mr. Yu resisted abduction, prompting an officer to grab his hair and slam his head against the wall. Swelling and bruising were visible for at least two weeks.
The police later brought Mr. Yu and another Falun Gong practitioner who happened to be visiting him to the police station for interrogation. The two practitioners refused to answer any questions. They were released around 5 p.m. that day.
The original version of this article was published on Minghui.org: