964 Falun Gong Practitioners Targeted for Their Faith in September 2020
In September 2020, at least 356 Falun Gong practitioners were arrested and 608 harassed for their faith, bringing the year-to-date arrest and harassment cases to 4,746 and 5,264, respectively.
Two hundred and eleven (59%) practitioners remain in custody at the time of writing. Out of the total 964 arrested and harassed, 164 practitioners had their homes ransacked. Thirty-four practitioners arrested and 29 harassed were over the age of 65, with the oldest being 90. Sixteen practitioners had a total of 364,000 yuan confiscated by the police, ranging from 20 yuan to 150,000 yuan each, with an average of 22,750 yuan per person.
Hebei, Heilongjiang, Sichuan, Jilin and Shandong were the top five provinces with the most practitioners targeted.
Both Hebei and Heilongjiang also had over 100 practitioners harassed in the past month. Other harassment cases have been reported in Yinchuan City, Ningxia and Luzhou City, Sichuan Province, as a continuation of the “Zero-out” campaign, a concerted effort to force practitioners on the government’s blacklists to renounce Falun Gong.
Several group arrests, including 32 practitioners in Nanjing City, Jiangsu Province took place on September 13; 4 practitioners in their 60s and 70s living in the same neighborhood in Changchun City, Jilin Province on September 15; and 27 practitioners in Harbin City, Heilongjiang Province on September 22 and 23, were also reported.
The September cases offered a glimpse into the all-round persecution of Falun Gong in China. In addition to the arrests and torture in custody, many practitioners had their everyday life disrupted, as well as personal safety, business, and health compromised.
One engineer fired from his job due to his faith was denied housing and forced into displacement shortly after he was released from a two-year term. One 75-year-old woman had her pension withheld. A retired physician is still detained in custody, despite the fact that she has been diagnosed with lung cancer.
In some cases, it’s not only the practitioners themselves that were targeted for their faith, but their family members were also harassed, arrested and interrogated. One practitioner’s four-year-old grandson was denied admission to kindergarten because of her refusing to renounce Falun Gong. One woman’s son was held hostage in the police station after she escaped arrest and another practitioner’s son’s clinic was forcibly shut down after she refused to sign a statement to renounce Falun Gong.
By a Minghui correspondent.