Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or Correspondence
Part VI: Falun Dafa Information Center 2008 Annual Report
Reports from China indicate that many of the Falun Gong adherents detained ahead of the Beijing Olympics were taken directly from their homes or workplaces to detention centers and labor camps. Homes were frequently searched without warrant in order to find evidence that would implicate the Falun Gong practitioner, such as books of Falun Gong teachings or photos of its founder Mr. Li Hongzhi. Adherents also frequently reported that security officers confiscated electronic goods during home searches.
Falun Gong adherents continued to face regular and often highly intrusive surveillance by Chinese security officials, including 24/7 home surveillance, as well as the monitoring of telephones and email correspondence. Such surveillance appeared to increase in the months surrounding the Olympics, in part due to central government orders to lower level security forces to carry out such actions.
Reports from Falun Gong adherents in China frequently refer to surveillance by security forces, particularly the 6-10 Office. The Congressional Executive Commission on China found evidence of internal orders stipulating the nature of surveillance to be carried out against Falun Gong.
“The Wuling Party Political-Legal Committee [in Changde, Hunan Province] describes having implemented a set of three ‘responsibility measures’ to ensure that ‘more than 600 Falun Gong practitioners’ are closely monitored by the district police, neighborhood committee, and their own relatives. The Committee also instructs security officials to organize an ‘inspect and control’ system whereby local police are to conduct home ‘visits’ of Falun Gong practitioners three times per day. In order to monitor more ‘die-hard’ practitioners, public security forces are to form an ‘inspection and control small group’ to carry out ‘24-hour surveillance.’ A county report from Jiangxi province also stresses the need to ‘dispatch inspection and control personnel’ during ‘important periods of time’ in order to ascertain a practitioner’s ‘movement 24 hours a day,’ and report ‘unusual situations’ in a timely manner to the 6-10 Office. In addition to surveillance, the 6-10 Office is also required to develop broad ‘intelligence channels’ that allow them to ‘know whenever the enemy moves.’”
Among the most vulnerable to regular harassment by security officials are those who had previously been released from detention centers and labor camps. In several instances during the year, elderly Falun Gong adherents were released from detention in deteriorating health, having endured torture and other forms of abuse. Upon their return home, they were subject to continued surveillance and home visits from police. Several Falun Gong adherents are said to have passed away under these circumstances, including the following.
58-year-old Zhang Mingtong had been detained at a forced labor camp in Xuchang City, Henan Province, where he performed hard labor and was regularly beaten. He was released early from a 21-month sentence on account of his rapidly deteriorating health. Following his release, family members say his health had begun to improve and he regained mobility. As the Beijing Olympics approached, however, security agents began visiting his home frequently, sometimes threatening to arrest him again if he persisted in practicing Falun Gong. He passed away on October 2, 2008.
69-year-old Huang Guixi of Jilin Province served one year at the Yinmahe Forced Labor Camp in 2004-2005, during which time he was reportedly deprived of sleep, severely beaten, and burned with cigarettes. By the time he was released he was emaciated and in poor health. Following his return home, police regularly entered his home without notice to search for Falun Gong materials. In May, 2006, police found him to be in possession of a photo of Falun Gong’s founder, Mr. Li Hongzhi, and imprisoned him for 40 days. On another occasion, police reportedly confiscated the family’s television, copy machine, and other private belongings. The stress caused by the continued harassment reportedly exacerbated Mr. Huang’s health problems. He passed away on Sept 25, 2008.