Chinese Regime Orchestrates Large-Scale Arrests of Falun Gong Practitioners Ahead of Centennial Anniversary
In preparation for its centennial celebrations on July 1, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has been orchestrating large-scale arrests of Falun Gong practitioners in the pretense of “maintaining social stability.”
According to an article published by Minghui.org, the arrests are part of a campaign called “Safety July 1”. Since late May, there have been reports of arrests of practitioners being arrested, their homes being raided by local police, private property being seized, and even detainment of nonpractitioner family members.
Tang Jingyuan, an U.S.-based China affairs commentator, said the arrests were a precaution the CCP is using to safeguard its power:
“In the past decades, Falun Gong practitioners have revealed the persecutions that they suffered in China, and exposed the crimes the CCP committed when faced with calls to end the persecution, inside and outside of China. This scares the CCP”.
On June 10, the Mudanjiang Municipal Police Department in northeastern China’s Heilongjiang Province ordered police from across the city’s six counties and four districts to arrest Falun Gong practitioners from their homes.
Reports from Minghui.org indicate within a 36-hour period, police detained 28 Falun Gong practitioners, harassed another six practitioners, and seized assets including cellphones, computers, printers, books, cash, and bank cards from practitioners’ homes.
One arrest took place at 3 a.m., when several policemen broke into Falun Gong practitioner Guo Libin’s house in Hailin City, Mudanjiang. They proceeded to detain Guo and his wife and confiscated Guo’s son’s bank card. They also raided his sister’s house, seizing her home entertainment system, cellphones, and books.
Another arrest took place at 8 a.m., after policemen from Aimin district hired a locksmith and broke into the house of practitioner Chen Yanwei. They detained Chen and her sister Chen Yanfu, who were both home at the time.
The police also used pepper spray on some practitioners as they tried to protect their belongings.
In Dalian city of northeastern China’s Liaoning Province, 29 Falun Gong practitioners and at least six of their nonpractitioner family members were arrested from their homes between June 1 and June 3 as part of the regime’s “Safety July 1” campaign. Police in eastern China’s Shandong Province conducted their own home raids on Falun Gong practitioners as part of the campaign.
Minghui.org also reported on similar arrests happening in the cities of Beijing and Tianjin, as well as in Sichuan, Guangdong, Gansu, Hebei, Yunnan, and about a dozen other provinces.
Individual Arrests Tied to Anniversary
There were reports on Minghui.org of individual practitioners had been arrested.
One is the case of Ms. Feng Xiaoyun, a mother from Wuhan City, Hubei Province, who was arrested on May 27.
Feng, around 47-years-old, was taking her two children to school when she was blocked by two staff members from a local community office.
They asked Feng to sign a statement to renounce her faith in Falun Gong and promise that she would stop practicing. They revealed that all residence communities had received orders from higher ups to convert a certain number of Falun Gong practitioners before the CCP’s centennial anniversary.
Feng refused to sign the statement and took her children to school. When Feng and her children returned home in the evening, police and residential committee members surrounded her, claiming to want to talk with her. Sensing a problem, Feng asked to drop off her children and locked the door after entering her apartment.
Police proceeded to pound on her door and threaten her on the phone until late in the night, affecting other residents of the apartment and terrifying her children. Feng was forced to agree to a conversation the next day.
Later, when Feng looked out the window she saw people guarding the front and back of the building and found her front door had been nailed shut.
The next day, as Feng walked her children to school, they were followed by two residential committee members and a large van. After dropping her children off at school, she was immediately shoved into the van and taken to the Shiqiao Brainwashing Center, where she currently remains detained.
Another individual arrest took place on June 2, involving Ms. Mao Jiaping, the mother of Ms. Fu Weitong, who works in Tokyo, Japan.
Mao, a 54-year-old resident of Dalian City, Liaoning Province, was arrested while home by herself on June 2.
Mao had begun practicing Falun Gong in 1997 and her health improved immensely from the practice. She was previously detained on April 25, 1999, for peacefully petitioning for the release of Falun Gong practitioners in Tianjin who had been arbitrarily detained. Mao’s home was also ransacked after.
Fu’s family and relatives in China heard Mao’s most recent arrest was part of the CCP’s centennial anniversary preparations and that she would be sentenced to prison immediately following the July 1 celebration. The family, however, has yet to receive official notice of Mao’s status.
Fu has since been raising awareness of her mother’s plight. On June 12, she held an event in front of the Chinese Embassy in Tokyo, where she gave speeches in Chinese and Japanese.
Under the escort of Japanese police officers, she also placed an open letter in the embassy’s mailbox.
After the event, Fu received a call from her father who asked her to stop holding activities. Chinese authorities threatened to fire from his job if Fu did not stop activities and taking down related reports regarding her mother’s persecution.
An Open Letter
In her open letter to the Chinese embassy, Fu wrote:
“Despite the harsh persecution, Falun Gong practitioners have been holding firm to the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, striving to be good citizens, and really being responsible to Chinese citizens.
We believe this will bring hope for the future of China. For officials like you, you know how corrupt the CCP has become. Look around in this world and in history: wherever the CCP goes, it brings suppression, brutality, and lies. Only by rejecting the CCP will we have a future.
I sincerely hope you will take a step back and really think for the future of yourselves and your families instead of blindly sinking with the CCP. Throughout numerous political campaigns, almost everyone who followed the Party’s orders to persecute others have become scapegoats. By following your conscience and treating innocent people such as Falun Gong practitioners well, you–together with your family–will be blessed with health and safety.”