Father and Caretaker Imprisoned, EU Warned of Complicity in Illicit Organ Harvesting

Mr. Liu Zhiming, 51, with his nine-year-old son (credit: Minghui)

Mr. Liu Zhiming, 51, with his nine-year-old son (credit: Minghui)

Dear Reader,

Mr. Liu Zhiming, a 51-year-old husband and father from Kunming City who had quit his jobs to take care of his autistic sister, was sentenced to three years and six months in prison with a 10,000-yuan fine (approximately 1380 USD) for practicing Falun Gong. While his arrest was taking place, his wife, Ms. Cheng Yun, was illegally interrogated under false pretenses; the transcript from her interrogation was later used as witness testimony against her husband.

In other news:

  • EU citizens could find themselves complicit in crimes against humanity regarding Chinese illicit organ harvesting

  • Liaoning Province is home to a burgeoning community of ethnic Korean Falun Gong practitioners who continue to be persecuted for their faith

  • China’s repression of Falun Gong seeps into Russia on the heels of Russia entering a “no-limit” partnership with China

  • In 2013, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) terminated its Re-education Through Labor (RTL) system; despite this announcement, have fundamental issues of arbitrary detention really changed?

Lastly, check out this episode of International Reporters Roundtable, in which I joined guests Arlene Bridges Samuels and Bill Donohue to discuss the current war on faith – why, across all religious denominations, believers are being suppressed, vilified, and isolated – and the forces behind their persecution.


Levi Browde, Executive Director
Falun Dafa Information Center


Liu Zhiming’s Home Raid, Arrest, and Sentencing

Mr. Liu Zhiming, 51, with his nine-year-old son (credit: Minghui)

What’s new?

On April 22, 2024, Liu Zhiming, a 51-year-old father and husband from Kunming City, was sentenced to three years and six months in prison with a 10,000-yuan fine (approximately 1380 USD) for practicing Falun Gong. 

Prior to transitioning to staying at home full time to care for his autistic sister (who could not take care of herself), Mr. Liu had worked as a ride-share driver and mail carrier. On November 16, 2023, the day of his arrest, officers from the Jinbi Police Station raided his home and confiscated his family’s personal items. 

Mr. Liu’s wife, Ms. Cheng Yun, was illegally interrogated on the same day as his arrest, and his sister was taken to a psychiatric hospital against her will. As a result of Mr. Liu’s arrest, Ms. Cheng lost her job as a live-in babysitter, leaving her unemployed while caring for her son and trying to get her sister-in-law back home from the mental hospital. 

Why does it matter?

Mr. Liu’s case is an example of how the CCP pits family and community members against each other in its pursuit to eradicate Falun Gong. Aspects of his case include the simultaneous illegal interrogation of Mr. Liu’s wife (during which she was taken to the police station from her workplace), his son being “accompanied” by residential committee staffers after his arrest, his sister being taken to the mental hospital, the last-minute loss of his defense lawyer, and the framing of his wife as a witness against him. These injustices capture part of the CCP’s standard operating procedure, running through all campaigns going back over 70 years, to destroy family and community bonds so as to eliminate them as obstacles to total Party loyalty. 

What else do you need to know?

While the CCP’s persecution tactics run the gamut from forced organ harvesting to imprisonment, torture and sexual abuse in detention, and forced “transformations” of Falun Gong practitioners, a less explicit form of persecution involves sowing distrust in intimate interpersonal relationships. In this way, the fabric of society unravels as communities are alienated from the inside, with people becoming increasingly suspicious of one another. 

An especially haunting aspect of Liu Zhiming’s story is that his wife’s so-called “witness testimony,” which was recorded by police officers under threat and deception, without context, was used against her husband during his trial, implicating him and leading to his imprisonment. This pitting of wife against husband and the deception tactics used to interrogate Ms. Cheng are characteristic of the Party’s attempts to undermine and destroy the family unit.

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The Telegraph: EU risks ‘complicity’ in Chinese organ harvesting, human rights campaigners warn

According to human rights campaigners, EU citizens may be complicit in crimes against humanity regarding illicit organ harvesting. As stated by a 2022 Global Rights Compliance report, over the last two decades, documented accounts of transplant tourism (citizens of a particular country acquiring organs in other countries) have doubled, now constituting over ten percent of the world’s transplants. Citizens of the bloc can currently travel to China and procure illegally harvested organs (most of which come from Falun Gong practitioners) with no consequences, seeing as there are no transparency measures or mandatory reporting mechanisms within the EU. Thus, in a May 3 open letter, the International Coalition to End Transplant Abuse in China (ETAC) and 14 other human rights organizations urged Josep Borrell, the bloc’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, to terminate medical partnerships with China. 

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Bitter Winter: Repression of Falun Gong Continues Among Ethnic Korean Minority in Liaoning

On March 20, 2024, Jiang Zhihui, an ethnic Korean and Falun Gong practitioner who lives in Xinbin County, Liaoning was sentenced to three years and six months in prison. Previously, on December 2, 2023, Ms. Jiang had been arrested for circulating Falun Gong materials. Over the course of her life, Ms. Jiang has endured detainments, a stay at a psychiatric hospital, domestic violence, labor camp and women’s prison sentences, and a stay at an indoctrination center for her faith in Falun Gong. 

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Washington Times: China invokes religious persecution and oppression around the globe 

The CCP seeks to spread its loathing and persecution of Falun Gong practitioners outside of China, with increasing success in countries like Russia as a “no limit” partnership forms between the two countries. 

In an opinion piece published in the Washington Times, former U.S. senator and Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback discusses how the Chinese Communist Party has long despised any spiritual faiths, which are all considered threats to the atheist, materialist ideology the Party propounds. In particular, the CCP has a special vehemence for the Falun Gong spiritual practice and has a history of subjecting their practitioners to extreme torture methods and the horror of forced organ harvesting. 

As Russian President Vladimir Putin prepares for a state visit with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian special forces conducted raids on Falun Gong practitioners in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Irkutsk, and Pyatigorsk, no doubt in efforts to further China’s “strategic cooperation” with Russia. 

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Have you read this? Amnesty International: “Changing the soup but not the medicine?”: Abolishing re-education through labour in China 

On November 15, 2013, at the Third Plenum of the 18th Party Congress in Beijing, the Chinese Communist Party announced its intention to terminate its Re-education Through Labor (RTL) system. In theory, this abolition of RTL could have spared hundreds of thousands of people years of maltreatment, abuse, and arbitrary detention. However, as the human rights group Amnesty International rightly predicted in its 2013 report, “Changing the soup but not the medicine?”: Abolishing re-education through labour in China, the fundamental issues of arbitrary detention remained in China despite the ostensible positive step forward with the closure of RTL camps. “Many of the policies and practices which resulted in individuals being punished for peacefully exercising their human rights by sending them to RTL have not fundamentally changed: quite the contrary,” the report states. “There is ample evidence that such policies and practices are continuing in full force. The latest anti-Falun Gong campaign, launched earlier this year and intended to operate for three years, shows that the CCP’s determination to rid China of this spiritual group has not abated. Falun Gong practitioners continue to be punished through criminal prosecution and being sent to ‘brainwashing centres’ and other forms of arbitrary detention.”

Looking back and examining the RTL system, the report also reveals the Falun Gong practitioners made up a staggering proportion of detainees: “The RTL system has played a key role in the anti-Falun Gong campaign, absorbing large numbers of practitioners over the years. Within less than a year of the initial crackdown against the Falun Gong in July 1999 thousands of practitioners were sent to RTL camps. Evidence suggests that Falun Gong constituted on average from one third to in some cases 100 per cent of the total population of certain RTL camps.” 

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In this discussion, Levi Browde, Executive Director of the Falun Dafa Information Center, discusses the CCP’s role in religious suppression in the U.S., and how the CCP has been exploiting the rising war on faith to advance its own goals against Falun Gong. 

Levi is joined by other guests Arlene Bridges Samuels, journalist with the Christian Broadcasting Network, Israel; and Bill Donohue, President of the Catholic League, and host Steve Lance on the International Reporters Roundtable to discuss the current resurgence in persecution of religious and spiritual believers. 

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