U.S. Sanctions Chinese Official for Persecuting Falun Gong
U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken announced today sanctions against a Chinese official who perpetrated human rights abuses against Falun Gong practitioners in Chengdu City, Sichuan Province in China.
“Today I am announcing the designation of Yu Hui… for his involvement in gross violations of human rights, namely the arbitrary detention of Falun Gong practitioners for their spiritual beliefs,” Secretary Blinken said at a press briefing earlier today.
This action forbids Yu and his immediate family from traveling to the United States.
“We applaud the US Government and Secretary Blinken for imposing sanctions on this official who drove tremendous human suffering in Chengu against people who practice or support Falun Gong,” says Mr. Erping Zhang, Falun Dafa Information Center spokesperson.
”This will surely send a potent message across China that the world is watching and there will be real-world consequences for persecuting Falun Gong practitioners,” Zhang added. “As the news spreads among the CCP’s security apparatus, it will very likely make some think twice about perpetrating further abuses.”
The sanctions were announced as the State Department transmitted its 2020 Annual Report on International Religious Freedom to the U.S. Congress. The report cites illegal arrests, detention, and forced organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners.
Last year, the U.S. Government sanctioned Huang Yuanxiong, chief of China’s Xiamen Public Security Bureau Wucun police station in Fujian Province for his involvement in gross human rights violations against Falun Gong practitioners.
Yu’s Chengdu City: A Hotbed of Suppression
Chengdu is known as having been particularly harsh in recent years in its crackdown against Falun Gong believers in the city.
Among those victimized in Chengdu during Yu’s tenure as a key official was Ms. Liu Guiying an engineer who was detained for over 20 months without trial and then sentenced illegally in 2018 to three years in prison for practicing Falun Gong and filing a complaint over previous torture and abuse. She subsequently suffered deliberate malnourishment and torture at Chengdu’s Women’s Prison.
Yu’s name was included in a database of 9,000 6-10 officials submitted by Falun Gong human rights workers to the State Department earlier this year.
Former Official of “China’s Gestapo”
Yu is the former director of the CCP’s notorious 6-10 office. Referred to by rights activists as the CCP’s “Gestapo for Falun Gong,” the 6-10 office was an extralegal police task force responsible for carrying out the mission of eliminating Falun Gong.
Established by former CCP leader Jiang Zemin and announced in a speech to elite cadres a month before the campaign against Falun Gong was announced in 1999, the organization has long existed outside China’s legal framework. Jiang granted it wide-ranging powers to use “every means necessary” to wipe out Falun Gong.
In his book A China More Just, human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng describes being shocked by the extent of the 6-10’s operations. “The immoral act that has shaken my soul most is the 6-10 Office and policeman’s regular practice of assaulting women’s genitals,” Gao wrote after his 2005 investigation. “Of those persecuted, almost every woman’s genitals and breasts and every man’s private parts have been sexually assaulted in a most vulgar fashion.”
In addition to torture and sexual abuse, 6-10 Office agents also administratively sentence Falun Gong practitioners to labor camps and abducted adherents straight from their homes to brainwashing classes. As noted in a 2011 article on the 6-10 Office in the Jamestown Foundation’s China Brief, “transformation” and coercive thought reform are a central aspect of the agency’s activities.
In addition to direct involvement in rights abuses, the 6-10 Office has possessed significant power to force the hands of other Party and government bodies.
“The 6-10 office is just like Hitler’s Gestapo,” says Guo Guoting, a Chinese human rights lawyer in exile. “They are powerful and they got enough financial support from the government so… they secretly control all the Falun Gong practitioners in their local areas.”