Leaked Documents Reveal Persecution of Falun Gong a Penetrative Societal Campaign Overseen by the Chinese Regime
The Epoch Times recently obtained four leaked documents which revealed policies of the 610 Office and Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials in Dandong City, Liaoning Province in carrying out the persecution of Falun Gong. These documents offer firsthand evidence of the persecution and reveal a penetrative societal impact.
Issued by the Dandong City’s Committee of Political and Legislative Affairs (CPLA)—the de facto administration of judicial branches at all levels of society in China— the documents include a 2015 regulations and policy document (pdf), a 2019 mid-year work summary (pdf), 2020 priority summaries and Responsibilities for Social Stability and Security Agreement (pdf) and a summary of documents issued by the CPLA in the first two quarters of 2020 (pdf).
The documents are issued to governmental organizations and CCP affiliated organizations, including municipal-level CCP committees.
Penetrative Scope and Judicial Control
The 2015 regulation document highlights a 2011 policy, calling for “All divisions all over the country must pay close attention and gather information about group activities [of the Falun Gong]. Fulfill “early detection, early reporting, early control, and early resolution.”
This policy serves as a basis for 2015 document, specifying fourteen areas to regulate, including surveillance both domestically and abroad, online and offline, such as eliminating hanging banners and spray-painted slogans by local practitioners, monitoring and blocking relevant information on the internet, and collecting information from overseas Falun Gong affiliate organizations.
Judicial power is also granted, “The courts and procuratorates at all levels [should] strengthen the punishment of Falun Gong … focusing on court trials of Falun Gong cases and preventing human rights lawyers from ‘picking quarrels and provoking trouble’”.
According to Li Ming, a human rights lawyer who fled from China in 2018, the 610 office also attends and supervises the court hearing of Falun Gong cases. This surveillance prevents judges and prosecutors who believe the Falun Gong practitioners of being innocent from freely expressing themselves.
In 2020 Priorities document, the CPLA ordered the judiciary branches to “empty the inventory” of unconverted Falun Gong practitioners through a variety of methods, ranging from “24-hour surveillance” of Falun Gong practitioners and “closely monitoring their thoughts and actions,” to more severe punishments.
The summary of the CPLA-issued documents shows that out of 20 documents issued by the municipal CPLA of Dandong City in the first half of 2020, six indicate a focus on suppressing groups including Falun Gong.
Propaganda Push: Inciting Hatred in the Citizenry
The 2020 Priorities document also revealed CPLA propaganda campaign against Falun Gong. Local neighborhoods were to subscribe to its anti-Falun Gong materials and organized propaganda campaigns to incite the public’s hatred of the practice, according to the documents.
According to The Epoch Times, an annual report released in July 2017 by the Municipal Committee on Politics and Law in Dandong state media was weaponized to smear Falun Gong and lead the public opinion.
These programs have been used on a large scale and have damaging impact.
For example, local television stations and newspapers ran anti-Falun Gong programs in 2016 under the command of the propaganda department of the municipal committee.
During the period, 60,000 papers, 8,000 advertisements, and a 5 column series were published, reaching over 150,000 local residents.
Quotas and Internal Incentives
The CPLAs have assigned exact quotas for persecuting Falun Gong practitioners. In a summary of its 2019 accomplishments, the Dandong CPLA declared its goal of “transforming 20 Falun Gong practitioners by the end of the year.”
The 2020 Security agreements also say that the Dandong CPLA will examine and evaluate each branch’s effectiveness in executing the orders, and the assessment results are used to determine each branch’s incentives or punishments. Officials are rewarded with financial incentives and promotions for meeting their quota, and risk losing their job if they fail to meet the quota.
Such measures motivate and force the judiciary system to adopt a wide range of abusive methods to convert Falun Gong practitioners. Commonly used methods include detention in jails and other facilities, forced brainstorming sessions, physical torture, deprivation of employment and schooling for the practitioners and their families, and more, according to FalunInfo.net.
Persecution in Dandong City
From 1999 to 2019, the Dandong City police launched at least eight large-scale waves of kidnapping Falun Gong practitioners and numerous smaller-scale ones. The kidnappings resulted in over 500 practitioners being captured. Among them, 16 are confirmed to have died from torture, and many more were disabled or severely injured physically and/or mentally. There are 64 known jail sentences, 176 labor camp sentences, and 190 illegal detentions, according to incomplete statistics from Minghui.org (due to the CCP’s strict censorship and great risks Falun Gong practitioners face in sending reports overseas, data may not be complete).
Wang Changlong, a Falun Gong practitioner and former government worker of Donggang, a subordinate city of Dandong city, described his horrifying experience with torture as a punishment for his refusal to convert: “[The police] shocked me with high-voltage batons and targeted the most sensitive areas of my body,” Wang said in a statement in 2015. “The shock from the batons went through my head, eyes, mouth, neck, armpits, heart, belly button, sides, lower abdomen, genitals, groin, soles of the feet, back, and anus … They went in circles like that, again and again, for over 20 minutes. The pain almost killed me.” Wang was illegally detained, sentenced to three years in a labor camp, and later secretly sentenced to three more years in jail.
Another resident of Dandong City, Song Jiwei, died in August 2016 at age 60 due to nine years of torture and abuse. Song was arrested four times and imprisoned in the Dandong Labor Camp and Xihu Prison. He suffered various types of torture including beatings, shocking with electric batons, burning with cigarette lighters and cigarettes, being soaked naked in cold water for 24 hours, needle pricks, sleep deprivation, and other forms of torture. According to Song’s statement published on Minghui, the guards in the labor camp put him in a meditation posture, tied his legs tightly together, bent his head towards his feet, and then sat on his back.