NEW YORK, December 7, 2001 (Falun Dafa Information Center)—In a sudden and coordinated effort by the Public Security bureau and without any apparent warning, many Falun Gong practitioners in Hangzhou City were taken from their homes, arrested and sent to detention centers. Officials subsequently ransacked the practitioners’ homes.According to sources inside China, On December 3, Chinese officials in Hangzhou City seized many practitioners and brought them into detention centers without any apparent evidence of crimes committed. They were, however, accused of "participating in Falun Gong illegal activities", and are currently being held in criminal detention. These sources also say that because practitioners were arrested while at home and not engaging in "illegal" activities, police are conducting interrogations everyday in an attempt to force practitioners to confess their "crime," and thereby justifying the arrests. The ransacking of practitioners' homes is also part of the effort to uncover "evidence," such as the possession of Falun Gong materials or tapes, according to these sources.Those familiar with this sudden campaign in Hangzhou City have told the Falun Dafa Information Center that officials from the Politics and Security branch of the Public Security bureau in different regions are cooperating and coordinating with city Public Security divisions to carry out these seizures and the ransacking of homes.Falun Dafa Information Center spokesperson, Ms. Gail Rachlin, says this action is a direct result of a secret directive issued by Luo Gan, head of the "6-10" Office (the government body established by Jiang Zemin to carry out the persecution of Falun Gong): "Luo Gan's directive states that all Falun Gong practitioners who are not brainwashed against Falun Gong should be imprisoned for the rest of their lives or until they submit to brainwashing. What we are seeing in Hangzhou is the implementation of this directive." Ms. Rachlin continued, "During the Cultural Revolution, this is exactly how they used to persecute those with high education or those who still upheld traditional Chinese values. This persecution of citizens who practice Falun Gong, a practice deeply rooted in traditional Chinese values and culture, is the Cultural Revolution all over again."Death Count of Falun Gong Practitioners in China Tops 1,600 Since July, 1999, when Chinese President Jiang Zemin ordered the "annihilation" of Falun Gong and those who practice it, 323 people are confirmed to have died under the persecution. Government officials inside China, however, are now saying that the actual death toll exceeds 1,600. About this figure, Ms. Rachlin commented, "The news and information we have received about the persecution of Falun Gong in China over the last 2 1/2 years has been horrifying. But I fear that because the Chinese communist regime has such a tight control on information, and can use the entire government apparatus to threaten and coerce people into silence, the full story of what is happening in China is really just coming to light. There are many tragedies we have yet to hear about."