Persecution of Falun Gong Continues Despite Coronavirus Pandemic
Even with the coronavirus pandemic sweeping across China, the Chinese communist regime doubled the number of Falun Gong arrests in February 2020.
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) continues to persecute Falun Gong while clamping down on coronavirus coverage in China. According to data collected by Minghui.org, February 2020 saw a rise in arrests, with 282 Falun Gong practitioners arrested, 15 sentenced, and 113 harassed for their faith.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is an ancient spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.
After sentencing 193 Falun Gong practitioners in December 2019 and January 2020, the CCP’s court system slowed down amid the coronavirus lockdown and travel restrictions implemented across China. Yet, twice as many Falun Gong practitioners were arrested in February 2020 (282) compared to February of last year (140). This year, 132 were in custody at the time of writing. Another 113 practitioners were harassed by the authorities.
Some practitioners were arrested or harassed for encouraging people to reflect on the need for truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance (Falun Gong’s principles) during the pandemic.
Of the 395 practitioners arrested or harassed for their faith, 21 were in their 70s and 80s. A total of 193 practitioners had their homes ransacked, and the authorities extorted a total of 244,234 yuan ($34,436.51 USD) from 26 practitioners, collectively.
Eight provinces and municipalities reported double-digit arrests, including Hebei Province (43), Shandong Province (38), Liaoning Province (37), Heilongjiang Province (29), Beijing (21), Jilin (19), Guangdong (16), and Tianjin (16). Fifteen other regions reported single digit arrests.
The 15 practitioners sentenced in February come from six provinces and regions, including Hebei Province (with 5 sentenced), Jilin Province (3), Shandong Province (3), Tianjin (2), Liaoning Province (1) and Shanghai (1). Prison terms ranged from 7 months to 9 years, with an average of 4.27 years.
Cases of harassment in the double-digits were reported in Sichuan Province (27), Shanxi Province (17), Hebei Province (15) and Beijing (11). Fourteen other regions had single digit cases.
Hubei Province, the epicenter of the epidemic, reported 7 arrests and 2 harassment cases.
The full list of practitioners sentenced for their faith in January and February 2020 can be downloaded here.
Detailed cases can be found in the original version of this article published on Minghui.org: