Personal Stories Behind the Shanghai Expo Crackdown

The Falun Dafa Information Center releases names and details for several cases

NEW YORK — Over 127 Falun Gong practitioners have been abducted in Shanghai since February 2009 in connection with the Shanghai World Expo, which opened last week. (news) Like the Beijing Olympics in 2008, the Chinese Communist Party has used the event as pretext to arbitrarily arrest, detain, and even torture Falun Gong adherents who refuse to recant their spiritual beliefs.

The following is a small selection of cases reported to the Falun Dafa Information Center:

Xu Fengao and  Lu Gentao: As part of the Communist Party’s efforts to crack down on Falun Gong practitioners in Shanghai, at least two of the city’s central districts have reportedly been offering monetary incentives to citizens who report on Falun Gong practitioners.  Among those turned in to security forces is 60-year-old Ms. Xu Fengbao from Pudong District. On March 17, 2010, Ms. Xu was distributing information about the persecution of Falun Gong in a park. A bystander reported her, and she was taken into custody. Ms. Xu was previously imprisoned twice before amid the Communist Party’s suppression of Falun Gong; she has spent 6 of the last 11 years in a labor camp.

Ms. Xu’s husband, Lu Gentao, was also abducted by security forces as part of the city’s latest campaign against Falun Gong.  On July 23, 2009, security forces in Pudong district forced entry into the couple’s home and took Mr. Lu into custody.  He was sentenced arbitrarily to one year in a forced labor camp for sending instant message about Falun Gong online.

Li Wenjuan: Ms. Li Wenjuan is a retiree from Putuo District in Shanghai. On June 5, 2009, Ms. Li was visiting another elderly Falun Gong practitioner in her home when security forces arrived and took both women into custody.  The following day, Ms. Li’s huband and her son-in-law Hou Yagang were abducted from the family’s home and taken to the Putuo District Detention Center. The arrest of three family members caused Ms. Li’s pregnant daughter to miscarry. On Nov 6, 2009, Ms. Li was sentenced to 4.5 years in prison in a show trial because of her belief in Falun Gong.

Guo Xiaojun: Mr. Guo Xiaojun was a lecturer at Shanghai Jiaotong University, but was fired under pressure from the Communist Party in December, 2009. Less than a month later, on January 8, 2010, he was abducted from outside his home by waiting security forces. Security agents then forced entry into his home, seizing his computers, electronics, and Falun Dafa books. Mr. Guo, who previously spent five years in the Tilanqiao for his belief in Falun Gong. He is being held at the Baoshan District Detention Center, and his family has been unable to visit him. Mr. Guo’s parents traveled to Shanghai from their native Henan Province to request his release, and have consequently been threatened and placed under surveillance themselves.  The family has hired Beijing lawyer Liang Xiaojun to defend Mr. Guo.

Li Yaohua and Zhang Yibo: Also among those sentenced are Hong Kong residents Li Yaohua, 64, and her daughter Zhang Yibo, age 30.  Ms. Zhang was working as a financial manager with Siemens Shanghai branch when she and her mother were arrested along with three other Falun Gong practitioners on June 4, 2009. They were held in the Xuhui District Detention Center for ten months, where they were deprived of sleep and suffered physical abuse. On March 18, 2010, a sham trial was held in which Ms. Li and Ms. Zhang were sentenced to 3.5 and 1.5 years in prison for their practice of Falun Gong.  Ms. Li’s son, Zhang Yiyuan, is a professor of dentistry at the University of California Los Angeles, and is available for comment upon request.

Jiang Yong: 42-year-old Mr. Jiang Yong was abducted on December 30, 2009, less than a year after his release from an 8-year prison term at the Tilanqiao prison in Shanghai.  While he was imprisoned in Tilanqiao, reports indicate Ms. Jiang was stripped naked and doused with cold water in the middle of winter, and shocked simultaneously with six electric batons. He was released in January 2009, but his ordeal was not over.  He was abducted by security forces on June 12, 2009, and detained at the Tianlin Police Station in Xuhui District. He was soon released, but was again imprisoned on December 30. He is currently being held at the Xuhui District Detention Center.