When a Falun Gong practitioner is arrested in China, the family may or may not be notified. The same is true when practitioners are brought to trial, sent to forced labor camps, or sentenced to prison. There are laws on the books requiring notification, but since the Chinese Communist Party is above the law, these regulations are often ignored. In many cases when someone disappears, the family simply does not know why and has to go to many police stations and detention centers in search of their loved ones. In other cases, detained practitioners refuse to reveal their names in order to protect their families and employers from government retribution under the so-called "implication" system. This policy, which originated in feudal times, was resurrected during the Cultural Revolution. It is "guilt by association," a method of controlling people by punishing their family members or the companies they work for if they do something the government doesn't like--for instance, going to Tiananmen Square to appeal for Falun Gong. Although the exact number of Falun Gong practitioners that have disappeared during the persecution is not easily determined, it is believed to be in the tens of thousands. It is feared that many of these missing practitioners met painful, horrible deaths as victims of live organ harvesting. For more details about organ harvesting, see: Bloody Harvest: Revised Report into Allegations of Organ Harvesting of Falun Gong Practitioners in China.
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