Hundreds of Practitioners Arrested This Year in Beijing
(Clearwisdom.net) Based on incomplete statistics due to China's information blockade, 586 Beijing practitioners have been arrested from January to July 2008. There were 83 arrests in January, 87 in February, 57 in March, 112 in April, 144 in May, 48 in June, and 55 in July.
As of June 30, 2008, 8,037 practitioners have been arrested all across China this year. About one-fourth of these were in Beijing. The population of Beijing, including non-residents, is only one-seventieth that of the country. These two ratios reflect the severity of the persecution in Beijing, where most of the Olympic Games are hosted. Most concerning is that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) used the Sichuan earthquake, a terrible national disaster, as an opportunity to conduct many of these mass arrests. From the earthquake on May 12 to May 31, there were 104 known arrests. On May 12-14, at least 28 Beijing practitioners were arrested in a three-day period. One week later, on May 20, at least another 30 practitioners were arrested during a city-wide mass arrest. During the preliminary hearings in the districts' domestic security sections, many officers mentioned that it was a citywide coordinated operation and they were merely following "orders from higher levels."
After Beijing practitioner Mr. Yu Zhou was tortured to death on February 6, another two Beijing practitioners, Ms. Lang Fengxian and Ms. Kang (given name unknown), also died as a result of the persecution.
Ms. Lang Fengxian, in her sixties, lived in Chaoyang District, Beijing. She was harassed and imprisoned many times by the CCP. From January to May 2008, she was arrested three times. She died in mid-June 2008 as a direct result of mistreatment she received during these arrests.
Ms. Kang, 72, lived in Yuzhongxili community, Beijing. On May 20, 2008, she was arrested by officers from the Garden Road Police Station while she was distributing truth clarification materials. She died on May 29, 2008, after having a stroke while in police custody. Ms. Kang had practiced Falun Dafa for 15 years and was in good health.