(Minghui.org) A massive arrest of practitioners took place on February 25, 2012, in Hebei, Liaoning, and Shandong provinces. More than 100 practitioners were harassed and dozens illegally arrested. Practitioners' homes were also ransacked.

The persecution across the 3 provinces was led by officials from the Political and Legal Affairs Committee and the 610 Office. The arrests were carried out in at least 11 cities: Shijiazhuang, Jinzhou, Tangshan, Baoding, Cangzhou, Botou, Xuanhua and Handan (Hebei Province); Liaocheng and Gaotang (Shandong Province); and Huludao (Liaoning Province).

In Tangshan City alone, 38 practitioners were arrested; 3 of them were sent to forced labor camps, and 15 were sentenced to imprisonment. Police and other Communist Party officials threatened practitioners and their families, as well as their attorneys.

Mr. Zheng Xiangxing Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison; Public Demands His Release

Mr. Zheng Xiangxing

Mr. Zheng Xiangxing and his wife owned an appliance store. They were known to carry quality products and recognized for being considerate of their customers; they often repaired customers' vehicles at no charge.

On February 25, Mr. Zheng was arrested at home by more than 10 police officers, including Li Fuguo (Tanghai County Domestic Security Division head) and officers from the No. 10 Farm Police Station. He was incarcerated at the Tanghai County Detention Center.

On April 6, 2012, Li Fuguo and detention center officials sent Mr. Zheng to the Tangshan Mental Hospital for further persecution.

In an effort that drew international attention, 562 residents from Tanghai County No. 10 and No. 11 Farms signed a petition letter, stamping it with their fingerprints, to demand Mr. Zheng's release.

After hearing that Mr. Zheng had been tortured and was in a life-threatening condition, more than 1,200 residents in 8 towns (inside Tangshan and Qinhuangdao cities) also signed a petition requesting his release.

Subsequently, when people learned that Communist Party officials planned to sentence Mr. Zheng in an illegal trial, 979 Tangshan City residents across 6 towns once again held a signature campaign asking for his release.

Hundreds of residents in multiple towns signed petitions to demand Mr. Zheng’s release.

Tanghai County Court held a trial for Mr. Zheng on May 29, 2012. His defense attorney entered a non-guilty plea and submitted 3 petition letters signed by residents of the Tanghai County No. 10 and No. 11 Farms, including their 562 collected fingerprints. Faced with such a strong statement of public disapproval, the judge and the prosecutor adjourned the trial. However, Mr. Zheng was later sentenced to 10 years of imprisonment and sent to Baoding Prison.

Mr. Bian Lichao Sentenced to 12 Years in Prison

Mr. Bian Lichao was a teacher in Kailuan No. 10 Middle School. He was arrested on the morning on February 25 and is currently held at the Tangshan City Second Detention Center.

A trial for Mr. Bian was held on July 26, 2012. During the court hearing, he exposed the threats and harassment he had been subjected to, stating, “The officials threatened me in order to fabricate so called ‘evidence’. They said they would arrest my wife and daughter if I did not agree with them.”

The judge and other court staff repeatedly interrupted his attorney’s defense. Later, Mr. Bian was sentenced to 12 years of imprisonment.

Five Practitioners in Kaiping District Sentenced to Prison

Five practitioners--Mr. Li Wendong, Mr. Gao Zhaochen, Mr. Zhang Guochen, Mr. Yue Changcun, and Mr. Yang Zheng--were tried at Zhengzhuangzi Central Court in Kaiping District of Tangshan City on August 10, 2012. The court announced on September 5 that Mr. Li was sentenced to 6 years in prison, Mr. Zhang, Mr. Gao and Mr. Yang to 5 years in prison, and Mr. Yue to 5 years in prison with a 3-year parole. These practitioners are currently appealing the illegal sentences.

Mr. Li Wendong worked at the Tangshan Steel Corporation. He was arrested on February 25 by agents from the Kaiping Police Department, Kaiping Domestic Security Division, and the Kaiping Police Station. His home was ransacked and his wife (not a practitioner) was also arrested. Mr. Li was severely beaten after the arrest, and his face was covered in bruises. He is currently held at the Tangshan First Detention Center, where he was put in solitary confinement, handcuffed and shackled. Mr. Li went on a hunger strike to protest the persecution for more than 2 weeks; however, the guards tied him to a bed and force-fed him.

Mr. Gao Zhaochen lived in the Majiagou area of Kaiping District. He was arrested on February 25 by dozens of agents from the Kaiping Police Department, Kaiping Domestic Security Division, and Liyuan Town Police Station. His home was also ransacked.

Mr. Zhang Guochen, 44, from the Jinggezhuang Mine in Kaiping District, was arrested on the morning of the same day.

Mr. Yue Changcun, an employee of the Jinggezhuang Mine, was arrested on February 25 by agents from the Kaiping Police Department, Domestic Security Division, and Criminal Division.

Mr. Yang Zheng from Daodifu Village in Fengnan District, was arrested the same day by agents from the Kaiping Police Department, Domestic Security Division, and Criminal Division.

Seven Fengrun District Practitioners Illegally Tried

Mr. Yang Guoguang is from Gaotuo Village in Chahe Town. Fengrun District Court tried him at 9 a.m. on August 6, 2012.

Mr. Li Yushu was followed by police and arrested on the morning of February 25. His wife, Ms. Wang Mao, was arrested at home at 2 p.m. the same day. Fengrun District Court held a trial for Mr. Li at 9 a.m. on August 28, 2012.

Ms. He Suying was tried in the same court in the afternoon on August 28. Her defense statement was interrupted by court officials and not allowed to continue. The trial only lasted for half an hour. Ms. He appeared very weak, and her family suspected that she had been tortured.

Ms. Gu Youwen was tried in Fengrun District Court on September 11, 2012. Her elder sister entered a non-guilty plea for her.

Mr. Li Yunpeng and his wife, Ms. Lu Jianxin, from the Qiaotunlou area of Tangshan City, were arrested at 6 a.m. on February 25. More than 10 agents from the Lubei Police Department, Domestic Security Division, and Qiaotun Police Station made the arrest. The couple's home was also ransacked. Mr. Li and Ms. Lu were incarcerated at the Tangshan First Detention Center. Mr. Li was tortured until he began to urinate blood; afterward, he was released. Lubei District Court in Tangshan City held a secret trial for Ms. Lu on June 6, 2012.

Ms. Zhang Guizhi is a 68-year-old retired teacher from Laozhuangzi Town in Fengrun District. When she and 60-year-old Ms. Zhang Mingfeng distributed Falun Gong materials in Xiaozheng Village, Fengdengwu Town, on April 4, 2012, plainclothes agents from the Fengdengwu Police Station arrested them. Fengrun District Court held a secret trial for the two practitioners on August 20, 2012. Ms. Zhang Guizhi was sentenced to 4 years in prison, and Ms. Zhang Mingfeng to 3 years.

Fengrun District Court also held two secret trials for Hancheng Town practitioner Mr. Xu Jie without notifying his family. When Mr. Xu defended himself in court, presiding judge Xu Tianpeng stopped him and adjourned the trial. Mr. Xu was later sentenced to 7 years in prison. He is appealing this sentence.

Parties involved in the persecution:

Liu Jianguo, Tangshan City Political and Legal Affairs Committee head: +86-13831518989
Liu Xiaozhong, Tangshan Police Department deputy head: +86-315-2817381, +86-13832980008
Bai Yulli, Tanghai Police Department head: +86-13832985038, +86-3158711758
Li Fuguo, Tanghai County Domestic Security Division head: +86-13832886232
Zhao Chunsheng, Kaiping Domestic Security Division head: +86-13832988290 (Cell)
Zheng Ruixue, Fengrun District 610 Office head: +86-315-3081055, +86-13623333068
Liu Lixin, Fengrun Domestic Security Division head: +86-315-3226966, +86-315-2534676, +86-13832985689
Song Dianchun, Fengrun Detention Center head: +86-315-2534781, +86-13832985269, +86-315-5163060 (Home)

For additional parties involved in the persecution, please refer to the original Chinese article.