(Minghui.org) Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials from Donganfeng Village in Xipingle Township carried out an investigation after more than 700 people from Zhengding County in Hebei Province signed a petition to try and rescue Mr. Li Lankui, a Falun Gong practitioner who was illegally arrested. The officials are not investigating incidents of police harassing and arresting local residents, but instead are openly threatening villagers and trying to track down the person who sent the list of petitioners' names to be published on the Internet.

Mr. Li used to suffer from a protruding disc on his spine that trapped a nerve, causing him to be bedridden. He was not able to work for two years due to his poor health. His wife was also not well and often had recurrent episodes of epilepsy, which caused convulsions of her entire body. Having both elderly parents and young children to take care of, the enormous pressure on Mr. Li caused him to have a very bad temper.

Since Mr. Li was introduced to Falun Gong on May 1, 1999, his behavior and physical health improved dramatically. All of his illnesses disappeared within one month and he was able to work again. He became a much calmer person, and gained a very good reputation throughout the local area.

On the early morning of June 1, 2012 more than 20 officers from the 610 Office arrived in four police cars to break into Mr. Li's home. Since Mr. Li was not there at the time, his family was forced to lead the officers to him. When they found him, the officers immediately tried to force him to sign a guarantee statement to stop practicing Falun Gong. Mr. Li told them sternly, “There is nothing wrong with conducting oneself according to the standards of 'Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.' Falun Dafa is good!”

Just as the officers tried to force Mr. Li into a police car, his mother, who is in her late 70s, grabbed her son and wouldn't let go. She shouted, “Why didn't you guys come when my family was suffering? Now that my son and daughter-in-law have regained their health through practicing Falun Gong and our lives have just gotten better, you guys come.”

Some of the neighbors then came and asked why they wanted to take Mr. Li away. An officer said, “Xi Jinping and the Americans are coming to our area. We will let Mr. Li come back once Xi and his guests are gone.” [Editor's Note: Xi Jinping is a high-ranking government official and next in line to be president of China.] More and more villagers began to gather and started to quarrel with the officers.

With the villagers' strong intervention the officers let Mr. Li go, but continued to follow and monitor him. On June 7, several officers arrested Mr. Li early in the morning when nobody was around. When Xi Jinping and his guests had eventually left the area, Mr. Li was still not released and was sentenced to one year and three months in Shijiazhuang City Forced Labor Camp in Hebei Province. After hearing this news, the villagers collected over 700 signatures calling for Mr. Li's release and left their fingerprints.

After the story of the 700 signatures was reported by international media, the CCP Central Committee and the Provincial Party Committee immediately sent officials to the village. They first detained and questioned Mr. Li's elderly mother, and then threatened and intimidated Mr. Li's wife and children. They ransacked the home of Mr. Li's second daughter, and several plainclothes officers went to her workplace to harass and pressure her employer to find out more information about the incident. They arrested Mr. Li's second daughter, and then on August 2, 2012 they arrested his wife. The family has not been notified of their whereabouts.

The CCP officials coerced the villagers to sign forms declaring that they would not practice Falun Gong. They also held a meeting to intimidate and threaten villagers, trying to force them to reveal who is collecting the signatures.

More than 300 residents from the surrounding areas of Zhengding County continued to collect signatures and thumbprints to support Mr. Li and demanded that the government immediately release him and to withdraw the police who are stationed around the village.