(Minghui.org) In early June 2012, Xi Jinping, China's Vice President, along with the governor of the American state of Iowa, toured Zhengding County of Hebei Province and discussed trade and investment issues. Prior to their arrival, personnel from the Zhengding County 610 Office went to local practitioners' homes, harassed their families and arrested the practitioners. They told the arrested practitioners' families that Xi Jinping was coming and their families would be released after Xi left.

It is well known to fellow villagers of the Donganfeng Village that three of Mr. Li Lankui's family members suffered various diseases for years, but regained their health after practicing Falun Gong. Since then, the family has been prosperous and harmonious. Local villagers have been very appreciative of the family's struggles and overcoming their misfortunes, and have been spreading the story by word of mouth. Mr. Li Lankui is also known as an honest and earnest individual in the ten plus years he has worked running a waste recycling business.

So it was surprising to everyone when the 610 Office attempted to arrest Mr. Li Lankui. Many residents resisted the attempts by the police to take Mr. Li away and they were not able to arrest him. However, after several days, the 610 officers came at the crack of dawn while everyone was asleep and arrested Mr. Li. After vice president Xi Jinping had left, Mr. Li was not released. On the contrary, his temporary detention was turned into a term of 15 months of forced labor. Upon hearing the news, over 200 fellow villagers and about 700 residents from surrounding areas voluntarily organized a petition with their signatures and fingerprints trying to rescue him and secure his release.

This incident was reported by New Tang Dynasty TV and other media outlets multiple times. The Chinese Communist Party's central committee and Hebei Provincial Chinese Communist Party (CCP) committee then sent out a team to the village for further investigation. The investigation team first detained Mr. Li Lankui's mother, who is in her 70's, and then threatened his wife and children. The authorities searched and ransacked his second daughter's home.

At the same time, several plainclothes police officers went to his workplace to try and gather evidence that would incriminate him. They also coerced several villagers to sign statements to guarantee that they would not practice Falun Gong. The CCP personnel gathered village residents and held a local meeting trying to find out who initiated the petition. Among the local residents, two CCP members were detained and interrogated. As fellow villagers were asked who provided the pen and paper for the petition, they all answered, “Paper was bought at the convenience store. The pen was from my own home.” When villagers were asked who and where they signed the petition, they answered, “A group of people on the street were signing it and so I did it too. Nobody ever took advantage of me. Without any hidden agenda, I myself just wanted to testify that Mr. Li Lankui is a good person.”

According to information from CCP sources, it was because the incident occurred during the Iowa governor's visit that the CCP central committee and provincial committee directly got involved and assigned an investigation team. The local 610 Office, local county police, procurator and court have been told they are not allowed to interfere. The central government also deployed special agents in the investigation.