(Minghui.org) Despite what public officials may say in response to queries from practitioners' family members, about what has happened to their loved ones, the reality is that when it comes to Falun Gong, there is complete disregard for the law of the land. Indeed, government officials are encouraged--and often rewarded with promotions and bonuses--for acts involving persecution of practitioners.

Initial Arrests

Falun Gong practitioners Ms. Wu Youqing and Ms. Hu Xiuhui from Gaozhou City, Guangdong Province, and Ms. Li Qiao from Xinyi City, Guangdong Province, were arrested on August 1, 2013, in Wangsha Town, Xinyi City, and detained in Xinyi. They were formally charged at 9:30 a.m., August 10, and detained in Xinyi Detention Center for one month. The person responsible was Ou Yicai, head of the No. 3 brigade of the Domestic Security Division of Xinyi City.

Officials Pass the Buck

Ms. Wu's family called Ou Yicai on September 7, 2013, seeking her release. Ou Yicai said that Ms. Wu would be released when her term ended the next day. However, when her family went to Xinyi City Detention Center to fetch her on September 8, Ou Yicai said that her case had been transferred to the Xinyi City Procuratorate, and that he no longer had anything to do with it. He told the family to stop contacting him.

Ms. Wu's family called the superintendent of Xinyi City Procuratorate on September 9, and were told they would get an answer on September 10.

On September 10, Ms. Wu's family submitted a letter of complaint to the appeals department of Xinyi City Procuratorate. The clerk told them that all queries concerning Falun Gong would be transferred to the 610 Office and the Political and Legal Affairs Committee, and that the Procuratorate was unsure about the specific policies involved. Ms. Wu's family asked, “Will you handle her case according to the laws or according to the 610 Office?" The clerk answered, “We follow the law.”

The 610 Office Follows Its Own Policies

When Ms. Wu's family went to Xinyi City 610 Office and asked what law Ms. Wu violated and why she was still detained, no explanation was given. An official commented that many Falun Gong practitioners had been sentenced to prison terms throughout the country and that they were not just picking on Ms. Wu alone.

Of the many sentences against Falun Gong practitioners, none have actually been reversed. Officials took out a stack of letters and said, “Look. After these three people were arrested, we received so many letters.” They handed the letters to Ms. Wu's family to look at. The letters came from all over the country, including Changchun, Jiangxi, and Ningxia. They said, “Do you think we will release people just because you send us these letters? If you think the departments involved in your case violated the law, you can sue them.”

Ms. Wu's family asked the Domestic Security Division and the Procuratorate whether they handled cases according to the law or according to directions handed down by the 610 Office. Director Lei said that they handled cases according to the law, but functioned independently. He said they would be held accountable for the quality of the cases they handled and that, "The 610 Office does not give us any orders and vice versa. We are only cooperating government agencies."

When the family clarified the truth to them, one clerk said, “This family behaves just like those practitioners, so it would not be unfair to sentence them to 8-10 years of imprisonment.”

Ms. Wu's family called the superintendent of Xinyi City Procuratorate on September 11, and were told that arrests of the three practitioners had been approved. The case was returned to Xinyi City Domestic Security Division for further investigation. They said they had followed the law. When Ms. Wu's family called Ou Yicai of the Domestic Security Division, Ou confirmed the arrests and said that the case would soon go back to the Procuratorate for handling.

Ms. Wu's Family Accuses the 610 Office and Others of Breaking the Law

The Xinyi City 610 Office took an active part in the persecution. Ms. Wu's family recently mailed and hand delivered charges against the departments concerned with the Xinyi City 610 Office and Domestic Security Division. The charges state:

- Falun Gong teaches people how to be compassionate and cultivate themselves in accordance with Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, so it is not an evil cult. Falun Gong practitioners do not interfere with the enforcement of any laws, nor does Falun Gong harm anyone. Believing in Falun Gong is lawful, and disseminating the truth about Falun Gong is also legal. From the standpoint of current laws, practicing Falun Gong is not a crime and it is perfectly legal to believe in Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.

- Article 35 of the Chinese Constitution states, “Citizens of the People's Republic of China enjoy freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly, of association, of procession, and of demonstration.” Article 36 says, “Citizens of the People's Republic of China enjoy freedom of religious belief. No state organ, public organization, or individual may compel citizens to believe in, or not to believe in, any religion; nor may they discriminate against citizens who believe in, or do not believe in, any religion.” What Falun Gong practitioners believe in is the universal principle of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, and should be protected by the Chinese Constitution.

- Ms. Wu Youqing, Ms. Hu Xiuhui, and Ms. Li Qiao violated no laws, and committed no crimes. They have the freedom to practice and promote Falun Gong because these rights are endowed by the Constitution. Any person or organization that tries to deprive them of their human rights by violence is therefore committing a criminal offense.

- Under current Chinese law, persecuting Falun Gong is a criminal offense that violates the Constitution, Criminal Law, Criminal Procedural Law, and Civil Servant Law. Falun Gong does not violate any current Chinese laws.

- To illegally possess or steal from Falun Gong practitioners or their families by means of threats or coercion violates Article 239 of Criminal Law. According to Article 270 of Criminal Law, “Whoever illegally takes over another person's property in the latter's custody, … and refuses to return it, is to be sentenced to not more than two years of fixed-term imprisonment, criminal detention, or a fine.” Examples of this include:

1) Taking Falun Gong practitioners' computers, printers, household appliances, cars and cash. This is robbery and violates Article 39 of the Constitution, and Articles 245 and 397 of Criminal Law.

2) On August 1, 2013, Ou Yicai detained Ms. Wu Youqing, Ms. Hu Xiuhui, and Ms. Li Qiao in the Xinyi City Detention Center located at 207 State Road, Shuikou Town, for ten days (August 1-10). On August 10, they were transferred to Xinyi City Detention Center. This was unlawful detention and violated Article 238 of Criminal Law.

For the police to detain Falun Gong practitioners in a brainwashing center, police station, detention center, forced labor camp, jail, prison hospital, or other places, constitutes unlawful detention. This also includes when the security guards or others at a practitioner's place of employment detain them in a house, hotel, or office, and have someone monitor them or restrict them from leaving, or when they confine Falun Gong practitioners.

3) Ou Yici fabricated facts to frame Ms. Wu Youqing, Ms. Hu Xiuhui, and Ms. Li Qiao so that they would be convicted of criminal offenses. Ou violated Article 243 of Criminal Law.

4) Ou Yicai took possession of and did not return practitioners' belongings, which constitutes the crime of appropriation. Falun Dafa practitioners's belongings are not lethal weapons that can harm people or damage public property.

The portrait of the founder of Falun Dafa, Falun Dafa books, computers, printers, currency, and cars were not officially disclosed to the court, so anything that is not declared in court cannot be used as evidence for a final verdict. Any property not used as evidence should be returned by the authorities to their owners.

Anyone who refuses to return such property should be held legally responsible. In the case of Xinyi practitioners, the judge did not rule on the confiscation of all their property. However, Xinyi City Domestic Security Division refused to return them, saying that they could constitute criminal evidence.

5) Xinyi City Domestic Security Division officers seized and took possession of a large number of Falun Gong practitioners' belongings.

These officers sought recognition from their superiors for promotions and raises by confiscating Falun Gong belongings. When the practitioners were arrested, the police from Xinyi City Domestic Security Division seized a large number of belongings, which were not officially listed. Many items were taken away privately. Ou Yicai, Gao Shaoyun, and their cohorts took advantage of the situation to benefit personally.

Law-enforcement officers in Xinyi have retaliated against Falun Gong practitioners out of personal spite. They have suppressed Falun Gong in order to earn recognition, seek further advancement in their rank, and gain remuneration.

Contact Information for the Parties Involved: Xinyi City 610 Office in Guangdong Province: Lei Tenglong (雷腾龙), director: +86-668-8882610, +86-13580035891 (Cell) Xinyi City Police Department: Lu Shaohua (吕绍华), director Lu Ruixi (陆瑞熙), associate director Xi Zhiping (谢志平), associate director Shen Dongmin (沈东明), associate director Yang Jianquan (杨建全), director of Domestic Security Division Ou Yicai (欧乙才), head of the No. 3 Brigade of Domestic Security Division: +86-13929761422 (Cell), +86-668-8899141 (Office) Xinyi City Procuratorate: Wu Chenhong (吴晨虹), Party secretary and director: +86-13929712988 (Cell)