(Minghui.org) Authorities in Jiamusi, Heilongjiang Province launched a coordinated sweep on December 24 and arrested nine residents in three different parts of the city.

These residents have persistently appealed for the release of four Falun Gong practitioners sentenced to prison for their involvement in the ongoing Heilongjiang human rights case.

All except one, who was released the same day, continue to be detained.

Heilongjiang Human Rights Case

Four prominent human rights lawyers and seven Falun Gong practitioners were arrested on March 21, 2014 for seeking the release of another group of Falun Gong practitioners detained in Jiansanjiang. Jiansanjiang is an area of 16 farms within Fujin City, an administrative unit of Jiamusi City.

Though the lawyers and three of the practitioners were later released, four practitioners remain detained. Mr. Shi Mengwen was later sentenced to three years, and Ms. Wang Yanxin, Ms. Li Guifang, and Ms. Meng Fanli were each given two years.

Family and friends of the four imprisoned practitioners have been working for their release since their arrest. For their efforts, the supporters became targets of persecution themselves and several were arrested in the latest police sweep.

Three Arrests at Qixing Farm, Jiansanjiang

Mr. Shi Mengchang is an older brother of Mr. Shi Mengwen, who is serving three years. Mr. Shi, his wife Ms. Han Shujuan, and their son, Mr. Shi Qilei, were arrested around 8 a.m. on December 24. The three were previously arrested on March 13, 2015.

The younger Shi was working in his computer shop on that March day when police broke in and ransacked his business. Both he and his wife were taken into custody. When his parents rushed to his store upon learning of the arrest, the older couple were also taken away by police.

Three Arrests in Qianjin Farm, Jiansanjiang

Ms. Jiang Xinbo, her husband Mr. Ding Zhongye, and Mr. Yu Songjiang from Qianjin Farm were also arrested on the morning of December 24. Ms. Jiang and Mr. Dong were once held at a local detention center for refusing to give up their belief in Falun Gong.

Three Arrests in Jiamusi City

Ms. Sun Yanhuan was arrested at home together with her guests, Ms. Chen Xiuling and Ms. Li Guixin. Ms. Sun is a relative of Ms. Wang Yanxin (who is serving two years), while the other two women are good friends of Ms. Wang.

Ms. Chen was released later that evening, but the rest remain detained.

Related report:

Update on Heilongjiang Human Rights Case: 4 Falun Gong Practitioners Recently Sentenced, Vow to Fight the Verdict