Eyewitness Recalls Arrests of Supporters of Falun Gong Practitioners in Heilongjiang Human Rights Case
(Minghui.org) The authorities in Jiansanjiang, Heilongjiang Province recently sentenced four local Falun Gong practitioners to prison, giving Mr. Shi Mengwen three years, and Ms. Wang Yanxin, Ms. Li Guifang and Ms. Meng Fanli two years each.
The four people were arrested in March 2014 along with three other practitioners and four prominent human rights lawyers for seeking the release of other detained Falun Gong practitioners. Their case – dubbed the “Heilongjiang Human Rights Case” – drew wide attention both domestically and internationally. Though the lawyers and some of the practitioners were later released, Mr. Shi, Ms. Wang, Ms. Li and Ms. Meng remain detained.
As a practitioner also from Heilongjiang Province, I joined family members and friends of the four still detained practitioners to seek justice for them. The recent sentencing reminded me of what happened during a three day trial of the four practitioners last December.
A group of us practitioners traveled about 200 miles to Jiansanjiang, where the trial was to be held. The police were everywhere, from the train station to the vicinity of the courthouse. We managed to get out of the train station safe and sound, but were arrested near the courthouse.
We were taken to a nearby police department, where more supporters who tried to attend the trial were later brought in.
A total of 26 supporters, myself included, were held in custody for around eight hours, during which time we were body searched, had our IDs checked, and denied food and water. Only one person was allowed to go to the toilet at a time and had to be accompanied by two police officers.
Many of us were still subjected to police monitoring, intimidation and harassment after our release. In particular, Ms Cui Huifang, a former guard at Jiamusi City Forced Labor Camp, was arrested again in February this year and is currently being charged with disclosing state secrets.