(Minghui.org) Police in Shuangcheng District, Harbin City raided the homes of 17 local Falun Gong practitioners hours apart in the early morning on April 19, 2018. Three practitioners managed to escape, but the rest were arrested.

Falun Gong is a spiritual discipline based on the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime.

The 17 practitioners were targeted because they petitioned to the local government requesting the release of another local practitioner, Ms. Guo Yurong, who has been detained for refusing to renounce Falun Gong.

As the practitioners' petition letters were mailed out in April, it touched a nerve of local authorities, who feared that the practitioners would go to Beijing to appeal just as many others did 19 years ago.

About 10,000 Falun Gong practitioners went to the central appeals office in Beijing on April 25, 1999 to demand the release of dozens of practitioners arrested in Tianjin. Three months later, then-Communist Party leader Jiang Zemin launched a nationwide campaign against Falun Gong, which continues to this day.

The date of April 25th has also since become a sensitive date for the Chinese communist regime.

Upon learning of the petition letters, Xie Dianchen, head of Shuangcheng District 610 Office, an-extra legal agency tasked with eradicating Falun Gong and given power to override the judicial system, ordered police to raid the practitioners' homes.

Each practitioner's home was searched by more than two dozen officers.

14 Arrested

Fourteen of the 17 practitioners were arrested, and they include:

Ms. Cui Baolian and Ms. Huo Lijuan of Xingtun Village

Ms. He Liying of Anjia Village

Ms. Gong Yubin, Ms. Xia Yuanpu, Ms. Sun Guizhen, Ms. Zhong Xiuju, Ms. Cao Shuwen of Xinggong Village.

Ms. He Fengzhu, Mr. Liang Xifa and his wife of Chengxiang Village.

Ms. Wu Aixiang of Youlian Village

Ms. Zhang Liyan of Dabaijia Vilage

Ms. Li Shuhua of Shuiquan Village

Ms. He Fengzhu and Mr. Liang's wife were later released, but the rest remain detained, with female practitioners sent to Harbin City Lockup and Mr. Liang to an unknown location.

Villager Geng Chengshi, who doesn't practice Falun Gong, was also taken into custody. It is unknown where he has been released.

3 Escaped

Three practitioners in Shuangchengbao, including Mr. Xu Jiashan, Mr. Kou Fangzhen and his wife, also got their homes raided, but they managed to escape.

Unable to find Mr. Xu, police took his mentally ill wife into custody. It's unknown where she remains detained.

Shuangcheng District 610 Office

Jiang Hongmei: +86-13936022121Feng Haijun: +86-13074597976Chen Shusen: +86-13895743311Fu Dali: +86-13115458333Xie Dianchen: +86-13766917664

Shuangcheng District Domestic Security Office

Xiao Jitian: +86-13936238777Wang Yubiao: +86-13836050988Zhang Lin: +86-451-53115966, +86-13804621112