Police Slander Falun Gong Practitioners, Who Now Face Trial for Their Faith
(Minghui.org) Ms. Li Shuangfeng and Ms. Zhan Jie were walking in an apartment complex in Harbin City on the night of September 12, 2017 when more than twenty black-clad men came out of nowhere and grabbed them.
The two women thought they had encountered robbers, and Ms. Li was so scared that she cried out. Some passersby came to see what happened, and one man, whose name was later found to be Ma Weimin, yelled, “We caught two thieves!”
Ms. Li and Ms. Zhan didn't steal anything. They were just practitioners of Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline being persecuted by the Chinese communist regime.
The police confiscated Ms. Li's key and ransacked her apartment. They took away 10,000 yuan in cash and more than sixty Falun Gong books.
None of the agents wore uniforms or produced a search warrant. They proceeded to ransack Ms. Zhan's home later that night, confiscating more than 10,000 yuan in cash and other personal belongings.
Four other local Falun Gong practitioners were arrested on the same night.
The police went to Ms. Li's sister's home the following day. They turned everything upside down, including the food in the refrigerator.
Ms. Li's father, in his 90s, lived with her sister. He was so traumatized by the police that he passed away just a few days later.
Mr. Pei Tingyou, another local practitioner, was seized on September 13 and has since remained in detention.
More than 150 miles away, in Changchun City of Jilin Province, seven Falun Gong practitioners were arrested on the same night as Mr. Pei. One of the practitioners, Mr. Li Guojun (no relation to Ms. Li), was beaten so badly that he suffered a broken eye socket.
Ms. Li, 47, learned during police interrogation that she had been monitored for more than two weeks before her arrest. One officer showed her a photo of a receipt stating that she mailed out some SIM cards to some practitioners in Changchun.
The arrested Harbin City practitioners were accused of assisting Ms. Li in purchasing or mailing out the cards, while the arrested Changchun practitioners were allegedly recipients of the cards.
No law in China criminalizes Falun Gong, and it is totally legal to purchase and send SIM cards.
Ms. Li was scheduled to face trial on May 30, 2018. Other practitioners are also facing prosecution, though details of their court dates remain to be investigated.