Five Remain Captive for Seeking Fellow Villager's Release, More Supporters Harassed for Signing Petition
(Minghui.org) Several residents in Xinggong Village, Shuangcheng District, Harbin City remain detained for trying to seek the release of a fellow villager. One of them, Mr. Gong Yubin, has been issued a formal arrest warrant and is now facing indictment.
The arrest of Mr. Gong and a few others stemmed from an earlier arrest of Ms. Guo Yurong, who was seized on October 10, 2017 for refusing to renounce Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline being persecuted by the Chinese communist regime.
Ms. Guo's mother-in-law, Ms. Sun Guizhen, also practices Falun Gong. She and her husband, Mr. Geng Chengshi, who does not practice Falun Gong, collected signatures from fellow villagers to petition for their daughter-in-law's release.
Mr. Gong, Ms. He Liying, and Ms. Cui Baolian, all of them Falun Gong practitioners, helped with the signature collection. They were arrested together with Ms. Sun and Mr. Geng on April 19, 2018.
Police smashed Mr. Gong's windows and broke in. They turned everything upside down. His family videotaped the raid, but the police snatched their cell phone and deleted the clip.
When Mr. Gong's family requested his release, they were told that the case has been transferred from the village police to Shuangcheng District Police.
The Shuangcheng District 610 Office, an extra-legal agency tasked with eradicating Falun Gong and given power to override the judicial system, ordered the police to go through every villager who had signed their names on the petition form.
The petitioners were forced to sign their names in front of the police to verify they had petitioned for Ms. Guo's release. One villager had a heart attack after the police visit, while a few others didn't dare to return to their homes. The police and village officials patrolled the village and even restrained villagers' use of electricity at night. The village wasn't allowed to turn on lights past a certain time.