(Minghui.org) Thirty-one Falun Gong practitioners and their family members from nine regions in Liaoning Province were arrested between August 22 and 23, 2018. The arrests are part of an apparent intensification of the persecution in Liaoning.

Under the directive of the Liaoning Province Public Security Bureau, a special task force was formed to orchestrate the sudden mass arrests, which called for police in affected regions to carry out specific actions, including extended surveillance.

The police had been following the practitioners and monitoring their phone calls prior to the arrests. The oldest practitioner arrested was 81-year-old Ms. Chen from Chaoyang City. Four of the practitioners' family members who don't practice Falun Gong were also arrested.

Several practitioners were arrested at their workplace, while most were arrested at home. If practitioners refused to open the door to the police, the police would use force to break in. Upon entering the homes, whether the practitioners were present or not, the police turned the homes upside-down searching for Falun Gong-related items.

It was unclear what triggered these latest mass arrests, but police were ordered to report the arrest details to the Liaoning Province Public Security Bureau.

Liaoning Province has been at the forefront of the nationwide campaign against Falun Gong practitioners. A total of 469 practitioners from this province have lost their lives to the brutal persecution as of 2017. This latest mass arrest came on the heels of 61 earlier arrests in July 2018, when Liaoning topped all other provinces in the country in terms of arrests of Falun Gong practitioners.

The Minghui website is in the process of confirming whether there are more practitioners affected in the latest incident. Below is a breakdown of confirmed cases thus far.

Chaoyang City: 9 Practitioners and 1 Family Member Arrested

Qi Min, Li Zhenyang, Wen Li, a practitioner surnamed Yuan, and one family member of Han Aizhen were arrested at 5 p.m. on August 22, 2018 and taken to the Guangming Police Station. Han Aizhen's family member was released around 12 a.m.

Ms. Chen (given name not known), 81, was arrested on August 23, 2018 by officers from the Shuangta District Police Station. The police ransacked her home around 10 a.m. and confiscated Falun Gong-related materials. She was released at 4 p.m. that day. According to Ms. Chen's neighbor, the police had a piece of paper with her personal information and her photo in hand, before arresting her.

Sha Jingtang from Jianping County was arrested and his home was ransacked on the morning of August 23. Two practitioners, Yang Xiuyun and Ma Guilan, who came from Inner Mongolia to visit Sha, were also arrested. Yang Xiuyun was detained at the Jianping County Detention Center. Ma Guilan was later released.

Lingyuan City: 3 Practitioners Arrested

Zhao Changfu, Sun Guangli, and Li Yingzhi were arrested on August 22, 2018. It was reported that police came from Huludao City to participate in the arrests.

Yingkou City: 7 Arrested, Including 1 Family Member

Shan Baogui, Fu Wencheng, Mou Yanping, Zhao Yazhen, Sun Guiying and her daughter, Han Xuemei, and a family member of another practitioner were arrested on August 23. Police officers from five stations participated.

Dalian City: 1 Practitioner Arrested

Zhu Weijun was arrested at home around 2 p.m. on August 22. Two plainclothes officers pretended to be representatives from the gas company and said that Mr. Zhu's home gas system had safety issues. When Zhu opened the door, a group of officers broke in. They confiscated his computer and printer during the raid.

Shenyang City: 1 Practitioner Arrested

Zhu Weifeng was arrested around 5 p.m. on August 22 by officers from the Domestic Security Division in Huanggu District.

Fushun City: 2 Practitioners and 2 Family Members Arrested

Li Cuihong and her husband Tang Yuwei were arrested in the afternoon of August 23 at their family-owned machine factory. The police ransacked their home and detained them at Nangou Detention Center.

Another couple, Tian Lili and her husband were also arrested on the same day and their home was ransacked.

The husbands of Ms. Li and Ms. Tian don't practice Falun Gong.

Anshan City: 1 Practitioner Arrested

Wang Hongzhu was arrested at his workplace on the evening of August 22. The police forced open his rental apartment and ransacked the place.

Huludao City: 1 Practitioner Arrested

Zhou Mingtie from Nanpiao District in Huludao City was arrested at 6 a.m. on August 23. The police ransacked his home.

Jinzhou City: 3 Practitioners Arrested

Niu Tong was arrested on the morning of August 22 by officers from the Heishan Police Station. They confiscated a number of personal belongings from her home.

Deng Huiling and Liu Ruimei were arrested and their homes ransacked around 11 p.m. on August 23 by officers from the Domestic Security Division in Taihe District.