(Minghui.org) In recent months, authorities in China have conducted mass arrests and harassment of Falun Gong practitioners. These operations were directed by the central government’s special task force to eradicate criminal gangs, but with many such gangs run by government officials themselves or having infiltrated local governments, police in many areas instead targeted Falun Gong practitioners to fill their quota.

In Zhaoyuan City, Shandong Province, 20 Falun Gong practitioners have been arrested since August. The police ransacked their homes and extorted fines from them. Except for a few practitioners who have been released due to their advanced age, most of them remain detained.

Below are details of the arrests:

On August 17, 2018, police arrested Ms. Wang Shupei, ransacked her home and confiscated her computer, printer, and a satellite dish she used to receive TV signals from uncensored overseas media. Ms. Wang's family went to the Domestic Security Division to demand her release on September 17 and was told that her case had been submitted to the procuratorate.

Nearly two weeks after Ms. Wang's arrest, police also arrested her landlord, Mr. Wang Shaomin, on August 30. They ransacked his residence and confiscated his Falun Gong books. Mr. Wang is currently detained at Yantai Detention Center. The police is preparing to submit his case to the procuratorate.

On September 4, Mr. Wang Xinrong and Mr. Sun Yaoxiang from Zhangxing Town were arrested and detained at Yantai Detention Center. Mr. Sun's home was ransacked.

On the same day, Ms. Wang Xuefen from Jinling Town was also arrested and given 15 days of administrative detention.

On September 6, three practitioners were arrested, including Ms. Liu Shumin from Jinling Town, Ms. Yan Xuefen from Biguo Town and Ms. Zhang Shuping from Beiguanxi Village.

Ms. Liu's home was ransacked, and her Falun Gong materials were taken away by police. Ms. Yan was detained at Yantai Detention Center, and Ms. Zhang was given 15 days of detention.

On September 8, Ms. Jiang Qingzhi was arrested at her hog farm. Officers also ransacked her home. She is now detained at Yantai Detention Center. According to her family, who sought her release on September 17, the police told them that they had submitted her case to the procuratorate.

Another practitioner, Ms. Liu Shuqin, 73, was harassed by police around noon on September 8. Officers forcibly took her to the police station, took a blood sample, obtained her fingerprints, and took pictures of her. She had to pay 2,000 yuan in bail before being released.

On September 11, Mr. Li Wende and Mr. Song Jianwen from Linglong Town were arrested, and their homes were ransacked. The police harassed another villager as he posted a couplet with a Falun Gong-related message on his front door.

In addition to the above-mentioned practitioners who remain in custody, several others have been released due to their advanced age or failure to pass the physical examinations for detention:

Mr. Guo Zhenxiang, 81Mr. Sun Jianguo, 81, and his wife, Ms. Zhang Xueli, 74Mr. Jia MingyingMr. Chen ShouchangMs. Yuan LianhuaMs. Li ChunmeiMs. Li Xiuqin