Persecution of Falun Gong Practitioners in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, Intensifies
(Minghui.org) Officials in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, have continued to abuse the justice system (the police, procuratorate, and courts) over the past two years to ratchet up the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners. Below are some examples.
Two Approaches Involving Brainwashing
Brainwashing facilities started being set up across all districts in Wuhan City about 10 years ago. They capitalize on the use of force and violence in dealing with Falun Gong practitioners in one of two ways. For practitioners considered “key targets,” the authorities usually have already planned out their convictions in advance. After the practitioners are arrested, they are taken first to a brainwashing center to be tortured and interrogated before being admitted to a detention center.
In general, practitioners who are arrested for telling others about Falun Gong or seized in a mass arrests are usually taken to a detention center first and then to a brainwashing center. Each brainwashing session lasts one month and individual plans are made for each detained practitioner every week.
The use of these extra-legal brainwashing centers makes it far more difficult for family members and other practitioners to find out where those arrested are detained as well as any other information about them. Which, in turn, makes it more difficult to rescue them. Since brainwashing centers are infamous for implementing especially cruel forms of torture, many families would rather have their loved ones in detention centers.
Since 2018 there has been increased secrecy regarding just how practitioners are dealt with after they are arrested. Physical torture used so extensively in earlier years has now been replaced with forced medication and psychiatric abuse. Although the notorious Hubei Law Education Center has been disbanded, brainwashing centers in each district continue to operate. In addition, newer ones, such as Haikou Brainwashing in the Dongxihu District, have been created. Supervised by the 610 Office, they work closely with the police to suppress practitioners.
In September 2018, officials from Beijing visited Yusunshan and other brainwashing centers in Wuhan to learn how to better “manage” practitioners to force them to renounce their belief. They planned to implement the new strategies in other cities nationwide.
Officials in Wuhan City selectively target Falun Gong practitioners every year in their public efforts to “maintain stability.” They then claim that these are “high profile cases,” threatening and intimidating other practitioners. In preparation for the 7th Military World Games, which is scheduled for October 2019 in Wuhan, officials have closely monitored and arrested a large number of practitioners since 2018.
In many of these instances, officials often monitored practitioners for months or dispatched agents to follow them for up to three months prior to their arrests. This happened to four practitioners, including Mr. Hong Weisheng, who was arrested on April 19, 2018, and five practitioners, including Mr. Zhou Guoqiang, who were arrested in December 2018. All these practitioners’ cases were forwarded to the courts this year.
The Wuhan Procuratorate and the Wuhan Court then arrange for them to be sentenced to longer terms. This happened even in the absence of sufficient evidence, and the elderly or disabled are no exception. For example, Ms. Zhu Ya was sentenced to eight years imprisonment in spite of her disability. Ms. Wang Qihua, 66, was sentenced to eight years. Mr. Hong mentioned above was sentenced to 10 years in September 2019. Of the three other practitioners arrested at the same time, Ms. Hou Mila and Ms. Hou Aila were sentenced to eight years each, while Ms. Rao Xiaoping was sentenced to seven years.
One of the key people involved in carrying out this miscarriage of justice is Yin Yumei. Born in 1965, Yin held numerous positions in Wuhan City previously, including Party secretary of Huanghelou Street Working Committee (Wuchang District), member of the Wuchang District Standing Party Committee, deputy mayor of the Jianghan District, deputy Party secretary of the Jianghan District, and Party secretary of the Jianghan Political and Legal Affairs Committee. Before becoming executive deputy director of Wuhan State Security Bureau, she was the director of the Wuhan 610 Office.
During her tenure as 610 Office director, Yin was very active in persecuting Falun Gong, which led to her promotion. At numerous meetings, she directed and mobilized the suppression activities. She also directed the use of propaganda to mislead the public by slandering Falun Gong. The Jianghan District, where she worked earlier, is known for it facilities actively involved in the persecution, such as Yusunshan Brainwashing Center and Erdaopeng Brainwashing Center.
Not long after being promoted, in August 2017 Yin required all government agencies and institutions (such as schools) to focus on the public WeChat account of the Wuhan Anti-cult campaign. This initiative was aimed at defaming Falun Gong and brainwashing public employees.
At a city-wide 610 Office meeting in November 2017, Yin went over the strategies and plans used against Falun Gong in the past few years, with the goal of implementing policies set forth by the 19th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (which occurred in October 2017). After the meeting, many practitioners were monitored, harassed, or arrested.
Since 2018 Yin has been involved in campaigns to slander Falun Gong in educational institutions and communities. For example, the Wuhan 610 Office had a live stream event in 2018 called “Anti-cult Activities on Campus” that defamed Falun Gong. Training sessions were also held at Jianghan University in July 2018. In addition, a pilot grid management system was initiated in the Qingshan and Jianghan Districts in 2018, through which practitioners’ information was collected and reported for further monitoring.
The Wuhan City 610 Office initiated numerous events in April 2019 to “Promote Science and Nature.” They included live streaming, an art performance, and education sessions titled “Anti-cult Activities on Campus” in the Jianghan District. These events are planned to run until February 2020.