(Minghui.org) Two waves of arrests targeting local Falun Gong practitioners from the Shengli Oil Field in Dongying City took place in 2018, and a total of 21 practitioners were arrested. Although many were released without being tried, one was sentenced to prison and five are still being detained.

Along with her husband, sister, and brother-in-law, Ms. Xia Deyun was arrested in April 2018. She was sentenced to one year in prison in May 2018 and was released on May 27, 2019. Her brother-in-law Mr. Guo Shusen is still detained.

During a large scale arrest in November 2018, more than a dozen practitioners from Dongying City were arrested. Among them, Mr. Gao Hongwei, Ms. Zhang Aili, Mr. Wang Ziming, and Ms. Shang Zhaoxiang are still detained.

In addition to the large-scale arrests in Dongying City, 70-year-old Mr. Zhu Hengde was illegally sentenced to three years in prison in October 2018 and Mr. Shi Qiang died in May 2019 at the age of 46, as a result of imprisonment and intense brainwashing. Mr. Zhu and Mr. Shi were Shengli Oil Field employees, who were targeted because of their belief in Falun Gong.

Details of the Arrests of Ms. Xia Deyun and Her Family Members

When she took her parents to the Dongying Train Station on April 21, 2018, Ms. Xia Deyun, her husband Mr. Wang Zhian, her sister Ms. Xia Dezhen, and her brother-in-law Mr. Guo Shusen were arrested after a thorough pat-down at the security checkpoint. An external hard drive was confiscated.

Officers from the Jidi Police Station and the Bindong Police Station subsequently ransacked the two couples' homes. The four practitioners went on a hunger strike to protest their arrests and were later transferred to Shengli Hospital.

The deputy chief of the Binhai Police Department and more than 20 officers were stationed at the hospital to monitor them. Despite being on hunger strikes, they were each interrogated multiple times.

Mr. Wang Zhian's health declined rapidly during the 40-day hunger strike. Not wanting to be held responsible in case anyone died, the authorities granted Mr. Wang and Ms. Xia Dezhen medical parole and released them on June 5, 2018.

Mr. Wang was taken from his home three weeks later and detained for an additional week. Mr. Wang Zhian is a senior geology engineer at the Shengli Oilfield Bureau Exploration and Management Center. He held a high position at the bureau until his arrest.

Ms. Xia Deyun and her brother-in-law Mr. Guo Shusen were transferred to the Binhai Detention Center in late May 2018. She was sentenced to a year in prison that ended on May 27, 2019. Ms. Xia Deyun was an engineer at Shengli Oil Field Academy of Geological Sciences. She was forced to take early retirement because she refuses to give up her belief in Falun Gong.

Mr. Guo Shusen was tried on April 12, 2019. His wife was not allowed to attend the trial. Judge Chen Zhongxia had her escorted out of the courtroom prior to the hearing. No verdict has been announced and Mr. Guo is still in police custody. Mr. Guo Shusen is a technician at the Shengli Oil Field Shengda Group.

More Than a Dozen Falun Gong Practitioners Arrested

More than a dozen practitioners from Dongying City were arrested on November 24, 2018. They were interrogated and their homes ransacked. Of the 12, Mr. Gao Hongwei, Ms. Zhang Aili, Mr. Wang Ziming, and Ms. Shang Zhaoxiang are still detained.

The local authorities had planned this large scale arrest since July 2018. Many practitioners from Dongying City had been monitored and followed for months leading up to the sweep.

Officers from the Dongying City Police Department, Wenhui Police Station, Dongsanlu Police Station, and Bafen Factory Shengli Police Station participated in the monitoring and arrests of the practitioners.

Mr. Gao Hongwei is a manager at a water purifying company. His wife Ms. An Yajun is an acupuncture doctor. Her clinic was ransacked by officers from the local Domestic Security Division after she was arrested. She has been followed and closely monitored since her release.

Mr. Gao Hongwei

Ms. Zhang Aili is a 65-year-old retired nurse. She used to work at the Shengli Oil Field Central Hospital. Officers from the Domestic Security Division of the Dongying District Police Department arrested her when she was making Falun Gong informational fliers at another local practitioner's home. Her home was ransacked and she has been detained at the Dongying City Detention Center.

Ms. Zhang Aili

Ms. Shang Zhaoxiang is in her 50s and resides in Taian City, Shandong Province. Before her arrest, she ran a small dry cleaning store with her husband Mr. Liu Mingguo. The shop has since been closed down. In order to provide for the family, her husband took a temporary job at a construction site.

Ms. Shang Zhaoxiang

Mr. Wang Ziming is a migrant worker in Dongying City.

Mr. Wang Ziming

Additional Instances of Persecution at the Shengli Oil Field

Mr. Zhu Hengde, almost 70, is retired from the Shengli Oil Field Gudao Factory. He was sentenced to three years in prison on October 25, 2018, for refusing to give up his belief in Falun Gong. He is now being held in the Shandong Province Prison.

Mr. Shi Qiang worked in the Shengli Oil Field Transportation Plant. He was sentenced to two years in prison, with a month of intense brainwashing, which left him in poor health. He passed away on May 17, 2019, at the age of 46. (See: Imprisonment and Brainwashing Claim Life of 46-Year-Old Man in Shandong Province)

Mr. Shi Qiang

Mr. Shi Qiang after his release from prison and the brainwashing center

Calling for Practitioners' Release

As more and more people around the world become aware of the wrongful persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China, new arrests capture international attention. Practitioners outside of China have expressed support and called upon the Chinese government to release these practitioners immediately.

Falun Gong practitioners who used to work in the Shengli Oil Field called on the Chinese government to release detained practitioners from the region. Photo taken on May 16, 2019, during a parade in New York City.

Large Scale Persecution of Falun Gong in Dongying City

Dongying is located near the Bohai Sea, where the Yellow River flows into the Yellow Sea. This area has long been treasured for its rich oil reserves. Shengli Oil Field, the second largest oil field in China, was first discovered at the mouth of the Yellow River.

Mr. Li Hongzhi, the founder of Falun Gong, visited Dongying in February 1994 and taught a Nine-day Seminar. Falun Gong and its principle of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance have since spread by word of mouth to every corner of the Yellow River Delta.

Since Jiang Zemin, then head of the communist regime, launched the persecution of Falun Gong in 1999, thousands of practitioners in Dongying have been targeted by the local authorities.

Many Party officials who actively participated in the persecution of Falun Gong rose to high positions while Jiang was in office. Zhou Yongkang, for example, quickly became the third most powerful person within the Party. He gained control of Shengli Oil Field, which is said to be the primary moneymaker for officials of all ranks.

Greed for money and power has driven the Party officials in Dongying to crack down on Falun Gong mercilessly. Thousands have been detained, sent to forced labor camps, sentenced to prison, fired from their jobs, monitored, and harassed.

The local brainwashing center holds nearly a thousand practitioners. There have been eleven deaths as a direct result of the persecution, while the whereabouts of one practitioner is not known and more than 200 were sent to forced labor camps or sentenced to prison.

At least six were detained in a mental hospital, where they were tortured, injected with drugs damaging to the central nervous system, and shocked with electric batons.

Within the Shengli Oil Field system, there are two brainwashing centers, Jishu and Shengcai (see photo below). They are quite expensive to operate.

Jishu Brainwashing Center