Taiyuan City, Shanxi Province: Eleven Falun Gong Practitioners Arrested in Five Days
(Minghui.org) Eleven residents of Taiyuan City, Shanxi Province were arrested between September 4 and 8, 2019 for practicing Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) since 1999.
The arrests came one month before the CCP's 70th National Day of October 1, 2019. Dubbed a sensitive timing by authorities, the police often ramp up Falun Gong practitioner arrests around this time to prevent them from exposing the ongoing persecution of their faith to the public.
In addition to the city of Taiyuan, other group arrests of Falun Gong practitioners have been reported recently in Yuanping City, Shanxi Province; Luzhou City, Sichuan Province; and Songyuan City, Jilin Province.
It was reported that the Public Security Bureau of Shanxi Province and the Taiyuan City Police Department were behind the recent arrests, and officers from the Yingze Police Station, Wanbolin Police Station, and Jiancaoping Police Station carried out the specific tasks.
The police monitored the practitioners' daily lives for months before arresting them. They installed surveillance cameras in the apartment building where Ms. Tian Huiling lives, and where several other practitioners often came to study the Falun Gong teachings together. Her arrest has been approved.
The police ransacked the homes of all eleven practitioners and confiscated their computers, printers, and Falun Gong books. The officers took away almost everything from Mr. Zhao Jinzhong's home. His family has since been kept in the dark about his whereabouts.
Below are details of the arrests:
Ms. Song Cuiping, 63, was arrested at 9:00 a.m. on September 4, 2019 at the entrance of a residential neighborhood. The police ransacked her home at around noon. She is currently being held at the Taiyuan City Women's Detention Center.
Mr. Song Jinyuan (no relation to Ms. Song), in his 50s, was arrested on September 6 or 7. He is detained at the Taiyuan City No.2 Detention Center.
Eight practitioners were arrested on September 7, including:
Ms. Tian Huiling, an employee of the Yingze District governmentMr. Yang Yong, an employee of China Construction BankMs. Zhou Na, an employee of the Shanxi Province Association for Science and TechnologyMr. Zhou, Ms. Zhou's father, in his 60s, a retired employee of the Shanxi Province Association for Science and TechnologyMs. Gao Jiping, Ms. Zhou's mother, in her 60sMr. Gao Wei (no relation to Ms. Gao), a retired police officer, in his 70sMs. Mi, in her 60s, given name unknownMr. Zhao Jinzhong
Ms. Zhao Yunxia (no relation to Mr. Zhao) was arrested on September 8, 2019. She is currently being detained at the Gujiao Women's Detention Center.
There have been several group arrests in Taiyuan since June 2018, including arrests of 32 practitioners aged between 60 and 70. Some of them have already been sentenced to prison, with the longest term being ten years.