Falun Gong Practitioners’ Families Speak Out During Harassment of Their Loved Ones
(Minghui.org) In the new “Zero-out” campaign, staff from the Political and Legal Affairs Committee in Daxing'anling Prefecture in Heilongjiang Province, went to several Falun Gong practitioners’ homes and demanded they sign a statement to renounce their belief. If the practitioners were not at home, they would try to force their family members to sign the statements for them.
The “Zero-out” campaign was ordered by the central Political and Legal Affairs Committee (PLAC), an extrajudicial agency tasked with persecuting Falun Gong, as a concerted effort to force every practitioner on the government’s blacklist to renounce their faith.
On August 21, 2020, Ms. Shao Lihua’s husband was at work when he was summoned by Song Yu, the head of the local Domestic Security Office, and Lu Chuanguo, the director of the local PLAC. The officers told him to sign a statement renouncing Falun Gong for his wife, so that they could remove her name from the government’s list. They promised to give him 3,000 to 5,000 yuan if he agreed. But Ms. Shao’s husband refused to comply.
On October 11, both Ms. Shao's and Ms. Zhao Peijin's husbands were urged by their supervisors at work to sign statements renouncing Falun Gong for their wives. They refused again.
Two days later, Ms. Shao’s husband received a phone call from his supervisor at work, who ordered him to go to his office and threatened him with serious consequences if he didn’t sign the statement. Ms. Shao’ husband said, “After practicing Falun Gong, Shao Lihua and our whole family are in good health. In the past 20 years, we haven't taken any medicine. She is a very good wife, kind, and hardworking.” He refused again to sign the statements.
Ms. Zhao’s husband was summoned by his supervisors at work on October 14. They repeated the same request for him to sign the statement for his wife and promised to give him 5,000 yuan for doing so. He said to his supervisors, “My wife was sentenced to five years simply because she refused to give up her belief in Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. She suffered a lot in the jail and she lost her job as a teacher.” He said that the persecution has brought much suffering to him and his family, but he couldn’t sign the form.
On October 20, both Ms. Shao’s and Ms. Zhao’s husbands were put on an unpaid leave at work and told they could only resume work if they persuaded their wives to give up Falun Gong.
In addition to the above-mentioned two practitioners, Ms. Xia Xiumei's husband was called to the PLAC’s office on the morning of October 10, 2020, and told to sign the statement on behalf of Ms. Xia to renounce Falun Gong. He refused to do so.
The next morning, Ms. Xia’s manager at work found her husband again and promised to give him some money if he signed the statement for her.
Ms. Xia’s husband firmly refused again. He told the manager that he witnessed how his wife regained her health after practicing Falun Gong: “Without Falun Gong, we can't imagine how much she would have suffered from the multiple diseases she had.”
The manager said, “Her name is on the government’s list. If you sign for her, we'll remove her name from the list.” Ms. Xia's husband replied, “I don't think it has anything to do with us.”
The authorities approached Ms. Xia's husband again on October 20 and threatened to harass him every day if he didn’t sign the statement.
Similar harassment happened in another area in Heilongjiang Province. One day a Falun Gong practitioner's son got a phone call from the residential committee. He was requested to sign a statement stating that his father would not practice Falun Gong anymore. If he refused to sign, he would be barred from traveling.
The practitioner’s son firmly rejected the unreasonable request. The staff didn't give up and suggested that he “go take a video of [his] father saying that he will not practice Falun Gong.”
The son replied, “My father won't do that. My father is over 80 years old and I will not persuade him to do anything against his will. If he were your father, what would you do?”
The staff on the other side of the phone was silent. After a while, he said, “Ok, I understand.”