(Minghui.org) Eight Jiaohe City, Jilin Province residents were arrested between March 2 and 3, 2021 for their faith in Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999. They are currently held at Jilin City Detention Center and are now facing trial by the Shulan City Court.

Five of the practitioners, including Ms. Zhu Minglan, Ms. Liu Jialan, Ms. Shan Fulian, Ms. Wu Junqin, and Ms. Rong Genxiang, were arrested on March 2. Ms. Wang Meihua, Ms. Li Yanfeng, and Ms. Mu Qin were seized on March 3.

Previous Arrests of Three Practitioners

Prior to their latest arrests, Ms. Zhu, Ms. Liu, and Ms. Shan were arrested outside of a village on the evening of April 13, 2020. Without showing their police IDs or arrest warrant, the police handcuffed the practitioners and pushed them into the police car.

At Baishishan Town Police Station, the police searched their bodies. One officer asked Ms. Zhu for her address. When she refused to answer, two officers rolled up a stack of paper and whipped her in the face. Her ears rang and her mind went blank. Even now she still suffers from headaches and poor memory. The officers verbally abused her and interrogated her until 7 a.m.

Ms. Shan was also brought to a separate room for interrogation. When she refused to cooperate, an officer beat her with a brush until it broke. She was bent over in pain. Then the officer kicked her in the leg and buttocks. He also found another object similar to a rubber club to beat her for another hour. On the next day, her left arm, buttocks, and leg were bruised. Her arm was also swollen. When she got up on the third morning, she fainted due to the pain. All of the injuries weren’t healed until two weeks later. Now she still has pain in her ears.

Home Ransacking

On the next day, the police searched Ms. Zhu’s home without her presence. No list of confiscated items was provided to her or her family. The search warrant the police presented didn’t have the officer’s signature.

Ms. Zhu was forced to sign the interrogation record, after the police threatened her that they wouldn’t release other practitioners if she didn’t sign it. She was also forced to pay a 5,000 yuan bail bond before being allowed to go home.

Before the police ransacked Ms. Liu’s home, she asked them not to make too much noise, as her bedridden mother-in-law lives with her. One officer blamed her for “threatening” them.

With Ms. Liu handcuffed, seven officers brought her back for the home-ransacking. They didn’t allow her to witness the counting of items confiscated from her, nor was a confiscation list given to her. She also paid a 5,000 yuan bail bond and was then released.

Similar to Ms. Zhu, the police showed Ms. Shan’s family a search warrant without the police’s signature. Many of her personal items were confiscated, including a silk scarf worth 200 yuan, a gold and jade charm worth 400 yuan, an iPhone 5, a new 32’’ LED TV, a desktop worth about 4,000 yuan and a DVD player. One officer pocketed a wood fabric ruler of hers and mumbled “this is a good thing.” Ms. Shan’s private vehicle was also impounded. No confiscation list was given to her either.

Stonewalled While Seeking Justice

Eight months later, on December 18 (Friday), the village director asked the practitioners to report to the police on December 22 (Tuesday). When they went there, the police threatened them that if a prosecutor asked them questions, they weren’t allowed to talk about their arrests or home-ransacking. They could only answer whether they practiced Falun Gong or not. If they said they had stopped practicing Falun Gong, they would be given a reduced term, or they would just wait to be imprisoned.

Before a prosecutor ever contacted the practitioners, the police returned to Ms. Liu and Ms. Zhu’s homes on January 13, 2021, and ransacked their places again. Both practitioners were brought to the police station and ordered to admit that the Falun Gong informational materials found in the village’s apartment building were distributed by them. The two women were interrogated from 2 p.m. to 1 a.m. and then released.

The police took all three practitioners to the Shulan City Procuratorate on January 28. Each of them was interrogated by two prosecutors. Ms. Zhu said she would like to retract her testimony after her arrest, as she made the confession when her head was unclear after being beaten. Both she and Ms. Liu refused to plead guilty and maintained that they didn’t do anything wrong in practicing Falun Gong or raising awareness of it.

Both Ms. Zhu and Ms. Liu went to the Jiaohe City Procuratorate on February 5 and tried to file a complaint against the police for beating them. The prosecutor refused to accept their case and directed them to the police department. They were then given the runaround between the police department’s Appeals Office and Discipline Inspection Commission.

Upon hearing about their complaint, one officer of the Appeals Office reported them to the Domestic Security Office. Sun Jiaqing, the agency’s director, immediately came over and threatened to arrest and imprison the two practitioners.

Both practitioners went to the Shulan City Procuratorate on February 8 and attempted to urge the prosecutor not to indict them. The staff member who received them said there is no way for the prosecutor to dismiss Falun Gong cases. When the practitioners insisted on meeting with the prosecutor, the staff member said the prosecutor wasn’t in the office and has gone back home in another city.

A while later, Zhang Fengshuang, the deputy director of the procuratorate, came. Ms. Zhu handed him her complaint letter about the police beating her. Zhang accepted the letter and asked her to go home.

Ms. Zhu and Ms. Liu returned to the procuratorate in the afternoon and tried to find the prosecutor again. The staff member there refused to talk to them and said their case was very special and had been forwarded to the Jilin City Procuratorate for further instruction (both Jiaohe City and Shulan City are under the jurisdiction of Jilin City).

On February 27, Ms. Zhu and Ms. Liu received a text message from Shulan City Court that they had been indicted.

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Category: Accounts of Persecution