(Minghui.org) Eleven Chinese citizens were arrested in March 2014 for seeking release of those detained at the Qinglongshan Brainwashing Center, a black jail officially known as the “Heilongjiang Land Reclamation Bureau Legal Education Center.”

The four attorneys were released in 15 days or earlier. However, four Falun Gong practitioners out of the eleven are still detained and facing illegal sentence.

All eleven were arrested at the same location for the same reason, but the outcomes were different. Why were Falun Gong practitioners the only ones to face illegal sentences?

This case illustrates that in China today, Falun Gong practitioners are treated as criminals simply because they practice Falun Gong. They are guilty by association. It doesn't matter that no criminal activity has been committed.

The premise of “guilt by association” is to presume that a certain social class, race, spiritual faith or ethnic background is bad, and to conclude that anyone associated with it is also bad. Even though ridiculous and illegal, it has been the way the CCP persecutes Chinese people, even years before the Cultural Revolution.

The Party requires people in China to carry identity papers and has tagged Falun Gong practitioners (among other groups) in their database. When an ID is scanned and the owner is identified as a practitioner, it is not unusual for security personnel to take illegal action against the practitioner. The following are some examples:

On August 13, 2008, Falun Gong practitioner Wang Zesheng's wife and son took the train to Weifang from Gaomi, Shandong Province, to purchase raw materials for their factory. Wang's wife was identified as a Falun Gong practitioner during an ID check at the train station. She and her son were detained and later transferred to Dongguan Police Station.

Ms. Huang Shuangxia, a Falun Gong practitioner in Xuchang, Henan Province, was about to embark a journey at the Xuchang Train Station with her family on July 13, 2014. After her ID was scanned, the security guard claimed there was a problem with her ID, detained Ms. Huang, and transferred her to the police station for interrogation.

The practitioners' identities as Falun Gong practitioners made them targets of arrests. For practitioners who would like to obtain a passport or travel document, once the CCP detects their identities, it refuses to process the applications. Those practitioners who have already obtained their passports are able to travel outside of the country.

Falun Gong practitioners thrown into jails and labor camps experience the worst torture, slave labor and abuse, just because they practice Falun Gong.

A prison guard in Wumaping Prison in Sichuan Province openly told Falun Gong practitioners:

“The CCP law tells us to put you under absolute control and arbitrary treatment. What human rights? Go to a Western country if you want to talk about human rights. Here, you must obey without any condition. You are merely a bunch of chickens, pigs and sheep, waiting to be slaughtered. Your association with Falun Gong is the basis of your re-education through labor (a euphemism for forced labor) and education (a euphemism for brainwashing)!”

Falun Gong practitioners are not the only group that the CCP has persecuted based on association. Historically, the CCP has persecuted different groups of people under various names, such as landlords, capitalists, monks, and “stinking intellectuals” (contemptuous term for educated people during the Cultural Revolution), etc.

Throughout the 60 year tenure of China's communist party, innocent people could become targets just because they were rich, religious or well educated. Once labeled, these people were arbitrarily deprived of their basic human rights. Falun Gong practitioners are the latest targets of its decade-old tricks.