(Minghui.org) Eleven residents in Changsha County, Hunan Province were arrested in a five-day period this March, after being monitored for months by local police. Two were released shortly afterwards, and a third was let go two months later after she developed life-threatening conditions.
The Changsha County Procuratorate indicted the eight remaining people on November 17, charging them with “using MP5 players to intercept TV signals.” All of the accused are now awaiting trial at detention centers.
The Communist regime's fifteen-year-long persecution of Falun Gong is sustained in part by its state media monopoly, which it uses to broadcast the Communist Party's hate propaganda against the practice. Because all legal means of protest are deliberately closed to Falun Gong practitioners, they resort to various creative methods to make known to the public the regime's suppression and torture of practitioners for their beliefs.
One such method used by the Changsha practitioners was to give out free MP5 players with pre-installed audio and video files exposing the persecution of Falun Gong.
Such a simple act touched a nerve, and the local authorities spent months tracking the suspected practitioners' activities, which eventually led to the March arrest and November indictment.
Dubbed “F1307,” the case against the arrested Falun Gong practitioners has been considered a major one by the Ministry of Public Security.
The practitioners' families learned from various sources that the police specifically targeted their loved ones' use and dissemination of MP5 players - portable media players capable of playing music, taking pictures with built-in cameras, and playing and recording videos.
Even though MP5 players do not have the technical capability to intercept TV signals, the local Procuratorate still charged the practitioners with using the device to tap into TV programs, which, if proven, carries hefty punishments.
When Hunan Province Public Security Bureau received “intelligence” that Mr. Li Xuangang (李玄刚), 49, and Ms. Yan Hong (言虹), 51, were using MP5 players to “intercept television signals and broadcast Falun Gong videos,” they reported the case to the central government's Ministry of Public Security.
This case was made a top priority for Hunan police, and a special task force was soon dispatched to Changsha County in early 2013. Ms. Yan was listed a “prime suspect.”
Once a People's Congress Representative in her town, Ms. Yan was fired after the persecution of Falun Gong began in July 1999. She spent six years in prison for refusing to give up her belief. When she was released in 2007, she was emaciated and had almost lost her eyesight due to the torture she suffered.
Ms. Yan opened a barber shop to make a living but was constantly harassed by the local police, who kept a close eye on her whereabouts.
By the time the March arrest took place this year, Ms. Yan and other affected practitioners and their families had been monitored or wiretapped for months on end.
Ms. Zhang Lingge (张灵格) and Ms. Liu Chunxia (柳春霞) went missing on March 26, 2014, and their families discovered later that the two were seized by police the day before.
About a dozen officers went to the residence of Ms. Yan and her husband, 61-year-old Mr. Guan Dengyang (管登洋), and arrested them on March 29. When the officers put Ms. Yan in a detention center, her ankle was still healing from injuries she sustained earlier due to a car accident. Guards still put heavy shackles on her, causing her ankle to bleed and swell.
The police pried open the door of Ms. Zhou Deyuan (周德元)'s home that afternoon. Ms. Zhou, 61, wasn't home, but her son was. Officers took away her personal possessions and restrained her son. Ms. Zhou was arrested upon returning home.
Later that day the police broke into more practitioners' homes and arrested 70-year-old Ms. Zhao Yaling (赵亚玲), 55-year-old Ms. Zhang Furong, 51-year-old Ms. Zhang Xinqi (张新其), 61-year-old Mr. Yao Dahua (姚大华), and Mr. Yao's coworker whose name is unknown.
Ms. Zhang Furong and Mr. Yao's coworker were soon released. Ms. Zhao later developed a severe infection on her head and was released two months later.
Among the eight indicted practitioners, all three men (Mr. Li, Mr. Guan and Mr. Yao) are held in Changsha County Detention Center, and all five women (Ms. Yan, Ms. Zhou, Ms. Zhang Xinqi, Ms. Zhang Lingge, and Ms. Liu) remain incarcerated in Changsha City No. 4 Detention Center.