(Minghui.org) Tianjin police arrested and detained at least 18 Falun Gong practitioners between December 7 and 8, 2016. At the time of writing, only two of them—one of whom is 85 years old—have been released.

The police in Tianjin had been monitoring phone calls between the practitioners and their families for a year.

In late October, a police station in Tianjin doubled its manpower in preparation for the arrests. The beginning of November, the police and staff from the Domestic Security Division and residential neighborhood committee started to harass local practitioners. While pressuring the practitioners to sign renunciation statements or ransacking their homes, most of the police videotaped the proceedings.

The 18 practitioners confirmed to have been arrested are: Mr. Yang Yuyong and his wife Ms. Meng Xianzhen, Mr. Geng Dong, Ms. Tian Li, Ms. Wang Lianrong, Mr. Tian, Mr. Wu Dianzhong, Mr. Zhang Jian, Ms. Zhao Manhong, Ms. Chai Baohua, Ms. Zhang Liqin, Mr. Liu Derong and his wife Ms. Yu Guirong, Ms. Cao Shanmin, Mr. Li Shaochen and his wife Ms. Wang Yuchuan, and Ms. Liu and her mother.

Sixteen were seized from their homes on December 7 and two on December 8.

Officers broke into Mr. Yang Yuyong's home at 8 a.m. on December 7. They shut the door and began to search the premises. One officer gagged Mr. Yang to prevent him from talking. Both Mr. Yang and his wife, Ms. Meng Xianzhen, were arrested and taken to Huanghuadian Police Station. A few officers stayed in their home and didn't allow anyone to enter, including the couple's children.

The couple is currently detained in Wuqing Detention Center.

Ms. Tian Li was arrested at about the same time that day. The police ransacked her home and confiscated her Falun Gong materials. Ms. Tian is currently detained in Nankai Detention Center. Her home is still being monitored by police.

Officers broke into Ms. Wang Lianrong's home and arrested her. Ms Wang was still in her pajamas.

Mr. Zhang Jian was arrested at around noon. The police ransacked his home and is refusing to tell his family where they were taking him or his whereabouts.

Other practitioners who had their homes ransacked included Mr. Wu Dianzhong, Mr. Liu Derong, and his wife Ms. Yu Guirong.

Both Ms. Cao Shanmin and Ms. Zhao Manhong were arrested on December 8.

In addition, Liu Yong was arrested on November 8 and and Zhu Gang December 2. Both are practitioners.

Only Mr. Tian, 85, and Ms. Liu's mother have been released.