(Minghui.org) More than two dozens Falun Gong practitioners in Guiyang City, Guizhou Province were arrested in June 2019 when they tried to attend the hearing of another local practitioner arrested last year for her faith. The police took their biometrics without specifying why.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a spiritual discipline being persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.
With China's ever advancing massive surveillance tools, including facial and gait recognition, the practitioners suspect that the authorities used the hearing as a ploy to arrest them and collect their information for further surveillance.
Ms. Li Yuanyou, 62, was arrested in October 2018 for distributing informational materials about Falun Gong. Her family was told that her hearing was scheduled for 10 a.m. on June 13, 2019.
Dozens of Ms. Li's family members and local practitioners went to the Nanming District Court on June 13, and waited for two hours before being told that the hearing was postponed to 1 p.m.
Ms. Li's two lawyers and two family members entered the courtroom at 1 p.m., waiting for the hearing to start. They were then informed that the hearing would be moved to another courtroom, as the current room was too small and also had some technical issues.
After the lawyers left with the bailiffs, Ms. Li's family members were blocked from leaving the room. A few minutes later, several police officers arrived and brought them to the Shuanglong Police Station.
The officers identified themselves as agents from the Nanming District Police Department and revealed that they were executing an order from above.
About fifteen minutes later, more than 20 Falun Gong were also brought to the police station. The officers took photos of every one of them, collected their fingerprints, and drew blood samples. They also videotaped each person's front, left and right sides, as well as their feet.
The practitioners were then brought to their local police stations and sent back home by the officers, who also searched their residences for Falun Gong-related materials. It was after 11: 30 p.m. when the police left.
Ms. Wu Huiying was arrested and sent to Wangchengpo Detention Center when she challenged the police for the arrests.
It isn't clear whether Ms. Li Yuanyou's hearing took place on June 13 as scheduled.