(Minghui.org) In a coordinated police sweep in Harbin City, Heilongjiang Province, 25 Falun Gong practitioners and three of their family members were arrested on September 22, 2020; two more practitioners were arrested the next day. Another eight practitioners were harassed within days of the arrests.

Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is an ancient spiritual and meditation discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.

It’s reported that Hao Weifu, the deputy director of the Heilongjiang Political and Legal Affairs Committee, an extra-judiciary agency overseeing the persecution of Falun Gong, ordered the arrests. The police arrested the practitioners according to a name list. They also received an unknown amount of bonus pay for arresting each practitioner. Most practitioners who remain in custody are detained at the Harbin No. 4 Detention Center.

In the past few years, the police in Harbin have conducted several group arrests of local practitioners, including 20 practitioners on October 9, 2017, 72 practitioners on November 9, 2018, 17 practitioners on September 11, 2019, and 11 practitioners between April 7 and 8, 2020.

The Heilongjiang Provincial Public Security Department established a command center in Harbin to persecute Falun Gong in early 2019. The goal of the center was to monitor and collect information about how Falun Gong practitioners disseminate information about their faith.

Yang Bo, the head of the Heilongjiang Province Domestic Security Division, is in charge of the center. It’s reported that he has recruited over 100 staff members and received funding from the central government of up to 10 million yuan.

Below is additional information about the latest arrests in Harbin. 

Xiangfang District

Ms. Zheng Shuyan was arrested around 7 a.m. on September 22. Her laptop, photo of Falun Gong’s founder and a flash drive were confiscated. 

Ms. Song Jinling was arrested around 8 a.m. when she stepped out of her apartment building. The police ransacked her home and confiscated four printers, 60,000 yuan in cash, a photo of Falun Gong’s founder, and some Falun Gong keepsakes. Her husband was also arrested.

Ms. Zou Shuqin was arrested around 2 p.m. Her current situation is not clear.

Ms. Wu Lijun was arrested at 3 p.m. Another elderly practitioner who happened to be visiting her was also arrested. Both of them were released later that night.

Ms. Chen Huijing was arrested by the police and residential committee staff waiting outside her home, when she went out around 3 p.m. Her Falun Gong books, photo of Falun Gong’s founder and other personal items were confiscated. 

Around the same time, Mr. Zhang Demin was also arrested. His Falun Gong books, photo of Falun Gong’s founder, and 20,000 yuan in cash were taken away. 

Ms. Wang Fenglan, 76, was shocked to find five police officers ransacking her home when she returned from grocery shopping in the afternoon. None of the officers showed their ID. They claimed that they were executing an order from above. Ms. Wang’s Falun Gong books, photo of Falun Gong’s founder, and two calendars with information about Falun Gong were confiscated. Her husband, who doesn’t practice Falun Gong, was arrested as well. 

Two more practitioner, Mr. Liu Zengkui and Ms. Liu Bobin, were also arrested in the afternoon. 

In addition to the above mentioned practitioners, another five practitioners were arrested around 5 p.m. Ms. Kai Hong, Ms. Xiao Chunrong, and Ms. Yu Wei are currently detained at the Harbin City No. 4 Detention Center. Both Ms. Kai and Mr. Liu Baocai had their homes ransacked. Mr. Liu was given 15 days of detention. A female practitioner who was arrested at the same time and whose name is unknown has been released at the time of writing.

Ms. Wei Shujie and her husband, who doesn’t practice Falun Gong, were arrested at home at 6 p.m. Ms. Wei had previously been arrested on February 25, 2020 after being reported for distributing Falun Gong informational materials. Although she was released as the detention center refused to accept her, the police have harassed her every few days in order to check on her whereabouts.

Other practitioners who were arrested on September 22 include Ms. Tan Guiling, Ms. Wang Shurong, in her 70s, Fei and Bo (whose last names are unknown).

Both Ms. Tan and Ms. Wang had their homes ransacked. Ms. Tan was given 15 days of detention. Ms. Wang was forced to write a statement renouncing Falun Gong before she was released. 

Ms. Pan Xuemei was arrested on September 23. All of her Falun Gong books were confiscated. 

Daowai District

Mr. Lin Jinpeng was arrested around 2 p.m. on September 22 outside of his apartment building, when he returned from an out-of-town business trip. The police took him to the Daokoujie Police Station and confiscated his house key. They then searched his home and arrested his wife, Ms. Liu Hui, and another practitioner, Ms. Zhang Jinsheng, who happened to be at their place. 

The police confiscated the couple’s two printers, three laptops, Falun Gong books, and 2021 calendars printed with information about Falun Gong. Many tools used to make the calendars, including a hole puncher and paper cutter, were also seized. No list of confiscated items was provided by the police. 

Mr. Lin refused to provide any information to the police during the interrogation. He was released around 1:30 a.m. on September 23. Upon returning home, Mr. Lin found that the 5,000 yuan cash they had was also gone.

Ms. Liu and Ms. Zhang were sent to the Harbin City No. 4 Detention Center on September 23 after being forced to take a physical examination.

The police informed Ms. Liu’s family on September 30 that her arrest has been approved by the procuratorate.

Jiangbei District

Ms. Jia Tianzhen was arrested on September 22, following a previous arrest on March 2, 2020 for distributing Falun Gong materials in her neighborhood. Although the police didn’t keep her in custody due to the pandemic, they returned several times to harass her. She has now been taken to the police hospital for quarantine. The police said they were planning to submit her case to the procuratorate after the quarantine is over.

Nangang District

Ms. Yan Jinxia was arrested around 8 p.m. on September 22 at her workplace in Nangang District. She is still detained at the time of writing. 

Ms. Shan Yulian was arrested and detained on September 23 after she was deceived by the police into going to the police station. 

Eight Harassed

One week before the group arrest, Ms. Zhang Weiqing was harassed at home on September 15. The police returned to her home every day in the following week and attempted to pressure her to renounce Falun Gong. They threatened that if she didn’t sign the statements they provided, they would come every day to harass her.

Two more practitioners, Ms. Qu Guirong and Ms. Guan Liping, were also harassed on September 15. 

Around 7:30 p.m. on September 22, two police officers harassed Mr. Gao Ke. Mr. Gao refused to cooperate with them, and urged the officers not to follow the Chinese Communist Party in doing evil or participating in the persecution. 

Ms. Zhao Yin and another practitioner Yu (given name unknown) were also harassed on September 22. The police torn off the couplets with phrases related to Falun Gong from Ms. Zhao’s door.

Mr. Hao Zhendong was frequently harassed in late September and ordered by the police to sign the statement renouncing Falun Gong. 

One more practitioner whose name isn't known was harassed at their workplace on September 29. 

Related report:

Harbin City, Heilongjiang Province: Falun Gong Practitioners Targeted for Spreading Information about Their Faith