Changsha City, Hunan Province: 17 Falun Gong Practitioners and One Family Member Arrested, Two Harassed for Their Faith
(Minghui.org) Seventeen residents of Changsha City, Hunan Province were arrested over the course of two days, on October 27 and 28, 2020, for their faith in Falun Gong, a mind-body discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999. One practitioner’s nephew, who doesn’t practice Falun Gong, was also arrested. Two elderly practitioners were also harassed on October 27.
It’s reported that the police in Changsha had monitored the practitioners for a year with big data surveillance. The Changsha police then consulted with the Hunan Ministry of Public Security and settled on a name list of practitioners to carry out the orchestrated arrests.
First Three Arrests on October 27
Ms. Xu Lihua was the first to be arrested on October 27, when she had just returned home at around 6 p.m. Over ten plainclothes officers confiscated her Falun Gong books, computer, printer and other office supplies. She was taken from the Xihu Police Station to the Changsha City No. 4 Detention Center around 9 p.m. on October 29.
Ms. Gong Xianghui and her husband Mr. Lu Congying were arrested around 10 p.m. when they came back home. A dozen officers broke in and ransacked their residence. Ms. Gong has been sent to the Changsha No.4 Detention Center and Mr. Lu to Changsha No.1 Detention Center.
Eight Practitioners Arrested Together, Family Member Also Seized
At around 10:30 p.m., more than twenty officers who had been waiting outside broke into Mr. Li Zhigang’s home when a practitioner opened the door after they finished studying Falun Gong teachings together. All the officers except one were in plainclothes. Ms. Cao Zhimin demanded to see the officers’ IDs and said it was illegal for them to break into a private residence. The officers didn’t show their IDs but just said they were from the Liuyang Police Department.
Ms. Cao and her husband Mr. Chen Yang shouted “Falun Dafa is good!” to protest the persecution. The officers immediately pushed them to the ground, handcuffed them behind their backs, and put black hoods on their heads.
The police also arrested the remaining practitioners in Mr. Li’s home, including Mr. Cao Zhifang and his wife Ms. Yang Fang, Ms. Long Langqiong, Ms. Yu Hui, and Ms. Wen Jing.
Mr. Li was handcuffed and restrained on his sofa in the living room, and his mother was kept in her own room. The remaining officers searched his home and confiscated many of his belongings, including his Falun Gong books, computer, thumb drive, and some cash.
When the officers were about to take away Mr. Li and his mother, Mr. Li’s sister and her husband, who don’t practice Falun Gong, came to visit. The police said they were taking Mr. Li and his mother to the Furong District Police Department and didn’t tell them what the next step would be. As Mr. Li’s elderly mother firmly refused to go with the police, they relented and didn’t arrest her.
While Mr. Li’s sister and her husband were at Mr. Li’s home, the police also went to the couple's own home and arrested their son (Mr. Li’s nephew) Lu Junguang, a college student, after he told the police that he used anti-censorship software to get access to the internet outside of China. The police informed Lu’s parents on the next day that they were putting him under house arrest. When Lu’s father went to the police station and signed his house arrest notice, the police didn’t release him as promised but instead took Lu to the Liuyang Detention Center.
The practitioners arrested at Mr. Li’s home all had their homes ransacked that evening. Ms. Wen Jing was brought back home around 12:35 a.m. by six officers. She was handcuffed and had a black hood covering her head. The officers ransacked her home for over two hours and didn’t leave until 3 a.m.
The police interrogated the practitioners the next day and took them to several detention centers on October 29.
Five More Arrested on October 27 and One on October 28
Around 11 p.m. on October 27, over a dozen officers broke into the home of Ms. Zhang Lingge’s mother in order to arrest Ms. Zhang. The officers handcuffed Ms. Zhang and forced her mother to sit on her bed without moving. Then they took away their cellphones and searched the place. They confiscated several copies of Ms. Zhang’s Falun Gong books.
At 2 a.m., the police brought Ms. Zhang back to her own residence, searched it and took pictures of it. Ms. Zhang was first detained in the Guitang Police Station and then taken to the Liuyang Detention Center.
In addition to the above-mentioned practitioners, Ms. Zhang Furong, Ms. Li Donghui, Ms. Yuan Jing, and Ms. Liu Yanping were also arrested on October 27. Another practitioner, Ms. Zhu Cuihua, was arrested and had her home ransacked on October 28.
The police also ransacked the home of Ms. Liu, a retired TV factory worker, and filled three cars with items confiscated from her.
Ms. Zhang, Ms. Li, Ms. Liu and Ms. Zhu are now detained at Changsha No.4 Detention Center. Ms. Yuan’s detention location isn’t clear.
Two Elderly Women Harassed on October 27
Two more practitioners, Ms. Xia Jingze, 74, and Ms. Li Zhonghua, 86, were harassed on October 27.
Ms. Li, who was at home alone, had her home ransacked but wasn’t arrested.
Liang Li, a staff member from the residential committee, knocked on Ms. Xia’s door around 4:30 p.m. and claimed he was conducting a census. Ms. Xia said she had just answered the census questions days ago, but Liang insisted on talking to her in person.
When Ms. Xia opened the door, Liang and eleven officers rushed in. The officers held Ms. Xia and her daughter in the living room and then searched the other rooms. Many of her personal belongings were confiscated. The officers also forced her to open her locked cabinets and checked what was inside.
When Ms. Xia asked where those officers came from and demanded to see their IDs, they remained silent. With her repeated requests, one officer identified himself as Wang Peng from the local police department.
The officers stayed at Ms. Xia’s home until around 7 p.m. They then brought Ms. Xia and her son to the Wangyuehu Police Station. She was taken to the police department around 10 p.m. and released around 1 a.m. The officers threatened her not to go out to distribute Falun Gong informational materials and said they were sending people to monitor her movements every day.