Luzhou City: Falun Gong Practitioners Uphold Faith While Targeted in “Zero-Out” Campaign
(Minghui.org) The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has recently been carrying out a nationwide “zero-out” campaign in an attempt to force all Falun Gong practitioners on the government's blacklists to renounce their faith. This report focuses on Luzhou City, Sichuan Province, where the authorities have started targeting practitioners on their blacklist.
The local police used various methods in their attempts to force the practitioners to renounce their faith, including trying to urge an 86-year-old woman to lie that she has stopped practicing Falun Gong. Some officers threatened the practitioners that their children's and grandchildren's future would be affected if they refused to give up their belief. When visiting the practitioners, the police often used vague terms, such as “Are you still doing 'that'?” or “Withdraw from 'that' thing” when pressuring the practitioners to renounce their faith. The homes of some practitioners were ransacked during the visits, and some of their family members were harassed.
Below are some harassment cases.
86-Year-Old Urged to Lie About Her Faith
Ms. Song Degui, 86, of Tai'an Township in the Jiangyang District, was harassed by five village officials and police officers in June 2020.
A few days prior, Ms. Song had had a fall. The day when the police came to harass her, some villagers happened to be paying a visit to her. The villagers' names were recorded by the police. A villager who came a bit later to repair Ms. Song's light bulb was told to open his bag for the police to take a look.
As Ms. Song's mobility was restricted, she sat in the house. Zhang Luojuan, a female police chief of Tai'an Police Station, walked into Ms. Song's room and confiscated her Falun Gong related materials. When Ms. Song questioned the officers' actions, they told her that the government does not allow her to own the materials.
Later, an unidentified man warned Ms. Song that more people, from different levels of government, would come to visit her later on and that she'd better say to them that she has stopped practicing Falun Gong.
Ms. Song told the man that she follows Falun Gong's principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance and that she will never lie to anyone.
The group came three times, and each time, the same man would tell Ms. Song to lie and say she had stopped practicing. When Ms. Song remained unmoved, the man got upset and said that everyone did as he ordered except her.
“Must I do as you say? Should I follow you if you told me to kill someone?” Ms. Song asked.
She went on to explain that she suffered a fall and recovered within two days and could take care of her own basic needs and credited her recovery to practicing Falun Gong.
“I've practiced Falun Gong for over 20 years and have benefitted a lot. I cannot lie and say that I've stopped practicing. One should have a conscience,” she said.
Ms. Song also told the man that she would respond truthfully to whoever comes to talk to her.
During the second visit, the officers told her son that he would receive 200 yuan a month if he cooperated with the government to convince Ms. Song to lie.
When someone asked Ms. Song who bought her a walker, she said that it was from her granddaughter. The person then threatened Ms. Song that if she continues to practice, her great-grandchild wouldn't be able to join the army.
In early September, three of the officers came again and tried to force Ms. Song to sign a statement to renounce Falun Gong. She refused, thus they told her not to talk if someone asked if she's still practicing. Ms. Song responded that she's not mute.
Still Recovering from a Stroke, Woman in Her 70s Constantly Harassed
Ms. Gui Dalu, in her 70s, is a retired gas field worker. On July 27, 2020, a group of six people consisting of officers from Lantian Township Police Station and community officers went to harass Ms. Gui at her company-assigned housing unit.
Ms. Gui's daughter was afraid that the officers would disturb Ms. Gui, who was unwell, and refused to let them enter. The officers were unhappy upon hearing the daughter pointing out that they were there to harass Ms. Gui and told the daughter that they came to conduct a welfare check and see if her mom was still practicing Falun Gong.
The daughter said that Ms. Gui still practiced. As she was talking, she closed the door so as not to disturb Ms. Gui.
“You look like someone who practices Falun Gong,” said the officers to the daughter.
“It doesn't concern you whether I practice or not. There's freedom of religion,” she said.
The officers became angry and told the daughter that the country doesn't allow Falun Gong. They started asking the daughter her name and relationship to Ms. Gui. She only said she was her daughter, without revealing her name.
Due to the long-term harassment and persecution, Ms. Gui once had symptoms of a stroke a few years ago and is still recovering. Hearing the conversation between the officers and her daughter, she walked out and sat at the door, shouting, “Falun Dafa is good! Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good!”
The officers then forced Ms. Gui to list the benefits of practicing Falun Gong. As she had difficulty talking, she could only say simple words but not complete sentences. As they continued to pressure her, she could only reply that practicing is good for the body.
According to Ms. Gui’s family, she used to live alone before she had the stroke. Her daughter later hired an aide for her after she lost the ability to care for herself. Despite her condition, the local officials have been harassing her in the past few years.
On July 11, 2017, a dozen police officers barged into Ms. Gui's home and ransacked her place, confiscating many of her Falun Gong books and materials, including three MP3 players and two speakers.
The police broke into Ms. Gui's home again on March 6, 2019, and pinned down Ms. Gui's aide. The aide tried to tell them about Falun Gong and what they were doing was illegal. The police refused to listen and ransacked the place, confiscating seven Falun Gong books and some materials. No list of confiscated items was given.
In September 2019, the police and community officers went to harass Ms. Gui again. She blocked them from entering her home. They left after she shouted “Falun Dafa is good! Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good!”
As Ms. Gui was living in fear for a long time and her recovery was slow, her daughter quit her high-paying job and moved to Ms. Gui’s place to take care of her.
During the latest harassment, Ms. Gui's daughter had tried to protect her rights. In the end, the officers told the daughter that they came to take a look and to tell Ms. Gui not to go out again to put up any Falun Gong materials.
Woman Continued to Be Harassed After Serving Time for Her Faith
On August 25, 2020, two officers from the local community went to Ms. Feng Deqiong's daughter's home and asked the daughter to sign a document to prove that they had come to visit when Ms. Feng was not at home. They also told her to tell Ms. Feng not to go out and distribute Falun Gong materials and said that if Ms. Feng agreed to stop practicing Falun Gong, they would report it to the authorities and verify it with Ms. Feng's daughter. The daughter replied that she didn't make decision for her mother.
The authorities harassed Ms. Feng several times after she was released in 2019 from serving two years for her faith. Prior to that, she was given three years in 2008.
Couple Refuses to Renounce Their Faith
Ms. Li Quanying of Naxi District has been working at Lantian Township for a long time. On July 19, 2020, four officers from the neighborhood office went to the restaurant where she was working. Ms. Li was busy but the officers wanted her to step out for a chat. Ms. Li told them that there's nothing for them to talk about and everyone knows she practices Falun Gong.
As Ms. Li refused to chat with them, an officer told her that they were there to see if she's still practicing and wanted her to “unsubscribe to that” (meaning to renounce her faith).
When Ms. Li refused to comply, the officer told her that she will benefit from unsubscribing to “that” and her grandchildren won't be affected if they want to join the army. However, Ms. Li was not swayed by their words.
Once, the local government and police officers broke into Ms. Li’s home and asked her son to sign the renunciation statement on the behalf of his parents, as Ms. Li’s husband, Mr. Tang Shikui, also practices Falun Gong. Ms. Li stopped her son from signing.
Another time, the authorities told Ms. Li's son's friend to call her son to inform Ms. Li to unsubscribe to “that” and take a photo.
In June 2020, the officers targeted Mr. Tang during the “Zero-Out” campaign and called him several times to try to schedule a meeting with him. However, Mr. Tang refused.
This wasn’t the first time the couple have been targeted for their faith.
Mr. Tang was arrested in 2001 and persecuted for over two years. He was arrested secretly in 2013 at a bus stop and his whereabouts were unknown. As Mr. Tang was the sole caregiver to his elderly father, he went on a hunger strike for four days and was finally released home after 15 days.
Ten years ago in August 2010, Ms. Li was working when the local police officers took her away secretly to a brainwashing center. She was missing for 10 days and her family didn't know her whereabouts. Her husband, Mr. Tang, went to each village and township to ask for Ms. Li. The governmental department involved refused to reveal her whereabouts and wanted to call for the police to arrest her husband. Later, her family was told that she was being “educated.”
Home Ransacked, Family Member Forced to Sign Statement on Practitioner's Behalf
In May 2020, seven officers from the Naxi District neighborhood office went to Ms. Xiao Daoxiu's home and called her to return home from the field.
Upon entering her home, the officers warmly greeted the 68-year-old and asked questions such as when she started practicing Falun Gong, whether she was still going out to practice, where her son was working, which bedroom was hers, etc. Then, four police officers walked into Ms. Xiao's bedroom without her permission and started ransacking her cabinet and bed.
The officers came again a few days later. Ms. Xiao told them that they were harassing her and preventing her from living normally.
She continued, “You are delaying me from picking up my grandson, and you are making the whole place a mess. When my daughter-in-law returns, she will cry and scream at me. My husband passed away early. We suffered so much. When the house collapsed, we stayed out for a few months. Has anyone come to care for us? It's not easy for me to raise my two children. Now you're treating me like this.”
The officers then told her not to talk about these things to them.
The plainclothes policemen started making a record on when she began practicing and who asked her to practice.
Ms. Xiao said that she's illiterate and only remembers “Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good.” The officers told her that what she said is not appropriate and then took her words out of context. Afterward, they read the written statement to Ms. Xiao and threatened her if she held firm to her faith, her grandchildren would have difficulties getting permission to go to college.
The officers also told Ms. Xiao that they will be talking to another practitioner, Ms. Zhou Shifang, and if Ms. Zhou refused to listen, they will take away her pension.
On August 4, 2020, the police officers called Ms. Xiao's son and threatened him to go to the police station to clear his mother's case.
The police had also harassed practitioner Ms. Zhang Jinlian. An officer asked Ms. Zhang if she is still doing “that,” to which she replied that she has always remembered the three words “Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance” that teaches people to be kind.
The officer entered Ms. Zhang's bedroom and started searching her cabinets. Afterward, the officer went upstairs to her daughter's room and continued searching. When he approached her son-in-law's room, Ms. Zhang told him that he could not enter as it belonged to her son-in-law. The officer then stopped.
Later, the officer told Ms. Zhang that he will write a document stating that she will not practice and she will put her thumbprint on it so her name could be removed from the blacklist. However, Ms. Zhang said she would not comply.
Harassed Multiple Times, Still Firm in Her Faith
Some practitioners were harassed multiple times but refused to renounce their faith. In July 2020, the local authorities went to harass Ms. Sun Qixiu three times and told her that if she decided to stop practicing, they would remove her name from the blacklist.
“Who would throw away such a good practice?! What's wrong with following Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance to be a good person?! Not everyone can follow the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. Can you do it?” Ms. Sun asked. “We are not wrong. Don't treat Falun Gong this way.”
Despite the repeated harassment, Ms. Sun refused to renounce her faith.