(Minghui.org) Nine residents of Qishan County, Shaanxi Province, are facing trial for their faith in Falun Gong after the Qishan County Procuratorate submitted their cases to Qishan County Court prior to the 2020 Chinese New Year.

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.

Eight Arrested Together

Ms. Wang Ruiqin, Ms. Cao Luxia, Ms. Hui Hui, Ms. Li Huiqin, Mr. Shao Qihu, Ms. Xu Mingxia, Mr. Jiao Binglan, and Ms. Ya Lan were arrested together.

The 610 Office in Qishan, an extralegal agency created specifically to persecute Falun Gong, dispatched more than 30 police officers on July 10, 2019 and arrested the eight practitioners while they were studying Falun Gong teachings at a private home.

The police ransacked the practitioners’ homes. They broke into Ms. Xu Mingxia’s home and smashed her windows so hard that a wall in one of her rooms developed cracks. The officers confiscated the 6,900 yuan in cash that Ms. Xu had collected from selling the wheat she grew. They didn’t return it until months later, when her children repeatedly requested the money back. 

The police held the practitioners at a hotel for 10 days and subjected them to intensive brainwashing designed to force them to renounce their faith. 

Mr. Jiao Binglan was hung up by his wrists and not allowed to use the restroom during interrogation. The police laughed at him when he was forced to relieve himself in his pants.

Ninth Practitioner Arrested 12 Days Later

The police arrested Mr. Shen Hongqi, the owner of an appliance repair shop, on July 22, 2019. He was also held in the hotel, locked in a chair, and interrogated for four days without sleep.

Current Status of the Nine Practitioners

Ms. Wang Ruiqin, Ms. Cao Luxia, Ms. Hui Hui, Ms. Li Huiqin, and Mr. Shao Qihu were later released on bail. Some of them were harassed by the police, and some had their pensions suspended.

The other four practitioners, including Ms. Xu Mingxia, Mr. Jiao Binglan, Ms. Ya Lan and Mr. Shen Hongqi, were transferred to Qishan County Detention Center, where they have been held and denied family visits since. 

Mr. Shen’s family has hired two lawyers to represent him.

Families’ Plight

The practitioners’ arrests and detention left their families in deep distress and dire situations.

Prior to her latest arrest, Ms. Xu Mingxia had been repeatedly targeted for her faith. The pressure from the persecution took a toll on her husband’s health, and he passed away in agony while Ms. Xu was serving a prison term. As she had been taking care of her grandson, her latest arrest now left her son and daughter-in-law, two working professionals, in a difficult situation.

Mr. Jiao Binglan’s son and daughter-in-law had just gotten married last year and were expecting their first baby. The young couple's joy of welcoming a new life into this world is now overshadowed by Mr. Jiao’s detention. 

Mr. Shen Hongqi’s mother suffered a stroke during his detention and later passed away. Despite his family’s repeated requests, the authorities refused to release Mr. Shen to let see his mother for the last time.

Mr. Shen’s son had planned to get married this year but postponed the wedding after his arrest. His family was also forced to sell his appliance repair shop as they were unable to manage it.

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