(Minghui.org) The Ranghulu District in Daqing City, Heilongjiang Province, was one of the areas in the province that was hit the hardest by the Wuhan coronavirus.

Every subdivision in the district was sealed off and all major roads were closed. In addition to the threat of the deadly virus, local residents also faced tremendous difficulties in going about their lives. 

The Ranghulu District Party secretary (the top official in the district) and deputy district director, who was in charge of controlling the epidemic, were both fired from their posts. The state of emergency in the Ranghulu District wasn’t lifted until the epidemic in the entire province began to decline.

Of the five districts and four counties in Daqing, why was Ranghulu hit the hardest?

Since the Chinese Communist Party ordered the persecution of Falun Gong, an ancient spiritual discipline, in July 1999, many Falun Gong practitioners in Daqing have been sentenced to prison for their faith, mostly by the Ranghulu District Court.

In 2019 alone, 14 courts in Heilongjiang Province handed down prison sentences to at least 71 practitioners, according to information collected by Minghui.org. In particular, the Ranghulu District Court sentenced 16 of the 71 practitioners to prison, more than any other court.

All 16 practitioners were arrested in a major police sweep in November 2018. Judge Zhang Xinle said to Mr. Lu Guanru during his hearing on June 6, 2019, “This is the Communist Party’s court. I will do anything they ask me to.” Mr. Lu, 67, was later sentenced to seven years in prison.

In Harbin, the Yilan County Court sentenced 13 practitioners to prison and the Daoli District Court sentenced 11. 

Coincidentally, the Daoli District was also one of the areas heavily hit by the coronavirus in Heilongjiang Province.

As the saying goes, “What goes around comes around.” Is it possible that the severity of the epidemic in both districts is related to its persecution of Falun Gong practitioners?