Yushu City, Jilin Province: Six Arrested and 60+ Harassed Between March and April 2020 for Practicing Falun Gong
(Minghui.org) Six Falun Gong practitioners in Yushu City, Jilin Province were arrested and more than 60 other practitioners were harassed for their faith between March and April 2020.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is an ancient spiritual and meditation discipline that has been targeted by the Chinese Communist Party since 1999.
The new-round of persecution in Yushu was ordered by the Political and Legal Affairs Committee, an extra-judiciary agency overseeing state security and judiciary branches. It has been responsible in making and executing persecution policies against Falun Gong in the past 21 years.
According to information collected by Minghui.org, the Yushu Domestic Security Division provided a name list of local Falun Gong practitioners to the officials in different districts, townships and villages.
In most cases, the village officials or residential committee staff members harassed the practitioners at home or by phone calls. They asked them whether they still practice Falun Gong and then ordered them to sign a statement to renounce their faith. Some officials also took pictures of the practitioners and collected their biometrics. Two of the harassed practitioners were in their 80s.
The authorities threatened to sentence the practitioners to prison or block their families from finding decent jobs if they uphold or raise awareness about their faith.
Some of those who no longer practice Falun Gong or have moved to other cities were also targeted this time.
Below are some details about the arrest and harassment cases.
Ms. Zhang Qingrong was arrested on March 2 after being reported for passing out informational materials about Falun Gong. She was taken into custody and released in the evening.
Ms. Xu Lihua was arrested around 8:30 p.m. on March 2, while putting up posters about Falun Gong. The police ransacked her home around 10 p.m. She was briefly interrogated at the local police station and released on bail the next day. The police said the detention centers refused to accept new people during the coronavirus epidemic.
Ms. Dong Lixiang and her sister Ms. Dong Lirong were arrested on March 31. Ms. Dong Lixiang was shoved and pushed by the police for trying to prevent them from confiscating her Falun Gong books. She collapsed to the ground as a result.
With their brother’s persistent efforts to rescue them, the Dong sisters were released shortly afterward. This was the second time in the past four months that the two sisters have been targeted for their faith, following an earlier harassment in December 2019.
Mr. Liu Dapeng and his wife Ms. Li Chunhua were arrested in early April. The police claimed that they had been monitoring the couple for a few days before arresting them. They were previously reported for distributing informational materials about Falun Gong.
The police gave Mr. Liu a 12-month detention notice. But because of the coronavirus outbreak, he was released together with Ms. Li two days later. The police confiscated the couple’s cellphones and prohibited them from leaving Yushu City.
On March 11, the police went to the home of Ms. Bai Chunxiu’s parents and forced them to disclose her workplace and phone number. The whole family was terrified. The police went to Ms. Bai’s workplace in the afternoon, but she wasn’t there.
Six days later, four officers returned to Ms. Bai’s workplace and arrested her. She was very scared and signed the renouncing statement against her will.
Not knowing Mr. Liu Zhijun’s address and phone number, the authorities harassed his family, also on March 11, and asked for his contact information. When Mr. Liu’s father refused to comply, the police snatched his cellphone and copied all of his contacts with the surname Liu. The police later harassed Mr. Liu’s brother and other relatives by phone calls.
On March 15, 2020, Liu Zhaodong, a village official in Chengfa Town, harassed the practitioners on a name list. He told the practitioners that he was looking for everyone who has practiced Falun Gong, including those who have given up due to the persecution. No matter whether they still practice it or not, the authorities will check their attitude towards Falun Gong one by one.
Liu threatened that if anyone who claims that they no longer practice Falun Gong, but was found to have any material related to it, he or she would be sentenced to at least one year in prison. And anyone arrested for promoting or distributing information about Falun Gong would be sentenced directly without the prosecution process.
While harassing the practitioners, Liu also collected their ID information. Those who have moved to other cities or are still serving time in prison weren’t spared either, as Liu harassed their families still living in Yushu and pressured them to reveal the practitioners' information.
At least 20 practitioners or their families were harassed by Liu, including: Ms. Liu Zhaomei, Ms. Zhu Yunfei, Ms. Ji Yufeng, Ms. Li Yufeng, Ms. Yang Xin, Ms. Zhu Yunhua, Mr. Han Ruifeng, Mr. Hu Xin, Ms. Mu Guirong, Ms. Zheng Lizhu, and Ms. Ren Shuxia.
Mr. Yu Wanhe was harassed by the village official on March 16, who threatened to suspend his agricultural subsidy. Mr. Yu, with a disability and living by himself, was forced to sign the renouncing statement.
Four staff members from the residential committee knocked on Ms. Tian Yumei’s door on March 28. Although Ms. Tian didn’t let them in at that time, her husband was later summoned to the residential committee’s office, where he was intimidated and wrote things denouncing Falun Gong on Ms. Tian’s behalf.
Between March 20 and April 8, the police harassed 83-year-old Ms. Jin Hongxiang twice. They questioned her whether she still practices Falun Gong and took her picture. They also attempted to confiscate her Falun Gong books and related materials. She refused to comply.
Ms. Li Yanhui was harassed on April 14 and she has been living away from home since.
Mr. Li Shicheng and Ms. Wang Xiuying, 83, were harassed on April 21. The officials threatened that if they didn’t sign the renouncing statements, it will affect their family members' efforts to find good jobs.
Ms. Wang Yurong, who no longer lives in Yushu City, received three harassing phone calls in late April. The caller asked for her current address and demanded her to sign the statement, but she refused to comply.
Other practitioners who were harassed in March include:
Mr. Han Naigeng, Ms. Man Shujie, Mr. Liu Yanmin, Mr. Shan Zhenquan, Mr. Shan Xiqing, Ms. Ma Lingxi, Ms. Wang Xiuzhi, Mr. Zhu Fayun, Ms. Xing Yaxia, Ms. Wang Shufang, Ms. Zhang Yulian, Ms. Yang Shuqin, Ms. Li Xiujuan, Ms. Shen Hongyan, and Ms. Xiao Jingrong.
Those who were harassed in April include:
Mr. Xu Xiangyang, Mr. Tang Zhengwei, Ms. Zhang Yanming, Ms. Lu Zhenfang, Ms. Wu Chengli, Ms. Lu Zhongyun, Ms. Lu Zhongqin, Mr. Wang Lejun, Ms. Zhang Fengrong, Ms. Zhang Shuyun, and Ms. Liang Zhaofeng.