(Minghui.org) The police in Beijing have been harassing Falun Gong practitioners on a large scale recently. Some officers revealed that the new wave of persecution was ordered from above, after the authorities announced that the Chinese Communist Party’s annual Congress meetings, which had been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, will be held in Beijing beginning on May 22, 2020.

Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is an ancient spiritual and meditation discipline that has been persecuted by the communist regime since 1999.

The authorities usually ramp up arrests and harassment of Falun Gong practitioners around major political meetings, big events or anniversaries related to the persecution, in attempts to intimidate practitioners and get them to stop exposing the persecution during those “sensitive” dates.

Many of the harassed Beijing practitioners had their homes ransacked. They were also interrogated by the police and forced to fill out questionnaires about whether they still practice Falun Gong or if they’ve signed any statements to renounce their faith before.

Because local detention centers have refused to admit them due to the coronavirus pandemic this year, most of the practitioners have been released on bail. Some were forced to leave Beijing and aren’t allowed to come back before the Congress ends.

Below are some details about the arrests and harassment in different districts in Beijing.

Tongzhou District

Two sisters, Ms. Wang Jingjing and Ms. Wang Yanyan, were arrested on March 29, 2020, after the police saw them distributing informational materials about Falun Gong.

After the local detention center refused to accept them, the police released them on bail the next day and forced them to return to their hometown in Henan Province. As soon as they arrived at their home in Henan, the local police came and said the Beijing police have informed them to keep an eye on the sisters, who aren’t allowed to go back to Beijing before the end of May.

In the Tongzhou District, Ms. Wang Xiumei, Ms. Wang Xiulan, and Ms. Ai Hong had their homes searched on April 21. Ms. Wang Xiumei’s Falun Gong books, computer, and printer were confiscated. The authorities are still monitoring her after she was released on bail.

Fangshan District

Mr. Li Wencai and his wife, Ms. Li Sujuan, were arrested on April 18. Their Falun Gong books and computer were confiscated.

Shunyi District

Ms. Zhou Suxia and her son, Mr. Liu Kuo, were arrested on the morning of April 24. The police confiscated their Falun Gong related materials and interrogated them at Houshayu Police Station.

The mother and son were taken to Shunyi Detention Center on April 26, 2020. The police told their family that this was an order from above.

Mr. Du Haihua and his wife Ms. Sun Xiuying and Mr. Wang Zongcai and his wife Ms. Wang Rulan were arrested around 6 a.m. on April 26. Mr. Wang and Ms. Wang were released that evening. Mr. Du and Ms. Sun were released the following day, after the local detention center twice refused to accept them.

Xicheng District

Four police officers broke into the home of 84-year-old Ms. Li Xiuzhi on April 24. As Ms. Li wasn’t home, the police searched her place and confiscated her Falun Gong books, computers, and other personal belongings.

After Ms. Li came back, the police attempted to take her to the police station but relented after her family’s strong protest.

Shijiangshan District

Ms. Yang Wanxin was harassed by four officers on April 25. They asked Ms. Yang if she still practices Falun Gong and threatened her not to go out to distribute materials about Falun Gong. Two officers stayed outside of Ms. Yang’s apartment and followed her when she went out to do grocery shopping.