(Minghui.org) While China was hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, its ruling party, the Chinese Communist Party, has continued its persecution of Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline also known as Falun Dafa that is based on the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance.

According to information collected by Minghui.org, 6,659 practitioners were arrested and 8,576 were harassed in 2020. While the number of arrests remained similar to that of 6,109 in the year before, 2020 saw a 2.4-fold increase of harassment cases, due to the nationwide “Zero-out” campaign.

Similar to the “knocking on the door” harassment campaign in 2017 that tried to pressure practitioners into giving up their faith, the police and residential committee staff members also visited every practitioner on the government’s blacklist and attempted to force them to renounce Falun Gong in the new “Zero-out” campaign.

But the “zero-out” campaign also targeted the practitioners’ family members in order to meet the quota. When the practitioners refused to sign the renouncing statement, the authorities pressured their families to sign the statements for the practitioners. In Guangdong and Hainan Provinces, the authorities posted 100,000 yuan in reward for people to report a Falun Gong practitioner.

In 2020, many practitioners were subjected to brutal torture and humiliation while in custody. Two female practitioners were beaten to death days after their arrests in late June. Another 81 practitioners also died after torture in custody or their health declined after enduring two decades of persecution.

Among the total 15,235 practitioners targeted in 2020, 1,188 were 65 years or older. There were also 17 practitioners in their 90s, with the oldest being 94. Four hundred and one practitioners had a total of 7,284,097.56 yuan extorted or confiscated during their arrests, averaging 18,165 yuan per person.

In addition to the arrests and harassment, 622 Falun Gong practitioners were sentenced for their faith in 2020, with 114 of them being 65 or older and 11 in their 80s. The prison terms ranged from 3 months to 14 years, with an average of 3 years and 4 months.

The sentenced practitioners came from 149 cities in 27 provinces and centrally-controlled municipalities. Liaoning (68), Shandong (57), Sichuan (57), Hebei (56), and Jilin (50) were the top provinces with the most cases. Fifteen provinces registered double-digit cases and the remaining seven provinces had single-digit cases. Hubei Province, as the epicenter of the pandemic, ranked sixth on the list with 35 cases.

Among the sentenced practitioners, 265 of them were fined by the court, with a sum of 2,788,234 yuan and an average of 10,522 yuan per person.

Below are a few persecution cases in 2020.

Woman Beaten to Death 16 Days after Arrest

Ms. Li Ling of Dazhangjia Village, Penglai City, Shandong Province, was seized by a village official and a group of paramilitary soldiers on June 28, 2020, after being reported for possessing Falun Gong literature.

When Ms. Li refused to reveal from whom she got the Falun Gong booklets, she was taken to an empty house in a mountainous area and tortured. Two soldiers tried to beat her into submission. Some of her teeth fell out and her mouth ruptured as a result of the beatings. There was a contusion on her left rib cage and she had bruises all over. According to an elderly villager who was told to watch her, one of the soldiers also poked Ms. Li hard in the chest with a stick.

Ms. Li still refused to give up her practice or answer questions. One of her tormentors took her outside to “fix her up.” He kicked her so hard that she lost her balance and hit her hip on a rock. When it later started to rain, he made her stand in the rain for a long time. She went on a hunger strike to protest the abuse.

Ms. Li was rushed to a private clinic on July 13 for “resuscitation” and pronounced dead. The authorities forced her family to have her remains cremated that same day. While changing her clothes, her relatives noted that Ms. Li’s eyeballs appeared to be protruding and looked unusually large.

83-year-old Man Serving Seven Years for His Faith in Critical Condition

Mr. Huang Qingdeng, 83, a resident of Leqing City, Zhejiang Province, who is serving seven years for practicing Falun Gong, is in critical condition. His family received a call from Hangzhou Second Prison in mid-November 2020 and was told that he has been sent to the hospital for emergency treatment. The prison staff said that Mr. Huang has been found to have six diseases and he could die at any time. Yet they refused to release him on bail.

Mr. Huang was arrested at home on April 17, 2019, together with his wife, Ms. Chen Eying. Both of them were taken to the Leqing City Detention Center.

The Leqing City Court sentenced Mr. Huang to seven years on March 12, 2020. Days later, his wife was released. He was admitted to prison on an unknown date.

Thirteen Hebei Residents Sentenced to Prison for Reading Books on Their Faith Together

Thirteen Weichang County, Hebei Province, residents were arrested on July 13, 2019, while studying Falun Gong’s teachings together. The police ransacked most practitioners' homes the next day and confiscated their Falun Gong books, computers, and printers.

It was reported that the police had monitored the 36 practitioners in Weichang for seven months, before arresting them during their gathering.

Although the Luanping County Procuratorate returned the practitioners’ cases to the police for insufficient evidence in November 2019, the police refused to release the practitioners and submitted their cases again a month later. The prosecutor indicted them on January 19, 2020, and moved their cases to the Luanping County Court.

The practitioners were tried on September 28, 2020, and sentenced up to six years with 10,000 yuan fine on October 30, 2020.

Incarcerated for 12 Years, Ningxia Man Gets Another 14 Years for His Faith in Falun Gong

Mr. Ma Zhiwu, a Yinchuan City, Ningxia Province resident, was sentenced to 14 years and fined 30,000 yuan on December 17, 2020.

Mr. Ma, a 50-year-old former railroad crew driver, was arrested on June 5, 2020, while looking for a job in Guyuan City in the same province. He held a hunger strike at the Guyuan City Detention Center. His family frequented the local police station and detention center to seek his release, but to no avail. The detention center also barred his family from visiting him.

Prior to his latest term, Mr. Ma has been repeatedly arrested and held in detention for 12 years.

Minghui.org published a notice by “International Organization for Bringing to Justice the Persecutors of Falun Dafa” on July 21, 2013, that sought to hold Jiang Zemin, the former CCP leader who ordered the persecution of Falun Gong in July 1999, and his accomplices accountable for the crimes against Falun Gong practitioners.

Seven years have passed since then, and the persecution is still running rampant.

With the most deplorable human rights condition under the CCP, China was again listed as a “country of special concern” by the U.S. International Commission of Religious Freedom for violating religious freedom. This is China's 21st consecutive year to be on the list of “countries of special concern.”

The persecution of Falun Gong by the CCP during the past 21 years only reveals its evil nature that is against humanity. U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, said in an interview with The Epoch Times, that even though the world’s people know the authoritarian nature of the CCP, they ignored it, partly because previous foreign policy makers believed that economic trade and engagement could make the CCP “engage at least externally in the world on a fair and reciprocal basis,” only to find that the idea was “patently false all the way through” decades later.

After witnessing how the CCP has covered up the pandemic and interfered with the U.S. election, the world’s people only came to see its true nature more clearly. Only by disintegrating the CCP, will the persecution of all Chinese people stop and the peace of the world be restored.

Related reports:

Brutality Against Falun Gong in 2020 amidst Ongoing Persecution by Communist Regime

83 Falun Gong Practitioners Die in 2020 As a Result of the Persecution of Their Faith

622 Falun Gong Practitioners in China Sentenced for Their Faith in 2020