Low-level CCP Officials Face Sanctions from US and Other Countries for Persecuting Falun Gong
(Minghui.org) On the evenings of October 16-20, 2020, a dozen police officers and community officials went to the homes of several Falun Gong practitioners in Hubei Province as part of the “Zero-out campaign” [a concerted effort to force every single practitioner on the government's blacklists to renounce Falun Gong]. What is unusual about these visits was that they happened in the quiet of the night and the officers pretended that they were searching for fugitives initially.
When practitioners and their families became suspicious and prepared to call the police on them, the officers finally admitted that they were the police and were in fact looking for Falun Gong practitioners. As a commotion built up with family members demanding proper documents, practitioners reasoning with them, and neighbors gathering, the group of police and officials quietly left.
Their behavior was in sharp contrast to the past. For twenty years, low-level police and officials carried out the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners, driven by incentives such as money and other personal gains. They were given free rein to do as they pleased without fearing any consequences. But they are more and more aware that they are being ordered to commit wrongdoing. Decried by practitioners and their families, these officers and officials are facing the fallout of their actions.
Sanctions from the United States
Since July 2020, the United States has initiated a series of sanctions against members of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Several CCP members have been intercepted after entering the country. On December 3, the U.S. State Department confirmed that it would cancel the 10-year travel visa for CCP members and their family members, and limit them to a single entry per month.
On December 7, the State Department barred 14 Vice-Chairpersons of the National People's Congress Standing Committee (NPCSC) and their family members from traveling to the U.S. Their assets within the jurisdiction of the U.S. or in the possession or control of U.S. persons will also be blocked.
Three days later on December 10, the U.S. announced further sanctions against 17 officials of foreign governments for violation of human rights or corruption. Among them was Huang Yuanxiong of Xiamen Public Security Bureau Wucun Police Station for his involvement in the detention and interrogation of Falun Gong practitioners. The sanctions against Huang was a surprise to many, as Huang is just a low-level police officer.
The persecution of Falun Gong has been the most sensitive issue and taboo to the Chinese government. All governments, NGOs, and media around the world have shied away from the issue of Falun Gong, fearing provoking Beijing. The designation of Huang Yuanxiong, seen as a direct confrontation between the Trump administration and the CCP on this issue, is drawing attention in China.
One netizen commented, “U.S. sanctions against this policeman is a warning to others. Although this policeman has no assets and no relatives or friends in the United States, it doesn't mean other low-level officials do not. These kinds of sanctions, extending from the top to the bottom, will affect how these low-level officials make decisions in the future.” Others are concerned about how the U.S. got their information on Huang Yuanxiong.
In August 2020, a leaked database of 1.95 million CCP members from Shanghai was obtained by the inter-parliamentary alliance on China (IPAC). The database contains at least 57 CCP members from the 610 Office in Shanghai, which is an extralegal agency specifically created to persecute Falun Gong. Information on these individuals includes their workplace, national IDs, home addresses, and personal phone numbers.
A Global Trend
Many Western countries had believed that economic prosperity would bring freedom and democracy to China. However, that belief has changed in recent years. In particular, the COVID-19 pandemic was a wake-up call to the world, and many countries have come to see that the CCP is the “virus” that endangers the world.
In a draft policy proposal published on November 29, 2020, entitled “a new EU-US agenda for global changes,” the European Union (EU) calls on the U.S. to forge a new global alliance to meet the strategic challenge posed by China. “As open democratic societies and market economies, the EU and the U.S. agree on the strategic challenge presented by China's growing international assertiveness...” the paper says.
On December 7, 2020, the EU adopted a framework to “target individuals, entities, and bodies … responsible for, involved in, or associated with serious human rights violations and abuses worldwide.” The EU’s new global human rights protection framework was styled after “The Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act,” first passed by the U.S. Congress in 2016. The U.S. “Global Magnitsky Act” authorizes the U.S. government to sanction human rights violators from around the world, including freezing their assets in the U.S. and barring their entry into the country.
Soon after, Falun Gong practitioners in 29 countries submitted a list of human rights perpetrators to their respective governments, requesting that these nations sanction the listed perpetrators and their family members with visa restrictions and to freeze their assets because of their involvement in the persecution of Falun Gong in China.
These countries include the Five Eyes (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom, United States), 18 nations in the European Union (Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Poland, Belgium, Sweden, Austria, Ireland, Denmark, Finland, Czech, Romania, Portugal, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia), and 6 additional nations (Japan, South Korea, Switzerland, Norway, Liechtenstein, Mexico).
Among this list are some Central Committee-level officials of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). They include Han Zheng (Politburo Standing Committee member), Guo Shengkun (Secretary of the Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission), Zhou Qiang (President of the Supreme Court), Liu Jinguo (Deputy Secretary of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection), and Fu Zhenghua (Deputy Director of Committee for Social and Legal Affairs in Political Consultative Conference).
Similar to lists submitted previously, the perpetrators are from all levels in various professions from all across China. They include secretaries of the Political and Legal Affairs Committee at various levels, heads of 610 Office at various levels, police chiefs, Domestic Security Bureau officers, judges, assistant judges, directors of prisons, directors of labor camps, and so on.
The Chinese communist regime can no longer conceal the crime of persecuting Falun Gong. We sincerely hope that CCP officials will think twice when following the CCP’s persecutory directives.