(Minghui.org) Thirteen residents of Suzhou City, Jiangsu Province were arrested on May 10, 2021, for their faith in Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.
Most of the arrests took place between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. None of the officers wore their police uniform and were all in plainclothes. Many of them revealed that they were just carrying out an order from higher-ups. Some said they have been monitoring the practitioners for up to seven months and had taken a lot of photos and videos of them. Some said as long as the practitioners signed a statement to renounce Falun Gong, they could be released.
One officer told a practitioner’s family that those arrested would be taken to the Fuzhuangcheng Police Station in the nearby Changshu City, about 40 miles from Suzhou. But when the practitioner’s family member went there, the officers denied having knowledge of the practitioners. Now the practitioners’ families are still in the process of finding out their detention location.
Below are some details of the arrests.
Twelve officers, including three community workers, broke into Ms. Dong Wanyu’s home at 6:10 a.m. on May 10, 2021. Two people quickly waved their police IDs in front of Ms. Dong’s husband. Before he could see their names, they put them away and refused to let him see them again. Ms. Dong requested the officers write down their police IDs, but they ignored her.
The police spent 45 minutes ransacking Ms. Dong’s home and confiscated her two computers, two radios, a framed cross stitch of a heavenly maiden, over ten Falun Gong books and some Falun Gong keepsakes.
After Ms. Dong was taken to the police station at around 7 a.m., one officer told her husband that the arrests were orchestrated by city-level officials and that the timing of the arrests was carefully planned beforehand. He said that the arrests were related to the Chinese Communist Party’s 100-year founding celebration on July 1. The arrested practitioners will likely be detained for at least two months.
Ms. Dong’s husband went to the police station on the second day to demand her release, only to be told that she had been transferred to the Changshu City Police Department. He rushed to Changshu, but the officers there denied they had any knowledge of Ms. Dong’s arrest. The security guard said to Ms. Dong’s husband that the authorities usually wouldn’t hold people in the police department and he suggested he try his luck at the Changshu City Detention Center. He went there, still to no avail.
Ms. Dong’s husband received a text message from officer Tang Congzheng on May 14, the third day of her arrest, and was asked to deliver some clothes to the Loufeng Police Station in Suzhou. Officer Tang refused to provide further information of where Ms. Dong is being held.
A dozen officers broke into the home of Mr. Ji Yong and his wife Ms. Pan Ning at 7 a.m. They rushed to the second floor of the couple’s home and dragged them downstairs and into a police car.
The police ransacked the couple’s home for two hours. Their three laptops, one desktop computer, six cellphones, two radios, four Falun Gong books and a photo of Falun Gong’s founder were confiscated. The police didn’t provide either the arrest warrant or the search warrant. One officer quickly waved his police ID in front of Ms. Pan’s parents, who were living with the couple, and put it away before they could see anything.
Ms. Cui Ping was arrested at home at around 9 a.m. The police said to her, “Will you go with us or do you want us to carry you downstairs?”
Ms. Cui’s husband asked the police why they treated her like that. The officers responded that they had been following her for over six months and they knew everything about which practitioners she usually met with and where she distributed Falun Gong informational materials. Before leaving, the police took away Ms. Cui’s computer.
A few days later, her family received the detention notice, which indicated that she was being held in Changshu, but without specifying the detailed location.
According to Ms. Mei Hongjuan’s neighbor, she was arrested after 9 a.m. on her way to work. Around 10:30 a.m., a dozen officers arrived in at least three police cars. Ms. Mei was brought back with her hands cuffed behind her back. The police confiscated her desktop, a printer, a laminator, a set of Falun Gong books, a cellphone and two radios.
When Ms. Mei’s family went to the police station to demand her release, the police promised to update them in 24 hours. But they have yet to receive any information from the police. Meanwhile, agents of the 610 Office, an extralegal agency created specifically to persecute Falun Gong, also harassed Ms. Mei’s mother-in-law and verbally abused her, to prevent her from seeking justice for Ms. Mei.
Ms. Li Shoujie, in her 50s, had her computer, printer, dozens of Falun Gong books and DVDs taken away by the police during her arrest.
When Ms. Wu Xiaoming’s husband went to the police station to seek her release, the police tried to pressure him and their son to persuade her to sign a statement to renounce Falun Gong. Ms. Wu refused to comply. The police returned her electric bike to her husband but not her Falun Gong books or laptop.
Other practitioners who were arrested on May 10 include Yuan Huifen, Zhao Haibo, Zhu Ying, Chang Zheng, Han Guixiang and Wen (last name unknown).
Two more practitioners, Zhu Qiuling and Ji Cuiping, also went missing on the same day. It’s being investigated whether they were also arrested.