(Minghui.org) The U.S. State Department on May 12, 2021, announced sanctions against an official of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) for his participation in the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken announced the decision at a press briefing on the release of the 2020 International Religious Freedom Report. He said that according to Section 7031 (c) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act 2021, the U.S. government decided to sanction Yu Hui, former director of the Central Leading Group on Preventing and Dealing with Heretical Religions in Chengdu City, Sichuan Province.

Blinken noted that Yu’s designation came as a result of his “gross violations of human rights, namely the arbitrary detention of Falun Gong practitioners for their spiritual beliefs.” Both Yu and his immediate family would be denied entry into the United States.

Blinken stated, “We will continue to consider all appropriate tools to promote accountability for those responsible for human rights violations and abuses in China and elsewhere.”

The Central Leading Group on Preventing and Dealing with Heretical Religions, commonly known as the 610 Office, is an extralegal agency created on June 10, 1999 specifically to persecute Falun Gong, an ancient spiritual and meditation discipline.

Before taking the position at the 610 Office, Yu was appointed the deputy secretary for Wenjiang District of Chengdu in May 2013. After heading the 610 Office for nearly a year between August 2016 and July 2017, he went on to become the deputy secretary of Gaoxing District in.

During Yu's tenure as the director of the 610 Office, 479 Falun Gong practitioners were harassed and had their home ransacked, 117 were arrested, 42 had their arrest approved and faced prosecution, 27 were sentenced, and 3 were persecuted to death.

Earlier in 2021, Falun Gong practitioners in 38 countries submitted a list to their respective governments containing the names of about 9,300 agents from the 610 Office at all levels in China. The practitioners urged their governments to ban the perpetrators and their families from entering those countries and to freeze their assets. Yu is on the list given to the U.S. government.

Below is a partial list of practitioners who were persecuted during Yu's tenure.

Tortured to Death

Mr. Chen Guangzhong Persecuted to Death, Wife and Sister-in-Law Sentenced to 7 Years

Mr. Chen Guangzhong, his wife Ms. Wei Zaihui and her sister Ms. Wei Zaixiu were arrested at the couple’s home on May 27, 2015. Although Mr. Chen was released on bail due to his physical condition, he was arrested again at home on February 9, 2017, and made to stand trial with the two sisters, who had been detained for over 20 months.

The Wei sisters had another sister, Ms. Wei Zaiqun, who lives in Denmark and urged the Danish government to help rescue her loved ones in China. The Danish government submitted her loved ones’ cases to the EU in 2016 when the EU was holding human rights dialogues with China. Despite the attention from the international community, Ms. Wei Zaihui and Ms. Wei Zaixiu were each sentenced to 7 years in Chengdu Women’s Prison and Mr. Chen was given three years in Jiazhou Prison.

Mr. Chen's family seldom heard about his news when he was imprisoned. In July 2017, his family was suddenly informed that Mr. Chen was in critical condition and his pupils had become dilated. Mr. Chen's elder brother and a neighbor went to the prison hospital. They were not allowed to take a photo or to bring anything into the ward, not even a piece of paper.

Mr. Chen's brother saw him lying in a bed unconscious. He looked pale and his head had been shaved. He was naked and covered with a piece of cloth.

Mr. Chen's brother called out his name and got no response. He then asked a prison guard, “How did a man in good health become like this? Why is his head shaved?” The prison guard said Mr. Chen had a cerebral hemorrhage but that it was too late for surgery.

Mr. Chen died a few days later, on July 28, 2017, less than six months after he was imprisoned.


Ms. Wu Chunlan Sentenced to 8 Years, Husband Passed Away

Ms. Wu Chunlan, 53, was home on September 9, 2016 when more than two dozen officers broke in with guns drawn. She was arrested and held at Bi County Detention Center for one month before being transferred to Qixian Detention Center.

When detained, Ms. Wu was interrogated 21 times and was taken to the hospital on December 21 for resuscitation. She was released on bail on January 2, 2017. At the time of her release, she had no feeling on one side of her body.

Her husband, who was hospitalized at the time of her arrest, was unable to pay the medical bills. Soon after he was forced to check out of the hospital, he died on December 16, 2016. Ms. Wu's son went to the detention center to request her release so she could see her husband one last time but the police refused.

On July 26, 2018, Ms. Wu, and three other practitioners, Ms. Guo Qingcheng, Ms. Jiang Yilin, and Ms. Tang Xiaoyan, were made to stand trial at the Jintang County Court. Ms. Wu was given 8 years and fined 10,000 yuan. Ms. Guo, Ms. Tang and Ms. Jiang were each given 7 years and fined 7,000 yuan.

Six Practitioners Sentenced for Studying a Book Together

Ms. Li Xiaoping and her nine guests were arrested on July 23, 2016 while reading Falun Gong books.

While four of the Falun Gong practitioners were later released on bail, Ms. Li, Mr. Xu Yong, Ms. Liu Shuling, Ms. Zhou Ziyu, Mr. Lu Youqun, and Ms. Zhang Minghong were detained at Bi County Detention Center.

The six practitioners appeared in Wuhou District Court on May 24, 2018. Altogether only a couple of family members attended the trial, and they said the presiding judge didn't allow the practitioners to testify in their own defense.

All six practitioners were convicted by the end of the trial.

Ms. Zhang was given 7 years and fined 10,000 yuan.

Ms. Li, Mr. Xu and Ms. Liu were each given 3.5 years and fined 5,000 yuan.

Ms. Zhou and Mr. Lu were each given 3 years and fined 5,000 yuan.

Three Practitioners Arrested and Sentenced

Ms. Tang Yunxia, Ms. Zhong Fangqiong, and Ms. Xiong Zhiying were arrested on the morning of October 26, 2016 at Ms. Tang's home. Thousands of personal belongings were confiscated from Ms. Tang. The three of them were taken to Bi County Detention Center.

The practitioners were indicted on November 26, 2016. The police treated Ms. Zhong as a major political prisoner and threatened to sentence her to 8 years. The police also lied to Ms. Tang that they would release the other two practitioners if she took all the blame.

The three practitioners were sentenced by the Chenghua District Court on June 6, 2018. Ms. Tang was sentenced to a five-year prison term, Ms. Zhong was sentenced to four years in prison, and Ms. Xiong was sentenced to three years in prison. All of them were fined 5,000 yuan each.

Mr. Bai Guiying Sentenced to 3.5 Years in Prison

Mr. Bai Guiying was arrested on January 4, 2014, and detained at Pengzhou City Detention Center. He was put on trial on November 10, 2016 and sentenced to 3.5 years in prison.

On the day of the trial, many police officers in uniform and plainclothes were patrolling the area, and conducting checks on passersby.

Mr. Bai's family hired a lawyer to enter a not-guilty plea for him. Mr. Bai also testified in his own defense and said he did not commit any crimes and should be acquitted.

College Teacher Sentenced to 3 Years for Telling Students About Falun Gong

Ms. Jiang Li, a teacher at the Department of Foreign Languages in Chengdu University, was arrested on November 11, 2016, for telling her students about Falun Gong. The police also ransacked her home. She was placed under criminal detention on November 26 and held at Chengdu Detention Center. Her arrest was approved on December 9.

After detaining Ms. Jiang for more than a year, the 610 Officer refused to release her despite the procuratorate returning her case several times. Ms. Jiang appeared in court on June 29, 2018 and was sentenced to 3 years. She was later taken to Chengdu Women's Prison.

Woman Suffers From Mental Disorder Due to Persecution

Ms. Ding Hui, in her 50s, and another practitioner Mr. Zheng Bin were arrested at her home on December 21, 2015. Both of them were beaten by the police and taken to Xindu District Detention Center. The police continued to beat Ms. Ding when at the detention center and even instigated other detainees to hit her. She was handcuffed to a “death bed” and injected with an unknown drug that would make a person fall asleep for three days.

Ms. Ding suffered a mental disorder and could not take care of herself by October 2016. The inmates often scolded her and ordered her to lie on the ground in the restroom.

A practitioner once asked an inmate why Ms. Ding became this way. The inmate said, “That's too easy with the use of drugs! Look at that elderly woman (not a Falun Gong practitioner) who went to appeal against the government. The guards insisted that she had depression and had to take some pills every day. Within a few weeks, she became dull-witted. She used to be very healthy and intellectual even though she's nearly 60 years old.”

Despite Ms. Ding's condition, she was still put on trial on November 24, 2016, and sentenced to 3 years.

After being transferred to Chengdu Women's Prison, Ms. Ding could not walk normally. She was often beaten, sworn at, and teased by other inmates. The guards continued to force her to take psychiatric drugs, yet they blamed Falun Gong for her mental breakdown.


Elderly Practitioners Harassed, Threatened and Beaten

Ms. Zhang Xiuqin of Tangyuan Town, Pidu District, was followed and severely beaten by members of the 610 Office on May 2, 2017, for talking to people about Falun Gong. They beat her in their office before taking her to Tangyuan Town Police Station. The police whipped her with plastic tubing until she passed out. When she regained consciousness, they threatened her and warned her not to report the beating to Minghui.org. She was covered in bruises when she was sent home.

On April 17, 2017, Ms. Zhang Yuzhi, 76, was harassed by four officers from the police station and neighborhood committee in Qingbaijiang District. The officers took away a photo of Falun Gong’s founder and pushed Ms. Zhang to the ground when she wanted to protect the photo. She fainted and regained consciousness after some time.

Police officers from the Zhongheshe District broke into Ms. Li Zhongxiu's home on May 24, 2017 and confiscated her Falun Gong books.

The next day, officers from the neighborhood committee and police went to Ms. Yuan Xiuhua's home and confiscated several Falun Gong books, which caused the elderly woman to faint.

Slandering and Brainwashing in Chengdu City

On February 17, 2017, the CCP secretary Zhang Ling and neighborhood committee members in Jianghua Community of Chengdu City placed many placards defaming Falun Gong at a basketball court.

The top 610 Office in the central government held a conference of all its members in Chengdu City on April 11, 2017, to share experiences and methods used against Falun Gong.

From May to June 2017, the police and neighborhood committee staff members kept harassing local practitioners. In May, the police took a list of more than 20 practitioners' names and asked each of them if they still practiced Falun Gong.

On June 13, 2017, the village cadre led the police officers and broke into Ms. Wang Qiongyu's home. They handcuffed her arms behind her back and pressed her head down before stuffing her into the police car. When Ms. Wang's husband wanted to pull her out of the car, the officers pushed him to the ground.

After witnessing the police violence against the couple, Ms. Wang’s neighbor spoke up and condemned the police for persecuting a disabled person like Ms. Wang. Although the police eventually released Ms. Wang, they ransacked her home and confiscated her Falun Gong books.

Related reports:

U.S. Sanctions Former Chengdu 610 Office Director for Persecuting Falun Gong

Chengdu City, Sichuan Province: 6 Sentenced for Studying a Book Together

Government of Denmark Addresses Suppression in China

Denmark Resident Seeks Justice for Brother-in-Law, Tortured to Death in China for His Faith

Sisters in Sichuan Province Sentenced to Seven Years in Prison

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Category: Perpetrators Involved in Persecution of Falun Gong