(Minghui.org) Sanctioning human rights abusers has become a consensus among democratic countries. After the U.S. passed the Magnitsky Act in 2016, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the 27-member-country EU enacted similar laws. Austria and Japan are working on the same.

In accordance with these laws, Falun Gong practitioners have compiled lists of perpetrators involved in the persecution of Falun Gong these few years. Every year they submit several lists to democratic governments, urging them to sanction the named perpetrators.

Starting on July 14, 2021, Falun Gong practitioners in more than 30 countries are submitting the latest list of perpetrators involved in the persecution of Falun Gong to their respective governments, demanding sanctions on these human rights abusers, including denying entry into their countries and freezing their assets overseas.

One name on this list is Zhao Kezhi.

Perpetrator’s Information

Zhao Kezhi

Full Name of Perpetrator: Zhao (last name) Kezhi (first name) (Chinese: 赵克志)Gender: MaleEthnicity: HanDate/Year of Birth: December 1953Place of Birth: Laixi City, Shandong Province, China

Title or Positions:

Zhao Kezhi is currently a member of the 19th Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), a State Councilor, a member of the Party Group of the State Council, Minister and Party Secretary of the Ministry of Public Security, Deputy Secretary of the Central Committee of Political and Legal Affairs, and Chief Superintendent of Police.

His prior appointments include:

December 1997 – January 2001: Secretary of Dezhou Municipal Committee in Shandong Province

February 2001 – March 2006: Vice Governor of Shandong Province

April 2006 – August 2010: Member of the Standing Party Committee and Vice Governor of Jiangsu Province

August 2010 – July 2015: Deputy Secretary and later Secretary of the Guizhou Provincial Party Committee, Acting Governor and later, Governor of Guizhou Province

July 2015 – January 2016: Secretary of Hebei Provincial Party Committee

January 2016 – October 2017: Secretary of Hebei Provincial Party Committee, and Chairman of the Standing Committee of the Provincial People’s Congress of Hebei Province

October 2017 – March 2018: Minister of Public Security, Secretary of the Party Committee

March 2018 – May 2018: Member of the State Council, Member of the Party Group of the State Council, Minister and Secretary of the Party Committee of the Ministry of Public Security

May 2018 – Present: State Councilor, Member of the Party Group of the State Council, Minister and Party Secretary of the Ministry of Public Security, Deputy Secretary of the Central Committee of Political and Legal Affairs1

Major Crimes

Zhao Kezhi has carried out the persecution of Falun Gong since the CCP openly launched the persecution on July 20, 1999. Since he became the Minister of the CCP’s Central Ministry of Public Security in October 2017, he has directly planned and directed the persecution of Falun Gong in the national public security system. He has been a driving force and accomplice in the CCP’s persecution of Falun Gong.

Zhao has repeatedly vilified Falun Gong in his speeches, asking the public security system to “coordinate and promote the... anti-cult struggle,” and to “seriously crack down on Falun Gong.” In November 2017, soon after he took the position of Minister of the CCP’s Central Ministry of Public Security, Falun Gong practitioner Xing Ximei in Shandong Province died in a detention center, 13 days after she was sent there.

On March 21, 2018, there was an institutional reform where the Central “610 Office” ceased to exist independently, and the functions of the Leading Group for Prevention and Handling of Cult Issues, together with its office (the “610 Office”), were transferred under the Central Committee of Political and Legal Affairs and the Ministry of Public Security. Correspondingly, from this highest level all the way down to the provincial, municipal, and county levels, the “610 Office” was transferred to the Political and Legal Affairs Commission and the Public Security Department at the same level. The Bureau of Prevention and Handling of Cults of the Ministry of Public Security, hereafter referred to as the Cult Bureau, exercises some of the responsibilities and powers of the former Central “610 Office.”

Zhao, Public Security Minister, thus became one of the highest officials and commanders of the CCP’s persecution of Falun Gong. He controls and mobilizes various governmental departments under the Public Prosecutor’s Office to monitor and control the public via all means, including carrying out the genocide against Falun Gong.

In 2020, the Central Committee of Political and Legal Affairs, the “610 Office,” and the Ministry of Public Security issued an order to “zero out” Falun Gong practitioners and force them to renounce their faith. In order to carry out this directive, the Political and Legal Affairs Committee, the “610 Office,” the community, and the police stations in each district used various tactics like “attacking,” “sending care,” “knocking on [Falun Gong practitioners’] doors,” “conversion verification,” “removing names [from the police blacklist],” “lifting [punishments],” and “investigations and collecting signatures” in attempts to coerce Falun Gong practitioners into renouncing their faith.

They would go to Falun Gong practitioners’ homes and try to force them to sign the “three statements,” which include a guarantee letter to give up practicing Falun Gong, a repentance letter, and a denunciation statement. If the practitioners refused to sign these letters, they would be threatened with the prospect of being “disappeared.” If they still refused to sign these statements, they’d be arrested, sent to brainwashing classes, sent to a detention center, sentenced to prison, and/or deprived of their pensions. Their children and grandchildren may also be implicated. Police have even hunted down practitioners’ children to sign on their behalf and have used practitioners’ families as hostages to force Falun Gong practitioners to sign these documents.

Many provinces and cities have launched special operations to intensify the persecution against Falun Gong practitioners and encouraged everyone to participate. Guangdong Province and Hainan Province set up “reporting bonuses” of up to 100,000 yuan for anyone who would report on their friends and neighbors who were Falun Gong practitioners. According to available statistics, during the CCP’s “zero out” campaign, at least 88 Falun Gong practitioners were persecuted to death, 615 practitioners were arbitrarily sentenced, and 15,235 practitioners were arrested and harassed.

In April 2021, the Ministry of Public Security and the Cult Bureau launched a campaign to spread propaganda on campuses in order to deceive students, incite hatred, and poison the public. With the approval of the Ministry of Public Security, the Cult Bureau of the Ministry of Public Security and the Department of Ideological and Political Work of the Ministry of Education jointly initiated a large-scale “Anti-cult Propaganda and Education on Campus” activity at colleges and universities nationwide. Deputy Director Yang Xin and Director Qu Hongbo of the Cult Bureau personally participated in the ceremony.

Zhao, as the person in charge of the Ministry of Public Security and the executing system of the CCP’s persecution of Falun Gong, should bear responsibility for all the persecution crimes against Falun Gong that occurred nationwide during his term in office.

Crimes of Persecuting Falun Gong During His Tenure at the Central Committee

Zhao has served as Minister of Public Security and Secretary of the Party Committee since October 2017. He became the Deputy Secretary of the Central Committee of Political and Legal Affairs in May 2018. He has been directly planning and directing the persecution of Falun Gong in the national public security system. He is an instrument of the CCP regime’s genocidal crimes against Falun Gong.

1) Persecution in 2018

According to information and statistics from Minghui.org, in 2018, at least 4,848 Falun Gong practitioners were arrested by CCP public security departments in various provinces across China. Of those, 933 were illegally sentenced, 4,217 were harassed, 378 had their arrests formally approved, 170 were sent to brainwashing classes, 51 were forced to leave their homes, and 2,050 homes were raided.

Since October 2018, several large-scale kidnapping cases have occurred across the country. On October 12, over 20 Falun Gong practitioners from Changchun City, Jilin Province were arrested. On November 9, 119 Falun Gong practitioners were arrested in Harbin City and Daqing City in Heilongjiang Province. The arrests were a pre-planned operation where police illegally arrested Falun Gong practitioners based on a name list. On November 18, 36 Falun Gong practitioners were illegally arrested in Qingyun County, Shandong Province, and 36 families were harassed and illegally raided. From October to late November, 26 Falun Gong practitioners were arrested and their homes were raided in Baoji City, Shaanxi Province.

In 2018, 68 Falun Gong practitioners died as a result of persecution. At least five of them passed away while being illegally detained in detention centers or shortly after their release.

Ms. Wen Mulan, an elderly Falun Gong practitioner in Beijing, was arrested and illegally detained in Miyun Detention Center on October 14, 2017. Ms. Wen went on a hunger strike to protest the persecution. Her body became swollen and bruised to the point where her life was threatened. Her physical symptoms indicated poisoning. The Miyun Detention Center released Ms. Wen in order to shirk its responsibility, and she passed away shortly afterwards on February 27, 2018.

Mr. Ye Guohua from Fujian Province was arrested on January 16, 2018 and detained in Jianou Detention Center, where he was persecuted to death on September 11.

Ms. Cai Ying, a 48-year-old Falun Gong practitioner from Shandong Province, was arrested on April 26, 2018 and taken to the Pudong Detention Center the next day. She died in custody on May 8.

Ms. Ma Guilan, a Falun Gong practitioner in her 60s from Qinhuangdao City of Hebei Province, was arrested on July 4, 2018. On September 17, news suddenly broke that Ms. Ma had been persecuted to death in Qinhuangdao Detention Center. According to inside information, authorities had people cut her stomach open and remove her internal organs, saying they were going to do a lab test.

Ms. Jin Shunnu, a Falun Gong practitioner from Fushun City in Liaoning Province, went to the local community center to get a certificate on September 19, 2018, when she was arrested and taken to the Nangou Detention Center. She was persecuted to the point of unconsciousness. She passed away on October 10 at the age of 66.

2. Persecution in 2019

The year 2019 had several anniversaries deemed sensitive by the regime: April 25 marked the 20th anniversary of the peaceful appeal of 10,000 practitioners outside of the National Appeals Office in Beijing seeking the release of several dozen practitioners unjustly arrested in nearby Tianjin days before; July 20 marked the 20th anniversary of the onset of the persecution of Falun Gong; October 1 marked the 70th anniversary of the Chinese Communist regime’s founding.

The arrests and harassment of Falun Gong practitioners spiked around these three anniversaries, as the authorities attempted to prevent the practitioners from engaging in public demonstrations or launching other grassroots efforts to raise awareness about the persecution.

In Siping City, Jilin Province, the authorities rewarded the police officers with ten points when arresting one Falun Gong practitioner, but only one point when they arrested a real criminal.

It has been recorded that 6,109 Falun Gong practitioners were arrested and 3,582 harassed in 2019. Among them, 383 practitioners were taken to brainwashing centers and 3,124 had their homes ransacked. Another 789 practitioners were sentenced to prison.

Many families had several members arrested at the same time in 2019. In particular, ten members of a family in Bozhou City, Anhui Province, including a mother, her five daughters, three sons-in-law and a 12-year-old grandson, were arrested on April 17, 2019 by more than 100 officers. Four of the daughters stood trial on December 5, 2019 and were later sentenced to 4.5 to 7.5 years.

In Nanyang City, Henan Province, over 130 practitioners were arrested at around 5 a.m. on August 30, 2019. Sixty of them were taken to the local brainwashing center.

Of note, 9.7% (593) of the practitioners arrested and 5.9% (213) of the practitioners harassed are 65 or older, while 112 arrested practitioners and 92 harassed practitioners are 80 or older.

Ms. Wang Shaoqing, 74, of Hubei Province and 12 other practitioners, including Ms. Zhou Xiuwu (aged 79) were arrested on March 7, 2019 for talking to others about Falun Gong in a park.

Mr. Luan Ning, former Deputy Director of Education Center of Ningxia Province Labor and Personnel Department, was sentenced to 10 years in prison and fined 100,000 yuan. He was convicted of “subverting state power” by mailing letters about the persecution of Falun Gong.

Ninety-six practitioners passed away as a result of the persecution. Nineteen of them died while being held in custody. Most others died after enduring long term incarceration, torture and harassment. These practitioners came from all walks of life, including government employees, scientists, school principals, teachers, retried military officers, doctors, and factory managers.

Ms. Guo Zhenxiang, an 82-year-old resident of Zhaoyuan City, Shandong Province, died hours after she was arrested at a bus station for talking to people about Falun Gong on January 11, 2019.

Mr. Yang Shengjun, of Jiamusi City, Heilongjiang Province, passed away nine days after his arrest on August 2, 2019. He vomited blood while in the detention center and his family was forced to pay 30,000 yuan for his medical expenses.

Mr. He Lifang, of Qingdao City, Shandong Province, was arrested in May and died in custody on July 2, 2019. He was 45. His family saw a sewn-up incision on his chest and an open incision on his back. The police first said the incisions were a result of an autopsy, but his family suspected his organs had been harvested either while he was alive or shortly after his death.

Ms. Bai Chunhua, of Gongyi City, Henan Province, died less than six days after she was arrested in December 2019. Her family said she had bone fractures in her third, fourth and fifth ribs on the left, and second and fifth ribs on the right. She also had injuries on her lips and there were multiple bruises around her back. They suspect that she had been beaten to death for not giving in to the police’s demand to renounce her faith. She was 63.

3. Persecution in 2020

Entering 2020, while China was hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, the communist regime continued its persecution of Falun Gong.

In 2020, at least 615 practitioners were sentenced, 6,659 were arrested and 8,576 were harassed. A total of 3,588 practitioners had their homes ransacked and another 537 were taken to brainwashing centers. The targeted practitioners came from 304 cities in 29 provinces and municipalities. Among those arrested and harassed, 1,188 were 65 or older, with 17 practitioners in their 90s and the oldest being 94.

A total of 7,284,097 yuan was extorted or confiscated from 401 practitioners during their arrests, averaging 18,165 yuan per person.

In Dalian City, Liaoning Province, at least 30 practitioners and their family members, including a practitioner in her 90s, were arrested between July 10 and 11, 2020. Among them, seven were later sentenced to 1 to 9 years.

The year of 2020 recorded 84 practitioners who died in the persecution, including 21 who passed away in custody.

Ms. Zhang Zhiwen of Yuzhou City, Henan Province, was arrested at home on May 13, 2020, and died four days later in police custody. The police gave no explanation for her death and had her body cremated quickly afterward.

Ms. Li Ling of Penglai City, Shandong Province, was seized by a village official and paramilitary soldiers on June 28, 2020, after being reported for possessing Falun Gong literature. She was taken to an empty house in a mountainous area and viciously beaten and tortured. She died of her injuries on July 13.

Dr. Wang Shukun, a 66-year-old physician of internal medicine at Hailin Town Hospital in Haining City, Heilongjiang Province, was beaten by the police in late June 2020 for refusing to sign a statement and state that her husband practices Falun Gong (when he doesn’t). She suffered sharp pain in her leg and had to crawl up the stairs to get back to her apartment. She had bruises over her body. Her kneecaps were broken, and she was soaked in sweat. She suffered a cerebral hemorrhage on July 1 and passed away on the next day.

4. Persecution in 2021

The first half of 2021 recorded 3,291 Falun Gong practitioners from 264 cities in 30 provinces being arrested and 6,179 harassed for their faith. A total of 118 of the practitioners had their blood samples collected and 3 had their DNA taken against their will.

Among the 9,470 targeted practitioners, 1,384 had their homes ransacked. One hundred and fifty-two practitioners had a total of 1,942,553 yuan and 20,000 USD in cash confiscated, averaging 142,292 yuan per person. Another 78 have been forced to live away from home to avoid further persecution and possible arrest.

A total of 674 practitioners were sentenced to prison in the first half of 2021. Except for 30 practitioners whose terms are unknown, 33 who were given probation and didn’t have to serve time and two who were only fined but not given prison terms, the other 602 (90%) practitioners were sentenced to prison with terms ranging from four months to 14 years, with an average of three and a half years.

Mr. Shi Shaoping, a 50-year-old Beijing resident, was sentenced to nine years. Ms. Wang Jianmin, a doctor of Laiyang City, Shandong Province, was given nine years. Mr. Li Dengchen, an 82-year-old retired teacher in Shenzhou City, Hebei Province, was sentenced to 10 years in January 2021.

The deaths of 67 Falun Gong practitioners were confirmed in the first half of 2021, with 13 of them deceased in custody.

While in a detention center awaiting the results of her appeal against an 11.5-year prison sentence, Ms. Mao Kun, an accountant in Chengdu City, Sichuan Province, was taken to a hospital emergency room around April 9, 2021. Her family was asked to apply for medical parole on her behalf. But before they even got a chance to submit the application, Ms. Mao passed away in the hospital on the evening of April 11. She was 57.

Mr. Gong Piqi, a retired colonel in Qingdao City, Shandong Province, died in the prison on April 12, 2021. The doctor and prison authorities initially refused to let his family see his body. When the family protested, Mr. Gong’s older brother and nephew were finally allowed to see his body, but not allowed to take photos or videos. Mr. Gong’s head was injured and swollen and there was blood in his ears, according to his brother.

Mr. Yuan Guangwu, a 54-year-old Liquan County, Shaanxi Province resident, lost his mother Ms. Li Caie and wife Ms. Zhang Cuicui within less than three months due to the persecution. His younger brother Mr. Yuan Huiwu was sentenced to three years in prison. Mr. Yuan Guangwu himself is being forced to live away from home to avoid being persecuted for practicing Falun Gong.

II. Crimes of Persecuting Falun Gong During Tenure in Hebei Province

During Zhao’s tenure as the CCP Secretary of Hebei Province from July 2015 to October 2017, 26 Falun Gong practitioners died from persecution.

Falun Gong practitioner Mr. Li Kai was arrested at home on July 29, 2015. He was then illegally sentenced and imprisoned. The court never notified his family of the his court session, sentencing, or transfer to prison. His family was never allowed to visit him either. On January 4, 2016, his wife received a phone call from Jidong Prison saying that she should go to the prison to pick him up. She went but was told go to Tangshan Workers’ Hospital instead. She saw that Mr. Li was in a coma, and the prison claimed that he had a sudden cerebral hemorrhage. After surgery, Mr. Li regained consciousness and mobility in his left arm and leg. However, two days later, the prison and the hospital insisted he have another open-skull surgery to treat “excessive fluid in his brain.” His condition quickly worsened after the second surgery, and he passed away a day or two later. It is still impossible to find out what exactly he had suffered in prison.

Falun Gong practitioner Ms. Yan Guoyan was 46 years old. She was arrested on January 15, 2016. On the night of February 2, 2016, Yan Wanjiang (no relation to Ms. Yan), the “610 Office” brainwashing class director, called Ms. Yan’s family to ask for money and told them to pick her up. When her family saw her at the detention center, she was very weak due to the abuse. She was half lying on her back in bed and was only able to talk in a very weak voice. Her husband and her son carried her out and brought her back home that same day. On March 13, 2016, she passed away.

III. Crimes of Persecuting Falun Gong During Tenure in Guizhou Province

Zhao was Secretary of the Guizhou Provincial Committee from August 2010 to July 2015, during which time seven local Falun Gong practitioners, Zhao Mingzhi, Chen Lizhi, Huang Guixian, Song Meilan, Cheng Huazheng, Wu Zexiu, and Deng Zurong, were persecuted to death.

On September 28, 2010, Ms. Zhao Mingzhi, 69, and her husband, Mr. Lu Rangzhong were arrested. She was later illegally sentenced to two years in Guiyang Women’s Prison. While in the local detention center, Ms. Zhao had already begun to cough. After being taken to the prison, she was forcibly injected with unknown drugs, which worsened her condition. She became increasingly ill, coughing all night and unable to sleep. The guards forced her to write a statement to renounce her faith and pressed her fingerprints on it as a form of validation. When Ms. Zhao returned home after finishing the prison term, she was already persecuted to the point of being unable to eat and had difficulty walking. She passed away on December 16, 2012.

On August 19, 2012, Ms. Chen Lizhi, a 69-year-old woman from Anshun City was arrested and illegally sentenced to three years in prison for distributing Falun Gong informational materials. While serving time at Guizhou Provincial Women’s Prison, Ms. Chen was forced to do slave labor and attend brainwashing sessions. After suffering long-term persecution, her health deteriorated until her symptoms became so severe that the prison had to take her to the Public Security Hospital for treatment. However, the treatment was ineffective and she was sent home. By then, all her organs had failed. She was unable to take care of herself and she could hardly turn over or talk. She died on September 9, 2014.

Crimes of Persecuting Falun Gong During Tenure in Dezhou City, Shandong Province

Zhao was the Secretary of the Municipal Party Committee of Dezhou City in Shandong Province from December 1997 to January 2001. During his tenure, local Falun Gong practitioners Wang Shunqing, Liu Guixiang, and Chen Guibin were persecuted to death.

Mr. Chen Guibin and his family were repeatedly persecuted for practicing Falun Gong. On New Year’s Day of 2001, under the instructions of the Wucheng County Public Security Bureau, police arrested Mr. Chen and took him to the Security Office at a cotton weaving plant.

The head of the security office directly handcuffed Mr. Chen and instructed four people to stand at the four corners of the room to impose the “pushing” torture, in which they would toss Mr. Chen to each other back and forth. When the first person suddenly pushed Mr. Chen from behind, he fell immediately. Because his hands were cuffed, he couldn’t land on the ground with his hands. His head hit a safe that was in front of him. He was immediately paralyzed and couldn’t move. Later, it was discovered that he had suffered three fractures to his cervical vertebrae. The head of the security office continued to beat him even though he had already lost consciousness and wasn’t moving.

Police removed Mr. Chen’s shoes and socks and unbuttoned his shirt. Four people carried him outside and left him on the snow-covered frozen ground for more than an hour before they took him back into the detention room. They opened the windows of the detention room and then threw him onto a bare bed without bedding, trying to freeze him to death. The next night, he passed away due to the serious injuries he had suffered.

Mr. Chen’s wife, Ms. Zhou Haitao, was repeatedly persecuted in brainwashing classes after her husband was tortured to death, and she became mentally confused as a result. Her elderly parents-in-law were also subjected to illegal detention, forced brainwashing, fines, and other forms of persecution simply for practicing Falun Gong.

Chinese version available

Category: Perpetrators Involved in Persecution of Falun Gong