(Minghui.org) Ten Changsha City, Hunan Province residents have been detained for nearly a year for their faith in Falun Gong, a mind-body practice that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.

A person familiar with the case revealed to some practitioners’ families that Mei Guodong, deputy secretary of the local Political and Legal Affairs Committee, an extrajudicial agency tasked with overseeing the persecution, has already determined their prison terms and the Liuyang Court that is handling the practitioners’ case would only go through a formality in the court proceedings.

The practitioners, including Mr. Li Zhigang, Mr. Chen Yang, Ms. Cao Zhimin, Ms. Zhang Furong, Ms. Liu Yanping, Ms. Yu Hui, Ms. Xia Jingze, Mr. Meng Kai, Ms. Xu Lihua, and Ms. Wen Jing, were arrested late at night on October 27 and 28, 2020 by hundreds of officers and residential committee staff members. The police confiscated the practitioners’ Falun Gong books, computers, and printers. They revealed that they had been monitoring the practitioners’ phone calls and online activities for a long time and they were following orders from above to arrest them. 

The practitioners have since been detained at two local detention centers, including the Changsha City No. 1, No. 2 and No. 4 Detention Centers. 

After the practitioners’ arrests were approved on December 5, 2020, their lawyers went to the Liuyang Police Department and the Liuyang Procuratorate to inquire about their case, but no one would meet with them. The detention centers also blocked the lawyers from visiting the practitioners. The lawyers then tried to file complaints against the agencies handling the case, but to no avail. 

At the same time, several lawyers were pressured by their law firms or local justice bureaus to withdraw from the case. 

The Liuyang Procuratorate returned the case to the police for insufficient evidence in March 2021 and the police submitted it again in April.

Some of the practitioners’ elderly parents, in their 70s and 80s, took hours-long bus trips to visit the police department, procuratorate and court and to seek justice for their children, but to no avail. Upon learning that one parent has filed a complaint against the authorities, a person who identified himself as a court staff member went to the parent’s home and threatened them to withdraw the complaint. 

Most of the practitioners’ family members have been harassed by the local police in the past year, leaving them in deep distress. One woman passed away after the heavy blow of her daughter’s arrest.

Related reports:

15 Hunan Residents Face Predetermined Prison Sentences for Practicing Falun Gong

Changsha, Hunan Province: 15 Face Trial, a 16th Has Been Imprisoned, All for Their Shared Faith

Hunan Police Refuse to Meet with Falun Gong Practitioners’ Lawyers

Changsha City, Hunan Province: 17 Falun Gong Practitioners and One Family Member Arrested, Two Harassed for Their Faith

Updates on Falun Gong Practitioners Targeted in Changsha City, Hunan Province Group Arrest

13 Hunan Residents Detained Incommunicado for Two Months and Counting

Changsha City, Hunan Province: Fourteen Arrested and One Harassed for Their Faith

Chinese version available

Category: Accounts of Persecution