(Minghui.org) The 20th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) opens on October 16. In the two months leading up to the Congress, the CCP has intensified its harassment of Falun Gong practitioners in an attempt to ensure “stability” and to prevent them from appealing for their right to freedom of belief. The perpetrators include police officers, officials from the Political and Legal Affairs Committee (PLAC) and other government agencies, as well as neighborhood committees. 

The harassers come to the targeted practitioners’ homes uninvited, attempting to take practitioners’ pictures, videos, and fingerprints. Despite the authorities’ threats and pressure to renounce their faith, the practitioners have remained calm and maintain the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance in dealing with the perpetrators. Some of the practitioners’ family members have also stood with practitioners to oppose the persecution. Several police officers admitted that they did not want to harass practitioners but had to follow their higher-ups’ orders to do so. 

Below are several recent cases of harassment of Falun Gong practitioners. 

Cang County, Hebei Province

Ms. Zhang Xiuhua is a resident of Daguanting Town, Cang County, Hebei Province. Two officers from the Daguanting Police Station showed up at her home at 11 a.m. on September 23, when she and her daughter were tidying up the yard. One officer asked, “Are you Zhang Xiuhua? We are here to check on you.” Before she replied, the other officer turned on his video camera and started recording. 

Both Ms. Zhang and her daughter tried to stop them. 

“This is our job,” one officer said. “You can videotape us too. You can even sue us.”

Ms. Zhang asked to see their IDs but the police refused. They asked her to “cooperate with their work.”

“No, I cannot,” Ms. Zhang replied. “You did not tell me what you need and just showed up and started videotaping. It won’t work since I have my freedom.”

“All right then. We will leave now,” one officer said, “but you won’t be able to get away since you are on our list.”

A similar incident happened to Ms. Meng Xianghong, another practitioner in Daguanting Town. Three officers from the Daguanting Police Station recently went to her workplace.

“You are still on our list,” one of the officers said. “We need to know if you still practice Falun Gong. If you no longer do, we will remove you from the list.”

“You can remove my name – after all, whether I practice Falun Gong or not is my personal freedom,” Ms. Meng said. She explained to the officers that the Chinese Constitution guarantees freedom of belief, but that the police have kept harassing her and her family from time to time over the years. She continued, “One time, even my husband, not a practitioner, was detained with me in a brainwashing center, leaving our preschool-aged child unattended at home. I asked my husband to go home to take care of our child, but the guards didn’t allow him to go.” 

One officer said, “How about we go somewhere and talk about this?” Ms. Meng knew he probably didn’t want her coworkers to witness this persecution. She said, “No, I will not go anywhere else since I have not done anything wrong.” 

But the officers nonetheless videotaped her and took her picture before leaving. 

Several practitioners in Panghe Village, Jiuzhou Town, Cang County were also harassed, including Wang Fengjie, Xu Lisen, Pang Xinran, and Xu Kai. Upon arrival at the practitioners’ homes, the officers immediately took pictures. When the practitioners tried to stop them, the officers said that they did not have a choice. “Higher officials ordered us to do this. They ordered us to take pictures to show that we have been here to visit you,” one officer said. 

A practitioner invited the officers to come in for a chat. During their conversation, a police officer said he knew that the CCP was rotten to the core. 

Liaocheng City, Shandong Province

Twelve Falun Gong practitioners in the Chiping District of Liaocheng City, Shandong Province were arrested by agents from the Chiping District Domestic Security Bureau and the Zhenxing Police Station on August 12, 2022. Seven of these practitioners were released two days later, while the remaining five were detained for 20 days before being released under “residential surveillance” (a form of house arrest). 

Wang Changsong and Yan Ming from the Chiping District Domestic Security Bureau called the five practitioners again on October 7, summoning them to the Zhenxing Police Station. The practitioners used this opportunity to explain what Falun Gong is all about. They refused to answer any questions during the interrogation. In the end, all five practitioners returned home safely. 

Yingkou City, Liaoning Province

Police officers and neighborhood committee members in Yingkou City, Liaoning Province, recently harassed local Falun Gong practitioners using the excuse of ensuring stability for the CCP’s 20th National Congress. With cameras in hand or hanging from their necks, the police took pictures of the targeted practitioners as soon as they arrived at their homes.

Several practitioners told them that doing so was a severe violation of citizens’ rights and turned the table by taking pictures of the officers. 

“I know you took pictures probably because higher officials asked you to do so. But it is still wrong,” said one practitioner. “So I will post your pictures on the internet for the whole world to see, so everyone will know that you have participated in the persecution.” The police officers then stopped and the practitioner took the opportunity to debunk the CCP’s defamatory propaganda against Falun Gong. 

Some officers not only took pictures of practitioners, but also demanded their signatures. The practitioners explained to them this was wrong and told them that practitioners are innocent people who follow the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance to be good citizens. However, the officers kept telling them not to go out during the CCP’s 20th National Congress. Several officers even made long-distance phone calls to harass practitioners’ family members who lived out of town. 

Police officers involved in the harassment were from the Jianfeng Police Station (in Zhanqian District), the Wutaizi Police Station (in Xishi District), and the Xishi District Domestic Security Bureau. 

Yanshan County, Hebei Province

Since July 20 this year, authorities in Yanshan County have harassed local practitioners at least 40 times. They did so through the Yanshan Domestic Security Bureau and local police stations. 

Some officers called practitioners and asked if they still practiced Falun Gong. Some called practitioners’ family members asking for practitioners’ phone numbers and photographs. Some went to practitioners’ homes to take their pictures and ask if they still practiced Falun Gong. Some even barged into practitioners’ homes without permission and took random pictures. Officers also ordered practitioners to sign paperwork to renounce their belief, threatening to jeopardize their children’s or grandchildren’s education or jobs if they “refused to cooperate.” 

Fenxi County, Shanxi Province

In advance of the CCP’s 20th National Congress, police and neighborhood committee members in Fenxi County have recently harassed over ten Falun Gong practitioners. 

On September 28, Hao Lili from the Funan Neighborhood Committee and two officers from the Yong’an Town Police Station went to practitioner Ms. Li Yuanlan’s home. Since Ms. Li was not at home, they went to her neighbor’s home asking for her whereabouts. Another practitioner happened to be visiting the neighbor, so they attempted to take a picture of the practitioner. They left when the practitioner told them that doing so was a violation of her personal rights. 

Dashiqiao City, Liaoning Province

Since early October 2022, many Falun Gong practitioners in Dashiqiao City, Liaoning Province, have been harassed prior to the CCP’s 20th National Congress. 

When police officers arrived at practitioners’ home with neighborhood committee members, some practitioners refused to let them in, telling them that such harassment was illegal. Some officers took pictures of the practitioners outside the door before leaving. 

Several practitioners tried to clarify the truth to the perpetrators, but the police refused to listen and just left. Some officers called practitioners’ family members, asking for pictures of the practitioners taken at home. One officer said, “Since the CCP’s National Congress is approaching, we have received orders to get a picture of every practitioner to prove that they were at home.” 

Harbin City, Heilongjiang Province

Guo, an officer from the Haxi Police Station in Harbin City, Heilongjiang Province, recently called practitioner Ms. Lin Xuejun, telling her of the importance of “ensuring stability” as the 20th National Congress was fast approaching.

“The National Congress has nothing to do with Falun Gong practitioners. By following the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, practitioners are the best people, a stabilizing influence on society,” explained Ms. Lin. “If the persecution had not happened, our society would have been much better than what it is now.”

The CCP’s persecution of Falun Gong has lasted 23 years since its inception in July 1999. In recent years, the CCP has intensified the suppression through various campaigns. And now the CCP’s 20th National Congress has become another excuse for the authorities to harass practitioners. 

Our society needs more good people and it is wrong for the CCP to suppress innocent Falun Gong practitioners simply because they want to be better citizens. Helping practitioners to secure their right to freedom of belief and rejecting the CCP will not only help practitioners, but also all people and future generations.