(Minghui.org) Twenty-four (24) Falun Gong practitioners in Jiamusi City, Heilongjiang Province, continued to be held in detention for their faith as of December 2021, as confirmed by Minghui.org.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a mind-body practice that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.
Falun Gong practitioners in Jiamusi City, Heilongjiang Province, who are still held in detentionFirst Row (left to right): Song Yuzhi, Li Guihua, Li Chunhuan, Xie Wei, Li SuxianSecond Row (left to right): Liu Yanwei, Zhao Huiling, Zhang Baochun, Liu Yanchang, Wen YingThird Row (left to right): Li Shaozhi, Wang Shubo, Liu Jinping, Liu Lijie
The 24 came from four districts, three county-level cities and four counties in Jiamusi area, including Jiao District, Xiangyang District, Dongfeng District and Qianjin District; Fujin City, Tongjiang City and Fuyuan City; and Huachuan County, Huanan County, Tangyuan County, and Jiansanjiang County. Due to strict censorship in China, the persecution often isn't reported in a timely manner, nor are many details readily available.
Among the 24 practitioners, 18 are females. The youngest is 41 years old, the oldest is 72. Eleven are in their 50s, and 8 are in their 60s.
Twenty-two were sentenced to prison terms ranging from 15 months to 10 years. The longest term was sentenced to a 68-year-old woman. Three of the practitioners are scheduled to be released in 2022.
Snapshots of their individual cases are provided below.
68-year-old Woman Sentenced to 10 Years
Ms. Song Yuzhi, 68, of Qianjing District, Jiamusi City, was arrested on October 9, 2017 by police from Yilan County. Her home was ransacked and she was later sentenced to 10 years in prison. She is currently detained at Heilongjiang Women's Prison.
Prior to the latest arrest, Ms. Song, who started practicing Falun Gong in 1998, has been repeatedly harassed, arrested, and detained for refusing to renounce her faith. Her family was also implicated and persecuted.
51-year-old Woman Sentenced to Eight Years
Ms. Zhao Huiling, 51, of Tangyuan County, Heilongjiang Province, started practicing Falun Gong in 2010 after she recovered from a serious accident by reciting the auspicious phrases “Falun Dafa is good, Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good.”
On the night of April 24, 2020, Ms. Zhao and another practitioner, Ms. Liu Fengyun, were putting up Falun Gong related materials on the street when the police discovered them and tailed them. Both were arrested the next morning and their homes were ransacked.
Ms. Liu was sent to the hospital when she became seriously ill and was later released on bail. Although Ms. Zhao was released on bail on April 28, she continued to be harassed constantly by the police.
In October 2020, Ms. Zhao’s case was submitted to Xiangyang District Procuratorate and sent to Xiangyang District Court a month later.
On December 29, 2020, Ms. Zhao was sentenced to eight years in prison and fined 10,000 yuan. She was taken to Heilongjiang Women’s Prison on July 8, 2021.
Ms. Wen Ying, 59, of Jiamusi City, started practicing Falun Gong in 1996. She was arrested in 2016 when she visited her son at Dalian City, Liaoning Province.
In 2017, Ms. Wen was sentenced to seven years by Kaifa District Court in Dalian City, and is currently imprisoned at Liaoning Women’s Prison.
Targeted for Speaking Out
Ms. Zhao Guiying, 69, was an accountant in Jiamusi City. She was arrested on March 18, 2019 for hanging up a banner containing information about Falun Gong. Her arrest was approved 15 days later.
The police submitted Ms. Zhao’s case to the Jiamusi City Procuratorate, which sent the case back due to the lack of evidence. The police forged additional evidence and submitted her case to a different procuratorate, which then indicted Ms. Zhao and submitted her case to the Xiangyang District Court on August 28.
In November 2019, Ms. Zhao was sentenced to five years in prison and sent to Heilongjiang Women’s Prison on September 28, 2020.
Ms. Li Guihua, 67, a retired worker of a lumber factory, was arrested on June 20, 2019 for talking to people about Falun Gong. Her home was ransacked and she was sent to Jiamusi Detention Center.
On December 28, 2019, she was sentenced to four years. She appealed against the verdict but was rejected. She was taken to Heilongjiang Women’s Prison on September 28, 2020.
Ms. Li Chunhuan, 60, of Jiamusi City, was arrested on November 8, 2019. The police ransacked her residence and confiscated her Falun Gong books and related materials. She was held at Jiamusi City Detention Center.
Ms. Li, who started practicing Falun Gong in May 1999, was tried and sentenced to four years by the Xiangyang District Court in December 2020. The authorities kept her family in the dark of the hearing. The family never received a copy of her verdict.
On May 20, 2021, Ms. Li was transferred to Heilongjiang Women’s Prison.
Ms. Xie Wei, a 59-year-old retired paper factory worker, was targeted for holding fast to her faith. In August 2017, Ms. Xie was arrested and sentenced to 1.5 years in prison. Less than two years after her arrest, the police targeted her again.
Ms. Xie was arrested on July 27, 2019, when the police broke into her home as soon as her family came back. Over 30 Falun Gong books, two cellphones, a laptop, a speaker, an mp3 player and other personal belongings were confiscated. The police refused to provide any information about the reason for the arrest and only told her family that she was with the Shunhe Police Station. Ms. Xie was dragged to the police car and taken to the police station for interrogation.
Ms. Xie was held at the Jiamusi Detention Center after her arrest. The police submitted her case to the Xiangyang District Procuratorate on November 8, 2019. Her family then hired a lawyer, who frequented the police station and procuratorate to demand her release, but to no avail.
In July 2021, her family learned that she has been sentenced to six years, after receiving a call from the Heilongjiang Women’s Prison that she has been taken there. The prison denied Ms. Xie’s family visitation and only allowed her family to make cash deposits for her.
Mr. Zhang Guohai, 50, a former employee of the Harbin Railroad Bureau, was arrested at home by officers from Zhongshan Police Station on July 27, 2019. Zhao ransacked his home and arrested his neighbor, 72-year-old Ms. Zhang Shulan, who also practices Falun Gong.
Both Mr. Zhang and Ms. Zhang were taken to the Qianjin District Domestic Security Office and interrogated. In the evening, they were transferred to the Jiamusi City Detention Center. The police quickly submitted their cases to the Xiangyang District Procuratorate, which then indicted them and forwarded their cases to the Xiangyang District Court.
Since Mr. Zhang’s arrest, the authorities have been denying him family visitation. Not until recently did the family learn that Mr. Zhang has been secretly sentenced to four years by the Xiangyang District Court and is scheduled to be released on July 27, 2023.
Mr. Zhang’s family also confirmed that he was taken to the training ward at Shuangyashan Prison on May 10, 2021 and transferred to the Tailai Prison on June 3. He is now held at the 16th ward of Tailai Prison and still denied family visitation.
Mr. Zhang took up Falun Gong in 1996. For upholding his belief in Falun Gong in the face of the persecution, Mr. Zhang has been arrested seven times. He was held in a brainwashing center once and in labor camps twice. While in detention, he was shocked with electric batons, beaten and forced to sit on a small stool without moving for long hours. His workplace fired him and the police extorted a large fine from his family. Unable to bear the persecution, his wife divorced him. Since 2008, he was forced into displacement to avoid the persecution and was put on the police’s wanted list in 2009.
Ms. Jing Yuhua, a 63-year-old retired heating company employee, was arrested outside of her apartment building by police officers on the lookout on August 31, 2020. The police took her keys and confiscated her Falun Gong books, computer, and other personal belongings.
The police interrogated her at the local police station, before taking her to the Jiamusi City Detention Center. The police quickly submitted Ms. Jing’s case to the Xiangyang District Procuratorate, which soon indicted her and moved her case to the Xiangyang District Court.
Ms. Jing appeared in court in late December 2020. The judge sentenced Ms. Jing to 3.5 years a few days later.
Ms. Jing took up Falun Gong in August 1995. After the communist regime launched the persecution, Ms. Jing was arrested multiple times for upholding her faith. She was given three years of forced labor and subjected to various torture methods in custody, including beating, force feeding, injection of unknown drugs, and being handcuffed to a ring on the floor. To avoid further persecution, she was forced to live away from home. The police instead harassed her family and extorted a large sum of money from her and her family.
Ms. Liu Chunjing, 60, was arrested on July 3, 2019 for distributing information about Falun Gong. Her home was ransacked.
The Huanan County Procuratorate approved Ms. Liu’s arrest on July 17, 2019 and transferred her case to the Xiangyang District Procuratorate on October 14, 2019. She was indicted in April 2020 and tried by the Xiangyang District Court on December 8, 2020. She was sentenced to 4 years in mid-January 2021 and was imprisoned at Heilongjiang Women's Prison since August 2021.
This was not the first time that Ms. Liu was arrested. She was arrested in 2005 and given two years at the Xigemu Forced labor Camp. Only one year after she returned home, she was arrested again on August 5, 2008 for distributing Falun Gong flyers. She was sentenced to four years by the Huanan County Court on December 26, 2009 and taken to the Heilongjiang Province Women’s Prison.
Mr. Duan Yifa, 71, was arrested at home on July 26, 2019. They ransacked his apartment and confiscated his Falun Gong books, a cellphone, ID cards, and household registration book. The officers did not show their IDs or search warrant, and Mr. Duan’s family did not receive a detention notice or list of confiscated items.
When Mr. Duan’s family called the Xiangyang District Court in late 2020 to ask about his trial date, the judge told them that a hearing had been held and he was in the process of determining his verdict. The family later learned that Mr. Duan has been sentenced to five years.
On May 11, 2021, Mr. Duan’s wife received a call from Tailai Prison informing her that Mr. Duan has been transferred to the prison.
Mr. Duan started to practice Falun Gong in June 1998. After the Chinese Communist Party launched the persecution against Falun Gong in July 1999, he was sentenced to five years in 2002 and was released home on January 9, 2007.
Schoolteacher Sentenced to Four Years in Prison
Mr. Liu Yanchang, 57, is a former teacher at the Linjiang Town High School in Heilongjiang Province. On August 1, 2019, Mr. Liu was arrested and his home was ransacked. He was sentenced to four years in prison and is currently imprisoned at Tailai Prison.
Prior to the latest arrest, Mr. Liu was incarcerated in 2007 for distributing Falun Gong informational materials in Donghong Village, Tongjiang City.
Ms. Wang Shubo, 56, was sentenced to four years on September 24, 2021. She appealed the verdict, but the appeal was recently rejected by the Jiamusi City Intermediate Court.
Ms. Wang was arrested at her home on February 20, 2021 after the police barged in and ransacked the rented apartment. She was taken to the police station and later transferred to Jiamusi City Detention Center, where she is still detained at the time of writing.
Ms. Wang, originally from Yichun City of the same province, started practicing Falun Gong in 1997 and benefited from it—her heart disease was cured. After the persecution began in 1999, she was arrested for going to Beijing to appeal for Falun Gong and detained for two months. She was released after the police extorted 7,000 yuan from her family.
Husband and Wife Sentenced
Ms. Liu Yanwei, 50, and her husband, Mr. Zhang Baochun, 47, started practicing Falun Gong in 2004.
On August 1, 2019, Mr. Zhang was arrested at home and the house was ransacked. Two months later on October 1, Ms. Liu was also arrested.
Mr. Zhang was sentenced to 4.5 years on January 10, 2020 and sent to Tailai Prison, while Ms. Liu was sentenced to 5 years after a court hearing on December 17, 2020. She requested to file an appeal, but it is unclear whether she has been allowed to.
In 2021, Ms. Liu was transferred to Heilongjiang Women’s Prison.
Police Arrested 44-year-old Man After Arresting His Wife a Few Days Earlier
Mr. Qiu Baicheng, 44, was arrested in his store at noon on September 18, 2020. His car was impounded. His wife Ms. Ding Shuyan was arrested earlier. Both were detained at Jiamusi Detention Center.
In 2021, their case was submitted to the Xiangyang District Court. Mr. Qiu was sentenced to three years and continued to be held at Jiamusi Detention Center; Ms. Ding was sentenced to three years on probation and was released.
Arrested at Gatherings
Sentenced to 3.5 Years for Studying Falun Gong Books
On January 4, 2022, Xiangyang District Court informed the family of Ms. Liu Jinping, 41, that she has been sentenced to 3.5 years and fined 15,000 yuan.
Ms. Liu was arrested at her home on May 14, 2021 while studying Falun Gong’s teachings with four other practitioners, including her mother. Her home was ransacked and her Falun Gong books, printer, and a photo of Falun Gong’s founder were confiscated. She was beaten and interrogated by the police and later taken to the Jiamusi City Detention Center. The three other practitioners were released the same day.
In August 2021, Ms. Liu’s case was submitted to Xiangyang District Court.
A hearing was held on December 31, 2021 and Ms. Liu was sentenced on January 4, 2022.
Ms. Liu Lijie, 52-year-old former teacher in Jiamusi City, was once persecuted for exposing police brutality in 2014.
Ms. Liu was followed by the police when she went to 92-year-old Ms. Dong Shuxian’s home for a gathering on October 14, 2020. The police broke in at around 3 p.m. and arrested the nine Falun Gong practitioners at the gathering, including Ms. Dong, Ms. Liu, her mother Ms. Yu Xiulan, 79, Ms. Shan Yuqin, 74, Ms. Cai Rong, Ms. Zhang Shuhua, Ms. Cui Shengyun, Ms. Li Xiurong and Ms. Qin Yuzhen, the last five of whom were all in their 50s or 60s. Ms. Liu’s husband, Mr. Wang Xu, who does not practice Falun Gong and gave her a ride there, was also arrested. Although Ms. Liu was also released on bail soon after she failed the physical examination, the police constantly harassed her over the phone.
The police submitted Ms. Liu’s case to the Xiangyang District Procuratorate in early September 2021. The prosecutor then issued a six-month house arrest of her.
The Xiangyang District Court initially scheduled a hearing for September 24, but later postponed it to September 28, which was again canceled. In the process, judge Song Tao repeatedly blocked Ms. Liu’s defender from representing her in court.
When Ms. Liu’s professional lawyer told the court that he had a schedule conflict when the judge booked another hearing for October 12, the judge rejected the lawyer’s application to reschedule the session and appointed a lawyer to represent Ms. Liu.
On November 4, the police chief informed Ms. Liu and her family that Song now admitted the hearing on October 12 was invalid, as Ms. Liu’s lawyer wasn’t present. He said he’d arranged another hearing for November 16 and she could ask her lawyer to attend.
After discussing the matter with Ms. Liu, the lawyer agreed that he not attend the hearing, as Song had violated legal procedures all along and there wasn’t much point for him to attend the rescheduled session. Instead, he would seek justice for her through other channels.
At the November 16 hearing, Ms. Liu remained silent to protest the persecution. Song threatened to give her a longer term if she didn’t cooperate.
A day later, Song handed down a 3.5-year prison sentence and fined Ms. Liu 15,000 yuan.
Ms. Liu appealed the verdict but the Jiamusi Intermediate Court upheld it.
Two Falun Gong Practitioners Facing Indictment for Their Faith
Ms. Zuo Chenghua, 60, Ms. Tu Xiuxia, 59, and another practitioner were arrested by officers from the Shengli Farm Police Station on August 8, 2021, for informing others about the persecution of Falun Gong. Their cases were passed to Jiansanjiang police department as the officers at Shengli Farm Police Station had never handled Falun Gong cases before.
The practitioners’ homes were ransacked and they were detained for 15 days at Tongjiang Detention Center.
On August 24, 2021, the third practitioner was released home while Ms. Zuo and Ms. Tu were sent to Huanan County Detention Center before being transferred to Jiamusi Detention Center. Their arrests were approved on September 3, and their cases were later submitted to the Jiansanjiang Court.
The two practitioners are still detained in Jiamusi Detention Center and are currently facing indictment.
To Be Released in 2022
After nearly nine months of detention, three Jiamusi City, Heilongjiang Province residents were sentenced to prison for their faith in Falun Gong.
Ms. Li Suxian, a 72-year-old retiree from a store, Ms. Xu Yanping, a 61-year-old retired plastic factory worker, and Ms. Zuo Ying, 57, were arrested on July 1, 2020 after being reported for putting up information about Falun Gong in a village. The police ransacked their homes and confiscated their Falun Gong books and computers.
Ms. Xu and Ms. Zuo were detained at Jiamusi Detention Center while Ms. Li was released on bail after she was denied admission due to high blood pressure. The police put her under house arrest on August 7.
The three practitioners were indicted by the Xiangyang District Procuratorate on November 12, 2020. The lawyers of Ms. Xu and Ms. Li were informed on December 20 that their hearing will be held on December 31, 2020 but was later postponed it to March 18, 2021.
Ms. Li was sentenced to two years and three months, Ms. Xu to one year and ten months, and Ms. Zuo to one year and eight months. They were also fined 5,000 yuan each. The practitioners appealed against the verdict.
The authorities attempted to detain Ms. Li after the trial, but she was denied admission again by the Jiamusi Detention Center due to her condition.
The Jiamusi City Intermediate Court informed the three practitioners in late July 2021 of the decision to uphold their original verdicts.
On August 6, 2021, Ms. Li was taken back into custody at the Huanan Detention Center. Ms. Xu and Ms. Zuo, who had been detained at the Jiamusi City Detention Center since their arrests, were transferred to the Heilongjiang Women’s Prison on August 11.
Ms. Li's family received a letter from Heilongjiang Women’s Prison on December 27, 2021 informing them that Ms. Li has been transferred to the prison.
Ms. Xu and Ms. Zuo are due to be released home in 2022.
Mr. Li Shaozhi, 59, a former worker at Jiamusi City Coal Mining Machinery plant, was arrested on Sep 22, 2017. His home was ransacked and he was sentenced to five years on May 10, 2019. He was sent to Changchun Prison.
Prior to his latest imprisonment, Mr. Li, who started practicing Falun Gong in August 1998, served another five years in prison between 2006 and 2011, also for practicing Falun Gong.
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