(Minghui.org) A total of 1,082 incidents of Falun Gong practitioners being arrested or harassed for their faith were reported in July and August 2023.

Among the 691 arrest cases, 2 took place in 2022, 184 in the first half of 2023, 355 in July 2023, 138 in August 2023, and 12 in other months in 2023. For the 391 harassment cases, 3 were in 2022, 138 in the first half of 2023, 157 in July 2023 and 91 in August 2023. It is not known which month one harassment case took place in 2023. It is not known which month or year another harassment case took place.

Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) since 1999. Countless practitioners have been harassed, arrested, sentenced, or tortured for upholding their faith during the past 24 years of persecution. But due to strict information censorship in China, the persecution cases can’t always be reported in a timely manner, nor is all the information readily available.

The newly-reported cases took place in 24 provinces and 4 centrally-controlled municipalities (Beijing, Chongqing, Shanghai, and Tianjin). Jilin reported the most combined cases (192) of arrest and harassment incidents, followed by 141 in Shandong, 124 in Sichuan, and 116 in Hebei. Eighteen regions had double-digit cases between 11 and 93. Another six regions had single-digit cases between 1 and 7.

A total of 180 targeted practitioners, including 129 of the arrested and 51 of the harassed, were 60 or older at the time of their arrests or harassment, with 66 in their 60s, 80 in their 70s, and 34 in their 80s.

Group Arrests

Qinhuangdao City, Hebei Province: Practitioners Targeted Ahead of Communist Regime’s Summer Summit

Ms. Liang Jun, Ms. Hong Yanrong, and Ms. Yu Shuyun, all from Qinhuangdao City, Hebei Province, accompanied another local practitioner, 78-year-old Ms. Ni Guiyun, to the Beidaihe District Police Department on June 26, 2023, to submit letters and information urging the police not to prosecute Ms. Ni for her faith.

Ms. Liang, Ms. Hong, and Ms. Yu were harassed shortly after they returned home. Ms. Liang and Ms. Hong were arrested on July 14, 2023, and remain in detention as of today. Ms. Yu avoided being arrested because she was not home when the police came. A fifth practitioner, Ms. Gong Junmei, was arrested while visiting Ms. Liang when the police were still searching Ms. Liang’s home. Ms. Gong was released that evening due to her poor health.

According to insiders, the authorities targeted Ms. Liang, Ms. Hong, and Ms. Yu because they feared that Falun Gong practitioners were coordinating to tell people about the persecution ahead of the annual Beidaihe Meeting (also known as the communist regime’s summer summit) to be held in the Beidaihe District in early August. It is common practice for the regime to intensify the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners before major political meetings, such as this summer’s summit or around anniversaries related to Falun Gong.

Qujing City, Yunnan Province: Ten Arrested in Two Days

Ten residents of Qujing City, Yunnan Province, were arrested on July 10 and 11, 2023, for their faith, Falun Gong.

According to insiders, the group arrest was jointly conducted by Qujing police and their counterparts in nearby Kunming, the capital of Yunnan Province. The police had been monitoring the practitioners since March 2023 during the communist regime’s “two sessions.”

“Two sessions” refer to the annual plenary sessions of the National People’s Congress (NPC) and of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) held in March every year. The regime usually intensifies the persecution of Falun Gong around the CCP’s “sensitive dates,” including important political meetings and anniversaries related to Falun Gong.

One officer even threatened a practitioner during her arrest, saying, “You guys’ Internet bandwidth usage had exceeded 5 Gigabytes. Wait and see how I’m going to kill you all!”

One of the arrested practitioners, Ms. Huang Xilan, recalled what happened when she went through security checks at a train station in early June 2023. A security officer told his coworkers when it was her turn, “Isn’t this woman in black the same as the one in our database?” Ms. Huang realized after she was arrested a month later that the security agent must have been comparing her with the photo of her in their database. They didn’t arrest her at the train station but apparently kept monitoring her afterward.

Weifang City, Shandong Province: 13 Arrested in One Day, One Sentenced in a Month

At least 13 Falun Gong practitioners in Zhucheng City, Shandong Province were arrested for their faith on July 24, 2023. One of them was sentenced to 14 months in just one month.

The 13 practitioners are Ms. Sun Yuhua, Ms. Wang Wenqin, Mr. Sun Li, Mr. Wang Xuebin, Ms. Liu Shuhua, Ms. Lin Jinxiu, Mr. Zang Yunchun, Ms. Chen Xuefen, Ms. Ren Chengju, Ms. Cao Rongying, Ms. Cao Ying, Ms. Wang Xianhua, and Ms. Wang Jinxiu.

Most of the practitioners also had their homes ransacked. In Ms. Liu’s home, her bedding was thrown on the floor and many of her valuables, including cash, gold jewelry, and the deed to her house were taken.

The practitioners were held in the Zhujie Brainwashing Center and ordered to renounce Falun Gong. Those who remained firm in upholding their faith have been transferred to the Weifang Detention Center on August 5, including Ms. Liu, Ms. Lin, and Ms. Wang Wenqin.

It was revealed by an insider that Ms. Chen was taken to the Weifang City Detention Center on the day of the arrest and handed a 14-month term. But details about her sentencing aren’t clear.

Police Brutality

Police Beat Two Eldery Women and Attempt to Fabricate Evidence Against Them

Two women in Qinglong County, Hebei Province, were beaten by police, and their health quickly declined. Both are now being held at the Qinhuangdao City Police Hospital (Qinhuangdao oversees Qinglong County).

Ms. Meng Zhaohong and Ms. Yuan Xiuhua, both 68, were arrested at a local fair on May 9, 2023, after being reported for talking to people about the persecution of Falun Gong.

The police took them to a dark, damp basement in the Qinhuangdao City Police Department and interrogated them. An officer slapped Ms. Meng in the face more than 20 times. Her neck and ear still hurt when her lawyer visited her. The officer didn’t wear his police uniform or a police badge.

The police ordered Ms. Meng to hold a bag containing Falun Gong books and have her photo taken. She refused to give them a chance to fabricate evidence against her.

Ms. Yuan was also tortured during interrogation.

The police later took the women to the Qinhuangdao City Police Hospital for physical exams. Ms. Meng was found to have tuberculosis and coronary artery sclerosis. Ms. Yuan had a systolic blood pressure reading of more than 200 mmHg (a healthy range is no more than 120).

According to Ms. Meng’s daughter, Ms. Ding Yue, a U.S. resident, Ms. Meng stood trial in the Funing District Court in Qinhuangdao on August 22, 2023. Her lawyer entered a not guilty plea for her. He argued that no law in China has ever criminalized Falun Gong, and pointed out that the prosecutor failed to present any evidence to show how Ms. Meng’s practicing Falun Gong caused any damage to any individual or to society at large.

Despite the lack of legal basis and evidence, the prosecutor still recommended a prison sentence of 4-5 years for Ms. Meng. The judge did not announce the verdict at the end of the hearing.

Guangdong Woman Has Finger Slit and is Sexually Abused After Being Arrested for Her Faith

Ms. Yu Mei, of Zhanjiang City, Guangdong Province, had her finger slit and she was sexually abused after she was arrested for exposing the persecution of Falun Gong.

Ms. Yu Mei

Ms. Yu, 56, and another Falun Gong practitioner, Ms. Wu Shaochuan, were seized on May 14, 2023 after a college student reported them for talking to her about the persecution. They were searched by the police. Ms. Yu struggled when the police tried to photograph her and collect her fingerprints. Several large, muscular officers then held her down and slit one of her fingers with a sharp blade. They then smeared her blood on their interrogation records.

The police took Ms. Yu and Ms. Wu to the Chikan District Hospital the next day around 6 p.m. for physical examinations. Ms. Yu refused to have her blood pressure measured and blood drawn. Two officers held her shoulders tight, and a third officer pulled her arm so the nurse could draw her blood.

Next, she was given an electrocardiogram. The police carried her to the exam table and ripped open her shirt and skirt for the male doctors to examine her against her will. After that, two officers forcibly took her to have an X-ray.

Ms. Yu and Ms. Wu were taken straight to the Zhanjiang City Lockup after the physical examinations. A guard at the lockup ordered Ms. Yu to squat upon arrival. She refused and two strong men kicked the backs of her knees, forcing her to kneel down. She couldn’t breathe and struggled with all her might. When the guard raised his hand to punch her, she yelled, “The guard is beating people!” Since many inmates were watching, the guard gave up his attempt to beat her.

Several guards dragged Ms. Yu to a locker room and ordered her to change into the inmate’s uniform. She refused, and two guards immediately stripped her to her underwear. They then cuffed her hands behind her back. A female guard pulled Ms. Yu’s underwear loose and told the male guards to look inside her underwear.

Woman Tortured While Being Detained for Her Faith

Ms. Wang Yueqin, a Shijiazhuang City, Hebei Province, resident around 53, was arrested on May 30, 2023, and was held at the police station for 48 hours, twice the length legally permissible to hold a suspect for interrogation. The police, however, wrote 24 hours on the notice of release in order to be legally compliant. They also established a criminal case against her.

Ms. Wang filed a request to have her case dismissed, but she was told that the higher-ups have decided to pursue prosecution against her for upholding her faith. She filed complaints against the police but to no avail.

Below is Ms. Wang’s account of what happened after her arrest.

“I was walking on the street on May 30, 2023, when two men stopped me and searched my bag. After finding three Falun Gong brochures in my bag, they reported me to the Weiming Street Police Station, which soon dispatched officers to arrest me.

“The police didn’t give me a chance to talk and beat me up as soon as they took me to their police station. They ripped off my mask and knocked off my hat. They twisted one of my hands behind my back to be cuffed together with my other hand which was pulled over my shoulder.

Torture illustration: Hands cuffed behind the back

“I felt extremely uncomfortable with the handcuffs on and sat in a corner. Before I knew it, a hand suddenly grabbed my hair and dragged me outside all the way to an interrogation room. I was then held down on a metal chair.

“The person who dragged me there yelled, ‘Get some ropes and tie her hair to the chair and the handcuffs!’ Several other officers came and did what he said. Big chunks of my hair were yanked out and my scalp hurt like crazy.

“I soon realized that the man who dragged me simply attempted to take my picture but resorted to such extreme measures to make me submit to his request. He bragged that he had been fighting Falun Gong for more than two decades and accumulated very rich experiences. He warned me that he’d not be lenient when it came to dealing with Falun Gong practitioners like me. He never showed his ID or revealed his name during the interrogation session.

“After this incident, I felt tightness in my chest and had trouble eating or drinking. I also went on a hunger strike in protest and soon developed some dangerous health symptoms. But the police didn’t release me on bail until June 1, 2023.”

Repeatedly Persecuted

Chongqing Woman Arrested Again After Being Incarcerated for 11 Years

Ms. Zhang Hua, 61, from Tongnan District, Chongqing, was arrested on August 8, 2023, for practicing her faith, Falun Gong.

This is not the first time that Ms. Zhang Hua, a former employee of the Tongnan County Agricultural Machinery Company, has been targeted for her faith. She previously served one year of forced labor between 2000 and 2001 and ten years in prison between 2005 and 2015. She was subjected to barbaric torture while in custody. Her mother passed away before she was released from prison, and Ms. Zhang was not allowed to see her before she died.

While she served a one-year term at the Maojiashan Women’s Forced Labor Camp in 2000, the inmates monitored her around the clock. They often tied her up, held her on the ground and beat her. They taped her mouth shut or stuffed her mouth with towels after they used them to wash their feet. She was also forced to squat or stand for long hours without moving. The inmates also handcuffed her hands behind her back for hours. She held multiple hunger strikes and was repeatedly force-fed. Because she refused to cooperate with the brainwashing sessions, her term was extended by two months.

Following another arrest in 2005, she held hunger strikes to protest, only to be force-fed again. The detention center doctor injected her with unknown drugs. Her eyes began to water, and swell, and they hurt. They also became sensitive to light. Her legs became numb and she felt nauseous. Her weight quickly dropped from 143 lbs (65 kg) to 55 lbs (25 kg). Her condition became critical after 69 days of being on a hunger strike. Fearing that she might die in the detention center, the authorities released her.

Ms. Zhang went into hiding upon returning home, only to be arrested months later and sentenced to ten years in prison. She became bald due to the torture in prison.

Once Incarcerated for 7.5 Years, Former Teacher Arrested Again

Mr. Wang Zexuan from Chishui City, Guizhou Province, was arrested on August 9, 2023 for telling people about the persecution of Falun Gong. She is currently held in the Zunyi City No. 3 Detention Center.

Mr. Wang worked as a teacher and also opened a photography studio and a restaurant. He began practicing Falun Gong in 1997. He credits the practice for helping him quit many bad habits, including smoking, drinking and gambling.

Two months after the persecution started in July 1999, he was arrested and detained for more than ten days. He was arrested again in early May 2000 and detained. For the next two decades, he faced frequent harassment and arrests. He served two labor camp terms and a prison term totaling 7.5 years.

While serving a three-year term at the Guizhou Province Men’s Forced Labor Camp in 2006, Mr. Wang was beaten for not renouncing Falun Gong. The guards taped his mouth shut to prevent him from shouting. When they became exhausted from beating him, they grabbed a kettle of boiling water and emptied it over Mr. Wang. He was severely burned and was hospitalized for two months.

Persecution of Elderly Practitioners

76-Year-Old Yunnan Woman Placed Under House Arrest for Telling a Man “Falun Dafa Is Good”

Ms. An Shunlian, a 76-year-old resident in Kunming City, Yunnan Province, was arrested outside of a local hospital on August 10, 2023, after being reported by a young man with leg problems for telling him the health benefits of Falun Gong.

The police soon arrived and arrested Ms. An. She urged them to stop participating in the persecution of Falun Gong. They refused to listen and cursed her instead.

After the local detention center declined to admit Ms. An given her advanced age, the police released her the next day and placed her under house arrest. They also demanded her 86-year-old husband, who practices Falun Gong as well, to report to them along with her the following Monday (August 14).

85-year-old Bedridden Woman Repeatedly Harassed

Ms. Liao Yuying, 85, of Maoming City, Guangdong Province, has been struggling with high blood pressure and other symptoms, but the authorities have never stopped harassing her.

During the latest harassment on August 15, 2023, the police took Ms. Liao to the hospital and then a detention center in an ambulance. Only after the detention center refused to admit her due to her poor health did the police take her home, but they threatened to soon return.

Ms. Liao’s ordeal started with an arrest on April 21, 2022. Although she was released the same day, she has been harassed frequently ever since. The police changed the lock on her front door in June 2022 and kept a key for themselves. To avoid further persecution, Ms. Liao lived away from home but had to return a month later due to her declining health and systemic pain.

Ms. Liao was bedridden when the police came to harass her again on January 20, 2023, two days before the Chinese New Year. They attempted to carry her away but then relented due to the severity of her condition.

In March 2023, several officers returned and attempted to take her to the court to sign her case document. She didn’t understand what was happening and burst into tears. Her neighbors heard her cries and came to check on her. Not wanting her neighbors to see what they were up to, the police quickly left.

The police knocked on Ms. Liao’s door again on April 20. She refused to let them in. The next morning, after Ms. Liao went out, the police talked to her neighbors and asked them about her. The police said they were just visiting her and brought her some bananas. They promised that they wouldn’t arrest her this time.

Moments after Ms. Liao returned home, the police came again and asked her to go to the court to sign her case document. She said that she would not go.

As the pressure mounted, Ms. Liao suffered severe pain in her legs and couldn’t get out of bed.

On April 25, several members of the Maonan District Procuratorate forced Ms. Liao’s son to take them to her home. They announced that she was guilty of possessing Falun Gong books. In addition to forcing her son to sign her case document on her behalf, they also ordered him to grab her hand and press her fingerprint on the document. The prosecutor then said that she was allowed to serve time at home. Because neither Ms. Liao nor her son knew about legal procedures and the prosecutor refused to explain what the document was, they weren’t sure if Ms. Liao had indeed been sentenced or if she was indicted and faced trial.

66-Year-Old Yunnan Man Faces Constant Harassment After Serving Second Prison Term for His Faith

A 66-year-old resident of Kunming City, Yunnan Province was released on March 28, 2023 after serving three and a half years for his faith in Falun Gong, only to face constant harassment from the local authorities.

Mr. Chen Jingwu was arrested on September 28, 2019 and sentenced to 3.5 years with a 3,000-yuan fine in late May 2020. On March 28, 2023, the day of his scheduled release, police officers and street committee staffers drove him home and took pictures of him. They warned him not to go out to tell people about the persecution of Falun Gong.

In June 2023, Mr. Chen was summoned to the Longxiang Judicial Bureau, where he was forced to sign an agreement to have the bureau “help him understand his guilt in practicing Falun Gong.” They didn’t give him a copy of the agreement, which essentially allowed them to harass him at any time for his faith. They have been calling him every month to “check in on him.”

75-Year-Old Woman on Probation Ordered to Attend Brainwashing Sessions

Ms. Liu Yumin, a 75-year-old former elementary school teacher, in Laishui County, Hebei Province, was arrested at her son’s home on March 18, 2022. She suffered declining health while in custody, including losing much of her hair, persistent high blood pressure and pain in her legs. She could only walk with the support of two people.

The local court sentenced Ms. Liu to three years with four years’ probation on May 9. Before she was released that day, the detention center ordered her to sign a letter, which stated that the detention center was not responsible for her condition.

One week after Ms. Liu returned home, she still had trouble sleeping and was very sensitive to sounds.

The Laishui County Judicial Bureau established a community corrections task force on May 30, 2023 to specifically “work on” Ms. Liu. The goal was to force her to renounce Falun Gong.

The task force ordered Ms. Liu to report to them on a regular basis and attend scheduled “study sessions.” If she could not report to them in person, she was to submit photos of herself at home. She was also forbidden to go out of town.

Ms. Liu was still recovering from the abuse she suffered during her detention, and she refused to comply with their demands. The task force then threatened to take her back into custody.

Ms. Liu and her loved ones were ordered to keep their phones on 24/7 so as to be on standby to answer the task force’s calls. They were also instructed to download a certain app, which has the function to track her location and monitor her activities.

While initially relieved that she was released, Ms. Liu’s family now feels tremendous pressure as a result of this relentless harassment.

Harassment of Falun Gong Practitioners in Inner Mongolia

Over 100 Falun Gong practitioners in Chifeng City, Inner Mongolia were harassed for their faith in July and August 2023.

According to an insider, the harassment was directly ordered by the Political and Legal Affairs Committee (PLAC), an extra-judiciary agency tasked with overseeing the persecution. The 610 Office, police force at various levels from cities to townships, as well as street committees of various levels, were also involved in orchestrating and carrying out the persecution.

In the Hongshan District and the Songshan District, the police called the practitioners and attempted to pressure them to give up practicing Falun Gong. Some community workers photographed them, claiming that they needed the photos to report to their supervisors. Others deceived the practitioners into opening their doors by claiming to be checking their homes’ electric circuits. As soon as they entered, the officers searched every room and questioned the practitioners whether they still practiced Falun Gong.

In Ongniud Banner, practitioner Chen’s (first name unknown) mother passed away on August 10. He entrusted a relative to help apply for his mother’s death certificate at the local police station. The police refused to issue the certificate. Instead they demanded Chen come himself and sign a statement to renounce Falun Gong first. The relative tried to persuade the police not to participate in the persecution, as the funeral of Chen’s mother was coming up soon. In the end, the police agreed to let the relative sign the statement on Chen’s behalf, but they also ordered Chen to report to the police station after he handled his mother’s funeral.

Related reports:

Reported in the First Half of 2023: 3,133 Falun Gong Practitioners Arrested or Harassed for Their Faith

Reported in March and April 2023: 1,320 Falun Gong Practitioners Arrested or Harassed for Their Faith

Reported in January and February 2023: 624 Falun Gong Practitioners Arrested or Harassed for Their Faith