In September 2019, 636 Falun Gong practitioners were arrested in China and 347 others were harassed as Chinese authorities prepared for National Day celebrations and the World Military Games, according to a comprehensive report compiled by Minghui.org.
Among the arrested, 251 had their homes ransacked and three people passed away as a result of the unlawful treatment they received, according to Minghui.org, a U.S.-based website that serves as a clearinghouse on the persecution of Falun Gong in China.
Twenty practitioners also had money confiscated or extorted by police totaling 852,928 yuan ($121,678), averaging 42,646 yuan ($6,084) per person.
“National Day” refers to the founding of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and this year marked its 70th anniversary on Oct. 1. The Military World Games, an international military multi-sport event, was hosted in Wuhan City from Oct. 18 to Oct. 27. During politically sensitive dates, the Chinese regime puts more emphasis on tightening restrictions on citizens’ activities in order to prevent any kind of dissent or disruption. Authorities target and pay particular attention to political dissidents, people of faith, such as Falun Gong adherents, and ethnic minorities.
The number of Falun Gong practitioners arrested in Wuhan in September was the highest in the country. When Wuhan police made arrests or harassed practitioners, they told them that they had to check all Falun Gong practitioners on their “blacklist” to ensure that none of them would cause troubles during the Military World Games.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a spiritual practice centered around the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance. Since the Chinese communist regime started persecuting the practice in July 1999, many adherents have been subjected to arrest, imprisonment, torture, forced labor, or death because their vital organs were surgically removed.
Home Demolished While in Detention
Gong Xiaohong, 59, a retired employee from the Bashan Town Food Company in Jiangxi Province, was reported to the authorities for posting Falun Gong information via WeChat, a popular Chinese social media app. He was arrested by Yongsheng Police Station officers on Sept. 4, and all of his Falun Gong books were confiscated.
Gong was held in the county detention center for seven days. Gong’s wife passed away many years ago, so his home was empty while he was detained. During this time, the authorities demolished his home without his knowledge or permission. He was released on Sept. 11, with no home to return to.
Personal Property and Money Confiscated
Xu Zhangqing and his wife Tu Ailian were arrested on Sept. 26 in Xiaogan City, Hubei Province for practicing Falun Gong. The police confiscated their personal belongings, including laptops, printers, and their lifetime savings of 300,000 yuan ($42,798) in cash. Their son, who doesn’t practice Falun Gong, was also arrested and detained. The son’s wife, Chen Chunyan, faced frequent harassment from police after her husband and in-laws were arrested. She was later forced to leave her home with her one-year-old daughter and hide in another location to evade unending harassment.
Police in Shenyang City arrested 18 local practitioners in September. Among them, Zhao Guiqin, in her 60s, was arrested with her incapacitated adult child. They were released only after her child became ill at the police station.
In Songyuan City of Jilin Province, police arrested 13 Falun Gong adherents on Sept. 10. One of the arrested practitioners’ family members, who does not practice Falun Gong, was also taken away.
On the following day, police arrested 17 adherents in Harbin City, Heilongjiang Province. It was reported that the police monitored the practitioners’ daily lives for months before executing the arrests. The police ransacked most practitioners’ homes and confiscated their Falun Gong books, computers, cellphones, and other personal items.
In Wuhan, where the Military World Games were held, 40 Falun Gong adherents were arrested on Sept. 23, including an 89-year-old female practitioner surnamed Yu. Police had monitored the practitioners for six months before making the arrests. Many were held for 15 days of administrative detention.
Liu Bohui of Xiong County, Hebei Province, was arrested on Sept. 17, by a plainclothes officer after she spoke to him about Falun Gong. The officer yanked Liu off her electric bicycle, causing her head to hit the ground and knocking her out.
Upon regaining consciousness, Liu had intense pain in her shoulder and couldn’t lift her arm. Instead of getting medical aid for her, the police took her to the Bazhou City Detention Center, where she is still being held. Although the detention center guards later took Liu to the hospital for examination, they continued to detain her even after she was diagnosed with high blood pressure and heart problems.
The police scaled the fence at Liu’s home at around 11:00 p.m. on the day of her arrest, ransacked her home, and confiscated her Falun Gong materials.
Wuhan Police Intensify Persecution of Falun Gong Ahead of Military World Games
Wuhan, the capital of Hubei Province, hosted the 2019 Military World Games from Oct. 18 to Oct. 27. Before the games, 66 Falun Gong practitioners were arrested and 45 more were harassed by local police.
Xia Yuexian, in her 70s, was out walking with her grandchild on Sept. 30 when the police took them away and proceeded to ransack her home. An officer later called her son and told him to pick up his child, but refused to reveal Xia’s whereabouts.
Another practitioner, Ming Guizhen, was arrested on Sept. 16 for talking to people about Falun Gong. She was taken to the Jianghan District Brainwashing Center.