As the Chinese New Year holiday approaches, Chinese families expect happy year-end reunions and preparations for celebrations. However, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) continues its persecution of millions of Falun Gong practitioners in China, who, along with their families, still face arrests, harassment, and prison sentences.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is an ancient Chinese spiritual practice consisting of simple, slow-moving meditation exercises and moral teachings incorporating the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance in everyday life.
According to Minghui.org, a website that documents the CCP’s persecution of Falun Gong, at least 1,216 Falun Gong practitioners were arrested or harassed in January. They were located in 155 cities across China.
Some of those affected are elderly people. Data shows that 94 of the total were at least 65 years old.
Seven Deaths Due to CCP Persecution
According to the report, there were seven Falun Gong practitioners who died from persecution.
Liao Chuanjiang, a male former employee of the Sanjiang Machinery Plant, Yibin city, central China’s Hubei Province, passed away on Jan. 16, at the age of 46, according to a Feb. 1 report on Minghui.org.
He began to practice Falun Gong in September 1994, resulting in his physical and mental well-being significantly improving.
After the CCP started a brutal suppression on the group in 1999, his faith resulted in him being arrested on Dec. 4, 2005. He was detained for one year. He was subjected to brainwashing sessions, forced labor, severe beatings, and sleep deprivation.
Another case is Sun Zerong, a female resident of Qiaokou district, Wuhan city, Hubei Province, who died on Jan. 21, 2021, at the age of 63. She was also subjected to repeated arrests, brainwashing, and years of harassment, according to a Feb. 2 report on Minghui.org.
Nearly 500 Falun Gong Practitioners Detained
According to a Feb. 6 report on Minghui.org, police arrested at least 482 Falun Gong practitioners in January 2021. The arrests were concentrated in eastern China’s Shandong (97), Heilongjiang (60), and Liaoning (54) provinces.
On Jan. 9, nine Falun Gong practitioners were raided by police in Haiyang city, Shandong Province, by the local domestic security office. They included Zhang Jiguo, Zhang Junfeng, Liang Yaomin, two persons respectively surnamed Ji and Wang, Wang Juan, Sui Weili, and a couple—Yu Haiyong and his wife Wang Xuemei. All of them were sent to detention centers except for Wang Xuemei, who was granted bail. Their mobile phones, computers, and Falun Dafa books were all seized.
On Jan. 14, around 9 a.m., Falun Gong practitioner Qin Yun, a teacher at Hangzhou Hushu School—an institution dedicated to special education—was instructing students in a classroom when officers from the Xiangfu Police Station unexpectedly showed up and arrested her.
Her family was later informed that she had been placed under criminal detention.
More Than 700 Falun Gong Practitioners Harassed
According to statistics on Minghui.org, 734 Falun Gong practitioners experienced harassment from different types of authorities in January.
On Jan. 13, Zhou Shaotang, an 83-year-old Falun Gong practitioner, was arrested by officers of Yangjuanzi town, Panjin city, Liaoning Province, for talking about the Falun Gong persecution to people at a local market. Officers brought him to his home to search for Falun Dafa materials. When they tried to take him away, they were met with fierce resistance from his family. After a face-off of three or four hours, the officers gave up. However, they went to his home to harass him again after every two or three days.
Falun Gong practitioners and middle school teachers in Yushu city, Jilin Province, also went through harassment since October 2020 from the local 610 Office and the educational bureau. These affected teachers include Sun Qinghong and Wu Xiaoguang.
The 610 Office is an extralegal agency created for the sole purpose of carrying out the Falun Gong persecution. It has absolute power at each level of administration in the CCP and its influence trumps that of all of China’s other political and judicial organizations.
$77,000 Confiscated From House Searches
In the first month of 2021, police confiscated a total of 496,100 yuan ($77,000) from Falun Gong practitioners, according to a report on Minghui.org.
In January, Zhu Xiyu, a female Falun Gong practitioner in Yanbian prefecture, Jilin Province, lost 207,131 yuan ($32,100) due to her pensions being disqualified by the local social security bureau.
Pension are a retiree’s legal assets, the revocation of which is deemed unconstitutional, according to Chinese law.
Also, in January, Jia Liying, a female Falun Gong practitioner, had 130,000 yuan ($20,200) taken by police who searched her home in Datong city, northern China’s Shanxi Province.
Bai Yan, head of the 610 Office in Jilin city, Jilin Province, oversees the persecution of local Falun Gong practitioners. He is active in harassing practitioners and coercing them into taking part in the CCP’s brainwashing sessions.
Lu Gang and Lu Shundong are both administrative leaders in the agency in Gaizhiba town, Jiangyou city, southwestern China’s Sichuan Province. Since the start of the CCP’s persecution, they have continued their harassment, threats, house searches, and confiscations targeting local Falun Gong practitioners.
On Dec. 7, 2020, the EU passed the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, which means all 27 state members have sanctions mechanisms to penalize human rights offenders from any country.