When Shen Fang, a 70-year-old Falun Gong practitioner living in Shanghai, refused to open the door to four police officers who arrived at her apartment on Aug. 2, they called up a locksmith and broke in. Despite her protests, the four pinned her down, grabbed her wrist, and scratched her hand multiple times to draw her blood.
The blood sampling was “required by the state,” they repeatedly told her.
“The law doesn’t apply to you guys,” one police officer shouted while covering his badge number. “We’re going to wipe you all out!”
In recent months, dozens of adherents of the spiritual practice Falun Gong have faced similar ordeals across the country, according to reports by Minghui.org, a U.S.-based clearinghouse that keeps track of the Chinese regime’s persecution of Falun Gong. Some, like Shen, were visited by police, while others were forcibly taken to the police station for the blood draw with little explanation.
Just a river-crossing away from Shen’s home, in the sprawling Pudong district, police also forcibly collected blood samples from more than 10 practitioners, along with their fingerprints, a recording of their voice, and a sample of their handwriting. If they refused to cooperate, police said they would be arrested, according to an August report from Minghui.
Falun Gong, a spiritual practice with a set of meditative exercises and moral teachings based on truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance, has been brutally suppressed in China since 1999. Over the past two decades, hundreds of thousands of adherents have been thrown into labor camps, detention centers, “reeducation” facilities, and psychiatric hospitals, where they are tortured to coerce them into renouncing their faith, according to the Falun Dafa Information Center.
The recent blood testing especially raises concern in the context of mounting evidence that the Chinese regime is commodifying prisoners of conscience by forcibly removing their organs and selling them for transplant surgery.
In 2019, an independent people’s tribunal in London determined “beyond reasonable doubt” that imprisoned Falun Gong adherents were the principal source for China’s vast for-profit organ harvesting industry. Upon releasing its final judgment in March this year, the tribunal found that the grisly practice has continued unabated. Such acts, it said, constitute a crime against humanity.
“If the accusations are proved, they will, inevitably, be compared to the worst atrocities committed in conflicts of the 20th century,” the tribunal said in the March judgment.
Chen Jiangang, a Chinese trial lawyer and visiting fellow at the American University Washington College of Law, said that the police’s blood collection doesn’t appear to be a routine physical checkup, but rather “collecting people’s biological samples.”
“When the Chinese Communist Party persecutes people, they don’t need the backing of the law,” he told The Epoch Times, adding that the police’s behaviors were a breach of personal rights and “extreme humiliation of one’s character.
“They want to control you, to create psychological terror.”
Li Xudong, an orthopedic surgeon and assistant professor at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, said that the blood collection is “clearly not normal,” and likely meant to pave the way for identifying organ matches later on.
“They are not there to ensure your personal health,” he said.
Dr. Torsten Trey, executive director of medical advocacy group Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting, agreed that the blood testing is “unusual.” Trey said the police appeared to have administered a bedside blood test on Shen—a simple test often performed at the bedside—adding that it was likely that they were screening for possible organ donors.
If “they need an organ for a blood type that is rare among Chinese (AB or B), then they might first screen and if positive make a more accurate test,” he told The Epoch Times.
In the absence of complete data, he noted that the “total number of such tests might be much higher.”
Peng Yongfeng, a former human rights lawyer from Hebei Province who previously drew authorities’ ire for defending Falun Gong practitioners in Chinese courts, said that the police’s actions were “undoubtedly illegal.”
If they were indeed collecting the blood samples for fueling an organ data bank, the police would be liable for intentional injury and intentional homicide, said Peng, who has fled to the United States.
Other Recent Cases
Minghui reports indicate that forced blood sampling has recently happened to Falun Gong practitioners in eastern Shandong Province, the northern cities of Beijing and Tianjin, Inner Mongolia, the northeastern provinces of Jilin and Liaoning, and Henan in the country’s east-central.
Dong Xuejing, a Falun Gong practitioner in Tianjin, told Minghui that she was doing laundry at home in March when the police suddenly rushed in, taking away her Falun Gong books and some materials introducing the practice. The police took her to the local station and shackled her to a chair. Later, they locked her in a metal cage for hours and then forcibly collected her blood, before releasing her on bail at midnight. She was placed under house surveillance and has to report to the police station every month.
Cheng Suqin, from Zhengzhou city in Henan Province, was arrested by police officers who knocked on her front and back doors in May. She was interrogated and blood-typed. The police showed her some surveillance camera footage that showed her posting a sticker on a wall with the words “Falun Dafa is Good” in April.
On July 22, police in Gaomi city, Shandong, arrested 46 local adherents in an operation that mobilized over 400 officers. All 46 were blood-typed.
Wang Juan, a practitioner in Changsha city, Hunan, was arrested during a trip to Chongqing city in October 2019, according to Minghui. After police failed to collect her blood sample at a local police station due to technical issues, she was sent to the Youyang County police bureau, where an officer named Zhang Tao took her blood sample.
“I’m already on Minghui’s blacklist,” Zhang told her, referring to a compiled list of local officials who are active in China’s persecution campaign. The officer declared that he was “simply not afraid,” and said, “I’m going to harvest your organs.”