In the early morning hours of June 18, a large number of local police officers were dispatched to the homes of over 30 Falun Gong practitioners in Tangshan city, in China’s northern Hebei Province. They kidnapped and harassed the adherents, illegally searched their homes, and confiscated personal belongings. Among them was a 68-year-old woman who died on the day she was taken into custody.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is an ancient Chinese spiritual practice known to relieve stress and increase energy. It consists of simple slow-moving exercises and meditation with an emphasis on incorporating the principles of truth, compassion, and forbearance into everyday life. It was banned in July 1999 on orders of then-Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leader Jiang Zemin.
According to human rights researchers, millions of Falun Gong practitioners have since been rounded up and thrown into detention centers, forced labor camps, and brainwashing centers, where they are routinely tortured and subject to other abuse. Falun Gong adherents are also the main source of organs in China’s state-sanctioned, for-profit transplant industry, an independent tribunal concluded.
Abducted by Chinese Police
Han Yuqin lived in a village in Fengrun district of Tangshan city. She started practicing Falun Gong in 1995, and since then, her health improved.
At 5 a.m. on June 18, Han was abducted by the local police after they illegally entered and searched her home, according to a report by Minghui.org, a website documenting the persecution of Falun Gong by the Chinese regime.
At the police station, Han was forced to sit on the iron chair, a torture device which is made of steel or iron pipes. Victims are restrained on the iron chair, with both arms and legs tied down, for long periods of time. The police asked her to sign a document to renounce Falun Gong, but she refused to comply.
Han’s daughter went to the police station at 10 a.m., but she was not allowed to see her mother.
At noon, Han’s husband brought her lunch. She did not have an appetite and could not stop crying. Her legs were swollen from sitting on the iron chair for many hours.
Around 4 p.m., Han asked to use the restroom and the security guard accompanied her. When she had not come out after a while, a policewoman was sent to check on her.
Han was found lying on the ground, unconscious, and was sent to the hospital. According to insider information obtained by Minghui.org, Han was taken to Chengguan Health Center, which is across the street from the police station, but the health center refused to admit her. She was then taken to Fengrun District Chinese Medicine Hospital. She was pronounced dead shortly after.
Han’s family received a phone call from the police station at around 6 p.m., notifying them of her death. When the family members saw Han’s body at the hospital, they noticed that her hair was disheveled and her nose was bloodied, according to the Minghui.org report.
The insider information claimed that the Public Security Bureau of Fengrun district, Tangshan city intended to abduct 50 Falun Gong practitioners. As many as 36 people have been abducted so far, according to Minghui.org. Many of those kidnapped by the police were handcuffed and sent to the detention center. Most of the Falun Gong practitioners’ homes were illegally searched and personal items, such as Falun Gong books, were confiscated. Some of their satellite dishes were demolished—a satellite dish is capable of receiving New Tang Dynasty (NTD) TV programs. NTD is a New York-based global news and entertainment company that specializes in providing uncensored coverage about China, including the persecution of Falun Gong.
Yue Weifang, another Falun Gong practitioner in the west side of Tangshan city, was also harassed during this illegal police activity, according to Minghui.org. She was so horrified that she fainted on the spot. Yue’s son took her to the hospital and she was admitted to the ICU (intensive care unit) that day.