The sister of a Falun Gong practitioner who received the support of 300 village households in a town in China’s Hebei province was kidnapped over the weekend along with two others, a source has told The Epoch Times.
In April, 300 villagers representing their households, in Zhouguantun village near the city of Boutu drew international attention when they signed their names and placed their fingerprints on a petition to release Wang Xiaodong, a teacher and practitioner of the persecuted meditation practice Falun Gong. The petition was apparently circulated among high-ranking Chinese Communist Party members in the Politburo, with some expressing concerns over the sense of the 13-year-long persecution of the practice.
Wang’s sister, Wang Xiaomei, was forced out of her home and stayed with friends. She was later abducted by police officers on Saturday night, according to the source. Two other Falun Gong practitioners, Kang Lanying and Tang Jianing, were also taken away.
Relatives of Wang attempted to contact the local police bureau, but police officials told them they knew nothing about the matter, the source said.
Local residents told The Epoch Times that since the villagers submitted the petition, Zhouguantun has been under heavy security.
Shandong University Professor Sun Wenguang said the villagers’ petition represents a turning point in the regime’s crackdown on Falun Gong.
Ordinary Chinese citizens “dared not openly support Falun Gong in the past, but now the situation has changed,” Sun said in an interview with The Epoch Times. “They have not only expressed their support but have also placed their signatures and fingerprints on a petition, which is a positive phenomenon.”
Sun’s comments themselves illustrate a decrease in general fear of talking about Falun Gong, which has for years been taboo because of the persecution.
Hebei’s local Political and Legislative Afairs Committee (PLAC) “abridged the basic rights of religious freedom for Falun Gong practitioners” in arresting Wang, Sun said. “I think in the future, there will be more people who will stand up against the [persecution]” of Falun Gong.
Sun said it was “normal” for Falun Gong practitioners to disseminate information about the persecution of their practice, because there has been “no guarantee of their religious freedom” from the Party.
Upon the outset of the persecution in mid-1999, former CCP head Jiang Zemin labeled Falun Gong as an “evil religion,” which Sun said was “absolutely false.” The PLAC, a vastly powerful security apparatus, has maintained the persecution over the last 13 years.
A human rights activist who called himself only Mr. Hu, and who was also persecuted by the Party, said the incident in Zhouguantun shows that mainland Chinese citizens have seen the “true nature” of the regime.
“People have gained the courage to stand up for the truth,” he said, adding the development “is the most important change in Chinese society and is what China most desperately needs.”
The news has been spread widely on Twitter, with netizens calling for U.S. Ambassador in China, Gary Locke, to do something about Wang’s case.
Mr. Hu said Falun Gong practitioners, in their belief of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance, have continued to stand up for their rights. In the footsteps of Falun Gong, ordinary Chinese people have gained the courage to add to the chorus started by practitioners, Mr. Hu said.
He continued: “Those involved in democratic reforms, human rights, and even the general public in mainland China greatly admire and respect Falun Gong practitioners.”
Read original Chinese article.
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