Son Calls for Release of Father Detained in China for His Belief

April 10, 2021 Updated: April 10, 2021

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has targeted an elderly couple over their belief, according to their son, who told The Epoch Times on April 8 that his father had been arrested and his mother’s home surrounded by police.

The reason for the arrest is unclear, but the couple has been under watch by the CCP for over 20 years for their belief in Falun Gong, an ancient Chinese spiritual and meditation discipline.

Zhao Fenghui, the father, was later confirmed as detained in the Qionghai Railway Police Station through a phone call with Haikou Police Station. At least six police officers from the Haikou Railway Police Station had gone to the couple’s home at 10 p.m. at local time, according to a recording provided by son Zhao Shuai.

A recording from a home security camera shows that at 10:11 p.m., the police threatened to open the door to their apartment in Qionghai City of Hainan province, a southern China island province.

“The people inside, open the door! Open up quickly, or I’ll break the door down!” a police officer warns as he knocks on the door and presses the doorbell.

“There must be someone inside,” a man with a recording device says to another officer with a camera, “as the man [Zhao] does not have the key with him,” implying that police had already searched the elder Zhao’s luggage and probably his clothing.

Zhao Huifeng was supposed to take a high-speed train to Sanya City, at the southern end of Hainan island, and return in the afternoon, a journey of less than two hours. “But at night, he still hadn’t come back home,” the son said.

“He was probably stopped as he checked in with his ID card,” he said.

Many daily activities in China, including purchasing a train ticket and entering train stations, require showing ID. When the database shows an abnormality with an ID, the police often forcibly search people’s luggage and confiscate cellphones. Falun Gong practitioners’ ID cards are known to have been flagged in the CCP’s database.

Falun Gong has been targeted by the CCP since July 1999.

The practice, also known as Falun Dafa, consists of meditative exercises and a set of moral teachings based on the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance. It was introduced to the public in 1992 and attracted 70 to 100 million adherents by the end of the century. The figures exceeded the 60 million members of the CCP.

Threatened by Falun Gong’s popularity, the CCP launched a campaign to eradicate the practice, subjecting its followers to harassment, detention, forced labor, torture, and forced organ harvesting.

“My mother was at home and did not say a word. She was too afraid to open the door,” the son added, “because there were too many police officers.”

Over the last 20 years, continued harassment and surveillance forced the family to move from their hometown in northern Heilongjiang province to the southern end of the island.

“I am worried about my father’s condition. He is in poor health,” the son said, saying he is afraid his father “will be tortured.”

“My mom is in jeopardy,” he said, saying the police could break into their apartment at any time. “I am very, very worried, and it makes me feel very painful.”

His father was detained in forced labor camps twice for five years for refusing to renounce his belief in Falun Gong. He was beaten and tortured. In October 2003, when the elder Zhao walked out of the camp, he was emaciated and his weight had dropped from 209 to 88 pounds, according to a report on Minghui.org.

The younger Zhao called for the release of his father, saying, “I appeal for the release of my father immediately and to stop harassing my mother.”

He also condemned the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners. The harassment had “left the family in pain,” he said.

Zhao’s mother was forced to abandon her home and go into hiding.