For nine years, heavy fines have been routinely used by the police and 610 Office1 agents in Xingtai, Hebei Province as just one of the means to persecute Falun Gong practitioners.
Since February, 2008, the National Security Brigade of the police department sub-bureau in Qiaoxi, Xingtai, would release Falun Gong practitioners who had been arrested for distributing leaflets exposing the persecution of Falun Gong, but only after they paid an 8,000 yuan2 fine. At the end of March, police department sub-bureau officers arrested several people from Shandong who said that they were not Falun Gong practitioners. Still, each of them were fined over 10,000 yuan.
When Falun Gong practitioners are arrested for watching New Tang Dynasty TV (NTDTV), a TV company that broadcasts programmes exposing the persecution of Falun Gong, the Xingtai National Security Brigade either sends them to a detention centre or fines them each 5,000 yuan.
Wu Shuqi, the head of this local National Security Brigade office, pointed at his luxury car and boasted in public, "This vehicle was obtained by soliciting money". He had hired people to spy on Falun Gong practitioners. He often tracks practitioners and brings a camera with him when searching the homes of practitioners who are prosperous. Whenever he finds Falun Gong books and leaflets exposing the persecution of Falun Gong, he extorts heavy fines. In 2007 alone, he extorted heavy fines from over ten practitioners.
In June, the Qiaodong National Security Brigade ransacked a Falun Gong practitioner's home after breaking down the door and confiscated 165,000 yuan that she had saved for buying a house.
Xingtai 610 personnel often said, "There is no specific legal regulations about Falun Gong; if the authorities above us loosen up, then we will loosen up. If the above tightens, we tighten, and certain instructions will be burned after we perform them."
1. "The 610 office" is an agency specifically created to persecute Falun Gong, with absolute power over each level of administration in the Party and all other political and judiciary systems.
2. "Yuan" is the Chinese currency; 500 yuan is equal to the average monthly income of an urban worker in China.
Chinese version available at http://minghui.org/mh/articles/2008/7/22/182526.html
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