Letter of Appeal from 59 Relatives and Friends of Falun Gong Practitioners in Heilongjiang Province

Because government officials in China refuse to accept the legal appeals of Falun Gong practitioners, and official avenues of justice are closed to practitioners in China, we wish to use the Falun Gong Minghui website (Chinese version of Clearwisdom) to lodge a protest against the persecution of practitioners and their friends and family members. We also call on people of justice throughout the world to forward our appeal to international human rights organizations and help us rescue our family members. We truly appreciate any help that you can offer.

Below is a letter of appeal signed by 59 relatives and friends of persecuted Falun Gong practitioners that have been arrested and detained in Heilongjiang Province.

To the Members of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress:

We are the relatives and friends of Falun Gong practitioners in Harbin City, Mudanjiang City, Jixi City, and Jidong County, Heilongjiang Province. We hereby accuse the Mudanjiang City 610 Office1, the Mudanjiang City Police Department, and the Mudanjiang City Xi'an District Court of activity on November 28th, 2008, in arresting 33 family members of Falun Gong practitioners on the street outside the courthouse. Those arrested were planning to legally attend the audit of the trial of four practitioners. Among those arrested, 12 are still being detained by those government departments. Even worse, those departments secretly sentenced eight of the practitioners' relatives to forced labour without following any legal procedures. They also eliminated the two-month administration reconsideration time of those eight relatives of practitioners and did not allow us to appeal for them. We have protested and appealed this extremely wicked and conduct many times, but we have not received any answers. In this situation, we are implementing our civil rights and have submitted our accusation to you.

The Facts, and Reasons for the Accusation

On November 28th, 2008, the Mudanjiang Xi'an District Court in Heilongjiang Province tried Falun Gong practitioners Zhao Boliang, Li Haifeng, Li Yongsheng, and Zhang Yuhua. The court refused entry to more than 100 relatives and friends of the practitioners who wanted to audit the trial. Moreover, several plain clothes police officers verbally abused, photographed, video-recorded, pushed, and beat those that wanted to attend the hearing. Finally, the police publicly arrested 33 innocent people on the street in front of the courthouse.

After 8 o'clock in the morning, the four practitioners' relatives and friends went through the requisite ID and security checks. About 50 relatives were allowed to attend the hearing. Later the police reduced the number to 14 without giving a reason.

After 9 o'clock, police vehicles arrived and the four practitioners who were to be tried were shoved out of the police vehicles onto the ground. Three of them were handcuffed with their arms behind their backs and their heads were covered with black hoods. The court police dragged them into the courthouse. At about 9:30, individuals inside the courthouse started to videotape the practitioners and their relatives. At about 10:30, the police used a police vehicle to block off the 300- to 400-metres of road in front of the courthouse and did not allow anyone to pass through. Then the police started to drive all the people into the middle of the street. Seven to eight people inside the courthouse videotaped this. Suddenly a big bus, along with five or six police vehicles, drove up and stopped 100 metres away from the front door of the courthouse. More then 40 officers wearing special police uniforms got out of the vehicles. They started to drive the people towards the big bus. When everyone was driven near the bus, the police and the plain clothes officer started to arrest people and squeezed them into the police vehicles.

Thirty-three relatives of Falun Gong practitioners were arrested. "Confessions" were extorted under torture at the Mudanjiang Police Department. The police asked them who had organized them to attend the trial and questioned them as to whether they were planning to "besiege the court." The male relatives were brutally beaten, especially those who spoke the truth or did not answer questions. Some were beaten until their faces were black and blue. Someone's nose was broken and someone's clothes were also torn. Someone else was even tortured with ropes and other instruments. A female relative was frightened by a male police officer with an iron hook. He threatened to hook her nose. Our family members were detained for 52 hours. During the night, 12 of them were forced to have a physical examination and 10 were taken to the Mudanjiang Detention Centre.

The arrests were directed by the Mudanjiang City 610 Office and were executed by the Mudanjiang Xi'an District Court and the National Security Team of the Mudanjiang City Police Department. Over 100 officials participated in the arrests, ranging from the police department, the court, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) newspaper, and the CCP television station. About 100 officers and dozens of police vehicles, along with unregistered vehicles, participated in the arrests.

Witnessing this large-scale arrest in a public space, the practitioners' relatives and friends and the pedestrians and people who learned about this afterwards were all very confused and discussed the incident among each other, "Which law did they break by just standing on the street? How can the police arrest innocent people without any reason? Who authorized them?"

In the afternoon, many people went to the Mudanjiang City Police Department, the CCP Committee, government offices, the CCP Politics and Law Committee, the City National People's Congress, and the Political Consultative Conference to ask for the release of those who were arrested. The officials used all kinds of excuses not to accept their appeal. That evening, several people met with an official of the 610 Office in the CCP Politics and Law Committee. After he heard that it was about Falun Gong, he said, "We have rules here. We do not accept any appeals related to Falun Gong." Then he walked away.

That same night, the 610 Office and the police station of the local areas where the arrested Falun Gong practitioners lived received a notice from the upper level authorities to break into those practitioners' homes and confiscate their belongings. The police broke the doors and locks, entered the practitioners' homes, and took away large quantities of the practitioners' personal belongings.

Two months after the arrests, we did not receive any legal notice from the Mudanjiang City Police Department regarding the arrests. We went to the police department and related government departments to request the release our relatives and to allow us to see them. However, our reasonable requests were all turned down without any reasons given.

Recently the Mudanjiang City officials said, "Currently we cannot do anything about releasing those who were arrested. The Heilongjiang Province Communist Party Politics and Law Committee and the Heilongjiang Province 610 Office are not allowing us to release them. This time this thing really got a lot of attention. Even the Central Committee of the CCP knew of this." However, the Mudanjiang City Police Department anonymously called the arrested people's relatives many times to extort money from them, about 5,000 to 15,000 yuan2 in total. They said clearly to the relatives that they had to pay to get the arrested people released and that the police would torture those arrested and even torture them to death if the relatives did not pay up. These so-called law enforcement officers broke the law, arrested innocent people, mocked the law, abused their power, and interfered with the execution of the law. Their illegal actions have caused extreme spiritual pain and great financial losses for dozens of families. We feel that that it is improper and unacceptable that these kinds of government officials and law enforcement officers carry on like this in China. They have brought disaster to the nation and its citizens.

The 12 members of our family who are imprisoned include: Ma Shufen, Wang Shuxiang, Zhao Xiuyan, and one unknown person who is currently still detained; Zhao Chunyan, Li Xiange and Zhang Cuiqing, who were secretly sent to the Heilongjiang Women's Forced Labour Camp; Zhang Yaqing, who was sent to the Wangjia Forced Labour Camp of Harbin City; Wang Kejun; and Zhang Peizeng, Li Chongjun, and Yan Chengshan, who were sent to the Suihua Forced Labour Camp in Heilongjiang Province.

During the two months that we have been appealing, no officials and government departments have accepted our petition or helped us in any way. We therefore have no choice but to expose their illegal actions to the nation's highest department. We adamantly request a thorough investigation into all of the illegal acts described above, and call on you to execute the law based on the law and protect the dignity of the law along with citizens' rights.

We unequivocally request that you:

1. Comprehensively investigate the unjust cases against Falun Gong over the past ten years. Bring to justice the primary criminals -Jiang Zemin's [former leader of China and instigator of the persecution] political group - for crimes of libel, hatred, inhuman treatment, genocide, and cruel torture of Falun Gong practitioners.

2. Immediately stop the suppression of Falun Gong.

3. Immediately release all innocent citizens who were arrested for trying to attend the court hearing.

4. Investigate the illegality of the responsible and related persons' crimes of abusing power and illegally arresting innocent citizens.

5. Compensate all of the victims and their family members for all the financial losses they have endured as a result of the illegal arrests and detentions of the victims.

Plaintiffs:

Fifty-nine family members, relatives, and friends of persecuted Falun Gong practitioners

Note

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.ca/mh/articles/2009/2/12/195313.html

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