In early June 2012, Xi Jinping, China's deputy head, and the governor of the U.S. state of Iowa toured Zhengding County in Hebei Province and discussed trade and investment issues. Prior to their arrival, personnel from the Zhengding County 610 Office (an organisation of special agents just for persecuting Falun Gong) went to the homes of local Falun Gong practitioners, harassed their families, and arrested the practitioners.
(See http://en.minghui.org/html/articles/2012/9/8/135326.html for more details)
Mr. Li Lankui, a local practitioner, managed to escape arrest that day. Several days later, however, 610 Office agents arrived at the crack of dawn while everyone was asleep and arrested Mr. Li.
Mr. Li is a well-regarded villager, and his arrest shocked local residents. More than 700 people voluntarily organized a petition with their signatures and fingerprints, calling for the Iowa governor to help secure Mr. Li’s release. A Falun Gong representative showed the petition at a recent U.S. Congressional hearing on China’s human rights record.
In response to the petition, Hebei Province resorted to several more rounds of arrests of local practitioners. While trying to escape arrest, Ms. Yang Yinqiao fell to her death on August 7th.
Local Police Harass and Arrest Mr. Li Lankui’s Family
On July 22nd, 2012, agents from local police departments and the Hebei Province Political and Legal Affairs Committee went to Mr. Li Lankui’s home to harass his family. A few days later, the Hebei Province Political and Legal Affairs Committee summoned all local Chinese Communist Party (CCP) members for a meeting, ordering them to do anything necessary to find out who organized the petition. They dispatched personnel to go door-to-door asking who signed the petition and warning people that whoever signed would face grave consequences. The police also went to search Mr. Li’s two daughters’ homes and pressured their employers to provide leads on who initiated the petition. The two daughters, their husbands, and their respective parents-in-law were also interrogated.
As details regarding the petition emerged, the arrests intensified, and the CCP central government in conjunction with the Hebei Province government began to take over the matter. Special agents and plainclothes police were seen everywhere in Mr. Li’s village, and an unmarked white vehicle circled the area all day long. On August 2nd, the police arrested Mr. Li’s second daughter, Li Meng, and his wife, Zhao Hongxiu. It is not known where they are now. A fellow practitioner, Zhang Lancui, and Mr. Li’s neighbour, Cui Xia, were also arrested at the same time. Cui Xia was released two days later.
Arrests of Practitioners on August 7th Result in Yang Yinqiao’s Death
At 7:00 p.m. on August 7th, 2012, local officers from the Shijiazhuang City Police Department, Zhengding County Police Department, and the 610 Office launched a mass arrest of local practitioners. Gao Suzhen from Xiaojiaying, Zhang Jianzhi from Hongqi Village, and Yang Rongxia and Wang Yuexia from Yangma Village in Gaocheng City were all taken away by police that night.
During the arrests, Ms. Gao Suzhen had a seizure and lost consciousness. More than ten officers monitored her closely while she was being resuscitated at the hospital. The next day when she felt just a little better, they took her away. It was said that Ms. Gao and Zhang Jianzhi are now being detained at Shijiazhuang City First Detention Centre.
While the police were ransacking the home of Shijiazhuang practitioner Yang Yinqiao, her husband returned and discovered that his wife had fallen from their fifth-floor apartment. When he confronted the police, they all ran away. Ms. Yang’s husband called the police for help but it was too late. Before he knew it, a number of armed police officers suddenly appeared and cordoned off the area. Even their son and his mother-in-law were not allowed to see Ms. Yang’s body. The police gave her son a savage beating and then summoned the family’s relatives to the police station, ordering them not to disclose any news about Ms. Yang’s death.
It was noted that the officers also arrested practitioner Liu Shulin’s wife and son not long afterwards.
More Arrests of Practitioners Follow on August 13th, 2012
Agents from Shijiazhuang City Police Department, Yuhua District Police Department, Dongyuan Police Station, Zhuodong Police Station, and Shiajiazhuang City Domestic Security Brigade arrested Ms. Niu Minjie, a practitioner from Shijiazhuang City, and took her to Zhengding County at 3:00 p.m. on August 13th, claiming that she was the organizer of the petition drive in Zhengding County.
Later that evening, about eight officers from Donghuan Police Station and Yuhua District Police Department descended upon the home of practitioner Mr. Jia Zhijiang. Mr. Jia refused to open the door, and the standoff lasted more than an hour until the police called in the landlord to let them in. They took away Mr. Jia’s printer, laptop computer, scanner, camcorder, and Falun Gong books before leading him away. During the raid, they presented no legal documents for the search and seizure. Only after they finished the raid did they produce a search warrant, but Mr. Jia’s family refused to sign. After being turned down, the police got the landlord to sign the warrant instead. Under pressure, the landlord asked Mr. Jia’s wife and child to move out in one week.
Following the arrest of Mr. Li Lankui’s daughter and wife, the local police arrested 14 practitioners, including Zhao Hongxiu, Li Meng, Cui Xia, Zhang Lancui, Liu Shuling’s wife Bai Shuqin and child Liu Xiaobao, Gao Suzhen, Zhang Jianzhi, Yang Rongxia, Wang Yuexia, Yang Yinqiao, Chen Sulian, Niu Minjie, and Jia Zhijiang. As mentioned above, Yang Yinqiao fell to her death during the arrest, and some of the practitioners were later released.
Public Opinion Cannot be Swayed
Mr. Li was previously a quick-tempered person who was plagued with all kinds of illnesses, and once became bedridden for two months. He recovered, however, just one month after beginning Falun Gong practice. His family also became prosperous and happy. Witnessing his change, local villagers were all very impressed. During the past ten-plus years, Mr. Li had been running a waste recycling business, and his customers have been spreading the word about his kindness and earnestness.
One Minghui reporter interviewed some of Mr. Li’s fellow villagers. Below are excerpts from the interviews.
Villager A: “I just don’t get it why the government would arrest such a kindhearted person.”
Village B: “He’s known as an especially filial person around here. We’re all willing to sell our recyclables to him since he is honest and never deceives customers.”
Other villagers also expressed their support for Falun Gong since it teaches people to be good.
Despite pressure from the CCP, around 300 more villagers in the neighboring areas of Zhengding County also signed the petition with their fingerprints, which increased the number of signatures to over 1,000. Together they demanded that the government release Mr. Li Lankui immediately and remove the police stationed in their villages.
Contact information of chief perpetrators:
Wang Xiaofeng, head of Zhuodong Police Department: 86-311-85892290
Ji Genshen, head of Dongyuan Police Department: 86-311-85888946, 86-13785182823
Liu Jian, head of Yuhua District Police Department: 86-311-86122691, 86-311-86122692
Shijiazhuang City Police Department: 86-311-86862222, 86-311-86863400
Han Yugang, head of Shijiazhuang City Domestic Security Team: 86-13932183699
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