According to data compiled by Minghui.org, 1,022 Chinese citizens were arrested in May 2016 under the communist regime's persecution of Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline based on the principle of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.
One of the targeted Falun Gong practitioners died within hours of her arrest. Ms. Wang Xiuyun from Yuzhou City, Henan Province was seized from her home on May 13th. Later that night, she was dead. To date, the authorities have not given her family any explanation of her sudden death.
Another practitioner, Ms. Yang Ruiqin, died on May 24th, 2016, five months after she was released on medical parole. The 71-year-old from Harbin City, Heilongjiang Province was sentenced to three years in 2014 for refusing to renounce her faith. Her health quickly declined due to the relentless torture, but the police did not release her until she fell into a coma. By then, it was too late.
Direct Triggers for Arrests
Most practitioners were arrested because they were reported to or caught by police for distributing information about the persecution of Falun Gong.
A sizeable number of practitioners were targeted because they filed criminal complaints against former Chinese Communist Party leader Jiang Zemin for launching the persecution.
Still others were taken into custody because they had been either monitored by police or working to seek the release of other detained practitioners.
About Half Still Detained
The 1,022 arrested come from all walks of life and include hotel managers, accomplished artists, engineers, entrepreneurs, homemakers, retirees, government employees, teachers, and executives.
Many of them have been repeatedly arrested for their faith over the years. Mr. Yan Jiguo, an engineer from Yilan County, Heilongjiang Province, was arrested for the eighth time on May 6th. Less than two weeks later, an artist in Beijing, Mr. Qin Wei, encountered his eighth arrest on May 18th.
At the time of writing, about half of the arrested are still being held in detention centres, police stations, and brainwashing centres. Thirty-one of them have already been formally arrested and are facing possible indictment.
Those who have been released were held captive for various lengths of time, ranging from a few hours to 45 days.
Practitioners All Across China Targeted
The arrests were scattered all across China, covering almost every province and centrally-controlled city. Shandong Province had the most arrests (169), followed by Heilongjiang Province (136). Sixteen other provinces registered double-digit arrests.
26 Arrested in Two Days for Celebrating Their Faith
Nearly 30 practitioners from Jilin City, Jilin Province were arrested in two days for celebrating the anniversary of Falun Dafa's public introduction on May 13th.
Ten people were arrested on May 11th and they include Zhang Shousheng, Yang Hongyan, Yang Rui, Wu Maotian, Xia Hui, Lian Jinhua, He Changlong, Li Xiuwen, Song Chunhua, and Chen Lijun. Except for Ms. Xia, all other practitioners remain detained.
Sixteen more practitioners were arrested two days later, including Li Shigang, Piao Zhe, Yu Haixin, Li Chunqing, Zhao Yanqiu, Fu Guiqiu, Teng, Zhao, Li, Yu, Luan, Wang Shulan, Zhao Yufen, Liu Shufang, Wang Yanhong, and Cao Yuqin.
Mr. Li Shigang was beaten so badly that he could not walk.
70+ Arrested in Same Day for Suing Jiang Zemin
Over 70 residents of Shuangcheng District, Harbin City, Heilongjiang Province were arrested on May 6th. These practitioners were targeted because they filed criminal complaints against Jiang Zemin.
According to police officers, this large-scale arrest was ordered by higher authorities.
Abused in Detention
Mr. Li Shigang, 48, was arrested on May 12th this year. The engineer from Jilin City, Jilin Province was not released until 15 days later. When his mother went to pick him up, her heart palpitated, and she had trouble breathing when she saw her son: there were strangling marks on his neck and bruises everywhere on his body. He could not walk by himself.
Mr. Li Shihai (unrelated) from Pingdu City, Shandong Province was arrested on May 17th. His lawyer saw that he was vomiting blood during a visit on June 14th. The guards had been force-feeding Mr. Li as a punishment for his hunger strike. He appeared extremely weak, and there were bumps on his head. The police, however, threatened to sentence him to prison when his lawyer sought his release the next day.
Large Sums of Money Extorted
Among the arrested practitioners, 247 had their homes ransacked and valuables taken. In particular, 40 practitioners saw large sums of cash and bank deposits, totalling 534,400 yuan (£62,000), confiscated by police. To date, the police have not returned any of the money.
Families Call For Release
Many family members have been working tirelessly on the arrested practitioners’ release. Some who live outside of China also used this opportunity to further publicise the communist regime’s violent suppression of Falun Gong practitioners.
Mr. Han Wei, an entrepreneur from Harbin City, Heilongjiang Province, was arrested on May 5th. His wife and daughter, who live in the U.S., published an article on Minghui.org to recount their family’s ordeal and call for his release.
Ms. Yuan Xiaoman from Dalian, Liaoning Province was arrested on May 12th. Her son, who lives in the U.S., held a press conference outside the Chinese embassy in Washington D.C. on May 27th to seek her release. Ms. Yuan has been formally arrested and faces indictment.
In 1999, Jiang Zemin, as head of the Chinese Communist Party, overrode other Politburo standing committee members and launched the violent suppression of Falun Gong.
The persecution has led to the deaths of many Falun Gong practitioners over the past 16 years. More have been tortured for their belief and even killed for their organs. Jiang Zemin is directly responsible for the inception and continuation of the brutal persecution.
Under his personal direction, the Chinese Communist Party established an extralegal security organ, the “610 Office,” on June 10th, 1999. The organisation overrides police forces and the judicial system in carrying out Jiang's directive regarding Falun Gong: to ruin their reputations, cut off their financial resources, and destroy them physically.
Chinese law allows for citizens to be plaintiffs in criminal cases, and many practitioners are now exercising that right to file criminal complaints against the former dictator.
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