Buddhism beliefs

Nearly 100 residents of Chinese town detained for belief in one-day operation, including 98-year-old woman: report

Police in northeast China’s Daqing City, Heilongjiang Province, detained nearly 100 Falun Gong practitioners on July 12 for their faith, raided their homes, and took away their money and their belongings, according to a report posted on Minghui.org.

Minghui.org is a US-based nonprofit organization that reports on the ongoing persecution of the Falun Gong Buddhist school’s spiritual beliefs in China.

More than 20 Falun Gong practitioners are over 70, including a 98-year-old woman.

The sweep was part of a provincial-level operation, Minghui said, citing police who participated in the campaign.

Organized Raids

According to September 26 report, 15 police stations in Daqing City participated in the city-wide campaign, with police from across the city simultaneously moving in for the one-day operation. The police were following orders from the ruling Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) Gestapo-like 610 Office.

Five directors/deputy directors of the “610 Office” fired. (The Epoch Times)

A former Minghui report September 13 reveals that the Heilongjiang Provincial Police Department distributed the names of Falun Gong practitioners to each municipal police bureau, which in turn distributed the names to each branch and then to each police station.

The police had been preparing for the illegal arrests for more than nine months, Minghui reported. The police had tracked down and filmed all Falun Gong practitioners on the lists for the past nine months. They then deployed police forces in front of each practitioner’s residence for over a week to ensure that they could catch them on July 12th.

This is a recent crackdown by the Chinese Communist regime targeting Falun Gong adherents. The CCP’s persecution of Falun Gong began in July 1999 and continues today.

Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a spiritual practice consisting of five gentle exercises and moral teachings promoting the values ​​of truthfulness, compassion and tolerance. Its popularity increased in the 1990s after it spread nationwide due to its significant physical and spiritual benefits. The number of Falun Gong adherents in China was estimated at between 70 and 100 million by the end of the decade.

The 610 Office is an extralegal organization set up on June 10, 1999 by former CCP leader Jiang Zemin to specifically “eradicate” Falun Gong believers. It was named according to the date it was created.

Jiang was concerned about the spiritual group’s popularity and launched a nationwide crackdown on Falun Gong on July 20, 1999. The persecution continues to this day.

More than 20 senior practitioners targeted

More … than 20 of the detained Falun Gong practitioners are over 70 years old, of whom more than a dozen are over 80 years old. The oldest inmate is a 98-year-old Falun Gong practitioner surnamed Li. The Minghui report did not reveal her full name.

In July and August, Heilongjiang Province arrested and detained 235 Falun Gong practitioners—the most of any province in China during this period.

Ms. Li, 98, Released; Minghui did not mention when she was released.

Early morning raids

Epoch Times Photo
Oil Painting “Homeless” (partial screenshot) A little girl came home from school to find that her parents had been arrested for practicing Falun Gong. The door was sealed by the “610 Office.” In China, many children are deprived of normal education and job opportunities because their parents or relatives practice Falun Gong. (Screenshot via Epoch Times)

On July 12, police raided at least 70 Falun Gong practitioners’ residences and took away their personal belongings, including laptops, printers, media players, Falun Gong books, and cell phones, as reported. Minghui.org on September 26.

Wang Fengzhen heard someone knock on his door at 5:30 a.m. and say he was from the pandemic prevention and control center. When Wang opened his door, a group of police walked in and took Wang to the Daqing Hi-tech Development Zone Branch Police Office. The police raided her home and took away more than a dozen Falun Gong books.

Gao Xijiang was tricked by the police into leaving his home at 6 a.m. after they told him his car was scratched. When Gao came out, the police arrested him. Gao’s wife refused to open the door, and the police tried to pick the lock and saw off several steel railings from the windows. They were unable to enter Gao’s home despite their violent efforts, Minghui said.

Li Guilian is an 84-year-old Falun Gong practitioner. The police opened her house with a key at 7:00 am and took away her Falun Gong books and a media player that she used to play Falun Gong exercise music. She refused to go with the police, but the police forced her to provide her fingerprints on many documents. They did not leave until late in the afternoon.

Police from the Lindian County Police Branch detained Falun Gong practitioner Zhao Li at her home and then ransacked it. After they left, her family members discovered that 9,000 yuan ($1,265) in cash and a gold necklace were missing. They suspect that the police robbed them. Zhao is under arrest and is currently being held at Daqing No. 1 Detention Station.

Epoch Times Photo
In the torture called “Tiger Bench” depicted in this drawing, the elevation of the legs over time causes excruciating pain. Torture is routinely used in labor camps in China, as well as brainwashing centers to which prisoners of conscience will be sent, now that China has officially abolished labor camps. (Courtesy of Minghui.org)

Minghui reports more detailed persecution cases on its website.

However, he explains that his data is incomplete because it is difficult for his reporters to communicate with practitioners in China due to the CCP’s information blockade and that the actual number of persecuted Falun Gong practitioners is likely much higher than that. the disclosed one.

Police refuse to present warrants

Police who participated in the illegal arrests and detention of Falun Gong practitioners on July 12 did not show any warrants or their identification papers, according to the report.

When Falun Gong practitioners asked them for their warrants and IDs, some police officers replied that they were “state secrets,” which they said could not be leaked online. Minghui condemned the police for the illegal actions targeting Falun Gong practitioners, adding that the police were afraid that their illegal actions would be exposed by Minghui.org.

According to Minghui, at least eight Falun Gong practitioners are still detained in the Daqing No. 2 Detention Center and one Falun Gong practitioner in the Daqing No. 1 Detention Center.

A Chinese lawyer who wishes to remain anonymous told the Chinese-language edition of The Epoch Times that the CCP’s persecution of Falun Gong is illegal.

“As long as you are a Falun Gong practitioner, regardless of your age and if your physical condition is suitable for detention, the CCP will arrest, detain and try Falun Gong practitioners,” the lawyer said.

Li Jiesi contributed to the article.

Sophie Lam

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Sophia Lam joined The Epoch Times in 2021 and covers China-related topics.