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Practitioners Arrested After the “700-Signature Petition Incident”
October 30, 2012 | By a Minghui correspondent from Hebei Province, China
(Minghui.org) The “700-signature petition incident” to rescue Falun Gong practitioner Mr. Li Lankui from Zhending County, Shijiazhuang City in Hebei Province received international media attention in June 2012. Information about the signature campaign reached as far as the United States Congress.
When Xi Jinping invited a U.S. governor to visit Daizhai Village in Zhengding, agents from the Zhengding 610 Office and the police used this as an excuse to arrest Mr. Li on June 7, 2012. Mr. Li is being held at the Shijiazhuang Forced Labor Camp.
The elder members of Mr. Li’s family had been ill in the past, and Mr. Li and his wife were unable to provide financially for their household. Residents of the village knew that Mr. Li and his family had regained their health through practicing Falun Gong and their financial situation also improved. Mr. Li made a living by collecting recyclable material, and was known for his honesty. He told his fellow villagers, “I have a monitor in my heart and it is Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. These are the principles that Master has taught me.” Villagers were shocked that the authorities arrested Mr. Li because a U.S. governor was coming for a visit. As a result, 200 villagers and those from nearby areas, totaling 700 people, signed a petition calling for the release of Mr. Li.
700-signature petition calling for the release of Mr. Li Lankui
The local government officials were angered when they received the 700-signature petition, and started to harass residents in the local areas. First, the police rushed to Donganfeng Village in Xipingle Township, where Mr. Li resides, and called in all of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) members for an open meeting. They intimidated and threatened the villagers, demanding that they give them the names of those who collected the signatures and announced that they would find those who organized the petition signing.
The police then went from household to household asking the villagers who had signed the petition. They made it known that “whoever signed the petition would be in trouble.” At the same time, police went to harass Mr. Li’s two daughters at their home and workplace. A lot of police activities took place in the village and police cars patrolled the area around the clock.
Practitioners and Their Family Members Arrested
Agents from the 610 Office, police department, and Domestic Security Division in Zhending, Shijiazhuang, and the Gaocheng area had been harassing local residents, and a total of sixteen practitioners and their family members were arrested and tortured since July 22, 2012.
Those arrested had black hoods put over their heads and were taken to a secret location within the First Detention Center in Shijiazhuang. This location was later known to be the Shijiazhuang Municipal Public Security Criminal Police Training Center. They were handcuffed to metal chairs for long periods of time, beaten, and shocked with electric batons. It has been reported that there is also an organ transplant research center at the detention center.
Mr. Li Lankui was arrested on June 7 and was sentenced to 1 year and 3 months in a forced labor camp. Mr. Li’s younger daughter Li Meng and his wife Ms. Zhao Hongxiu were arrested on August 2. Ms. Zhao was interrogated with her hands cuffed to a metal chair and was not allowed to sleep. She was then forced to make a confession. Mr. Li’s neighbor, Cui Xia, and Ms. Zhang Lanchui, who lives in the same village, were also arrested on the same day.
Ms. Bai Shuqin and Mr. Liu Xiaobao from Donganfeng Village, Ms. Wang Yuexia and Mr. Yang Rongxia from Gaocheng, as well as Ms. Chen Sulian, Ms. Zhang Jianzhi, and others from Shijiazhuang were all arrested on August 7, 2012. Ms. Zhang was brutally beaten on August 28 and taken to a forced labor camp on August 29, 2012. However, she did not pass the medical examination and was released. Ms. Bai, Ms. Wang, and Mr. Yang were all sentenced to a labor camp.
Ms. Gao Suzhen was also arrested on August 7, and is now being held in room 205 at the Shijiazhuang City No. 2 Detention Center. Her husband, Mr. Zhang Tianqi, was arrestedat work on August 14, and is being held at Zhengding Detention Center. Their home was ransacked on August 16.
Officers from Beiyuan Police Station in the Xinhua District of Shijiazhuang went to Ms. Yang Yinqiao’s fifth floor flat at the Beikonsizhan dormitory on the night of August 7, 2012. Ms. Yang tragically fell to her death during the arrest. Many armed police arrived at the scene and sealed off the area. Ms. Yang’s family and relatives were not allowed near the scene, and her son was beaten when he tried to see his mother’s body. Two hours after the fall, at around 10:00 p.m., Ms. Yang was pronounced dead, and her body was left on the ground all night. The next morning, police took her body to a funeral home. Ms. Yang’s family tried to stop the police from moving Ms. Yang’s body, but they were beaten. The police threatened Ms. Yang’s family, and told them to not talk about her death. They gave the family 100,000 yuan for funeral expenses and compensation. All of Ms. Yang’s relatives were called to the police station, where they were threatened and intimidated.
Ms. Niu Minjie from Shijiazhuang was arrested on the afternoon of August 13. She was handcuffed to a metal chair while being interrogated, and her blood pressure rose very high. Ms. Niu was later released, but she continues to be monitored and harassed by the police.
At around 9:00 p.m. on August 13 approximately seven officers from Donghuan Police Station and Yuhua Police Department broke into Mr. Jia Zhijiang’s apartment. He was arrested and his personal belongings were confiscated, including a printer, laptop computer, scanner, video recorder, and Falun Gong materials. Mr. Jia was held at an undisclosed location for over a month, where he was handcuffed to a metal chair for several days and tortured in many different ways, including being shocked with electric batons. He showed the symptoms of having a heart attack and was transferred to Zhengding Detention Center. His condition is currently unknown.
Mr. Jia’s wife, Ms. Li Rongmei, was arrested on August 19 and went through many days of interrogation before being released on September 30.
Deputy Director Gao Guo Ordered the Torture of Practitioners
Deputy director Gao Guo of Zhengding Police Department directly ordered the torture of those arrested. It was Gao that instructed officers from the local police stations to put black hoods over the practitioners’ heads. He then oversaw the physical torture of those detained, which included the iron chair, prolonged sleep deprivation, electric shock, and beatings to force confessions.
Gao became a member of the party committee and deputy director at Zhengding Police Department in March 2011. Since then, he has been in charge of the Zhengding Domestic Security Division, a security company, and other institutions. He became the main instigator of criminal activities against practitioners in the area.
Previous Petitions to Rescue Falun Gong Practitioners
For the past two years in mainland China there have been many signed petitions to try and rescue Falun Gong practitioners who were arrested.
In March 2010, Mr. Xu Dawei from Qingyuan County, Fushun in Liaoning Province was tortured at Dongling Prison to the point that he had systemic organ failure. Cuts and bruises covered his entire body. He passed away thirteen days after he was released from an eight year prison term. 376 people from Mr. Xu’s village signed a petition requesting to speak to the related government agencies about this injustice.
Mr. Zhang Guoxiang from the Chaoyang area in Liaoning Province was arrested in the Jinzhouxin District, Dalian City on June 29, 2011. Villagers from Mr. Zhang’s hometown signed a petition and village officials stamped the letter with the village office seal to request Mr. Zhang’s release.
Ms. Zheng Hongying, 70, from Gengjiabao Village, Nankouqian Township, Qingyuan County in Fushun was arrested on September 6, 2011. Her ribs were broken during beatings by the police. She was tried two months later. As Ms. Zhang’s health rapidly deteriorated due to the persecution, people from her village signed a petition calling for her release. The petition stated, “Good people should not be locked up in prison. We are calling for justice and an act of conscience. Let villager Zheng Hongying come home.”
Mr. Zhou Xiangyang, an engineer at the Tianjin Third Railway Survey and Design Institute, was sentence to nine years in prison in September 2011. News later came out that Mr. Zhou had been tortured and abused in the prison. 1500 people from the region of Changli County in Qinhuangdao, where Mr. Zhou lives, sent a petition to the local authorities. They requested that Mr. Zhou be released and that the incidents of physical torture in the prison be investigated. Mr. Zhou’s wife, Ms. Li Shanshan, has persistently filed lawsuits against officials at Gangbei Prison in Tianjin seeking justice for her husband. As a result of these actions, officials from the Tangshan Domestic Security Division arrested her on October 29, 2011. Hearing the news of her arrest, 528 people in Tangshan signed a petition calling for her release.
Local police and officials from the 610 Office arrested Mr. Wang Xiaodong from Zhouguantun Village in Botou, Hebei Province on February 25, 2012. A petition was signed by 300 households, and the letter was stamped with the official village seal requesting the release of Mr. Wang.
Mr. Zheng Xiangxing from Tanghai County in Tangshan was arrested on February 25, 2012. Fellow villagers from Farm No. 10 and Farm No. 11 wrote three petition letters. 562 people signed the letters asking for Mr. Zheng Xiangxing’s release.
Mr. Qin Yueming passed away due to the brutal persecution he suffered at Jiamusi Prison. Mr. Qin’s daughter, Ms. Qin Rongqian, with an appeal letter in her hand entitled “Calling for Justice,” went along the streets asking for signatures of support. In less than two weeks, over 15,000 people signed the petition.
During the arrest of Mr. Li Zhen from Tangshan in Hebei on June 9, 2012, several hundred residents at Wenxinjiayuan community, where Mr. Li lives, had a two-hour stand-off with the police. The residents formed a human wall to block them, but the police eventually took Mr. Li away. Residents started a petition right away to rescue Mr. Li.
Those responsible for the persecution: Tang Hong, section chief of the Procuratorate: +86-13832165470 Zhengding County Court: +86-311-88022591 Zhengding County Detention Center, Shijiazhuang: +86-311-88018864 No. 2 Detention Center at Shijiazhuang: +86-311-87782024, +86-311-8021717, +86-311-88022062 Zhengding County Police Department: +86-311-88012495 Hu Jun,head ofZhengding County 610 Office and deputy chief of Zhengding Police Department: +86-13931861388, +86-311-88022276 (home) Zhengding County Detention Center: +86-311-88787160, +86-311-88798739, +86-311-88786320
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