(Minghui.org) With the 2022 Winter Olympics set to take place in China from February 4 to 20, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has begun yet another round of campaigns to “maintain social stability.” To that end, the CCP intensified the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners, especially in the three Games zones, Beijing, Yanqing (a rural District in Beijing), and Zhangjiakou in Hebei Province.

Similar tactics were used when the Olympics was held in Beijing in 2008. The CCP has often intensified the persecution around so-called “sensitive dates”, such as holidays or special events like the Olympics, in the name of “maintaining social stability.”


Practitioners Harassed

Two officers from Haidian District Police Department in Beijing, surnamed Guo and E, respectively, showed up at practitioner Mr. Qin Wei’s door on December 21, 2021. They were accompanied by several people with unknown identities. When Mr. Qin’s family stopped them, they said they came to “maintain stability” in preparation for the Winter Olympics.

Ms. Han Fei in Chaoyang District, Beijing, also had similar experiences. Officers from Pingfang Police Station and Yachengli Neighborhood Committee have been following and monitoring her. On November 30, her husband said the police station had called warning Ms. Han not to go out because of the winter Olympics. It was said quite a few practitioners had been arrested.

Harassment and arrest also occurred in other areas of Beijing. At 11 p.m. on December 15, officers from Dayushu Police Station in Yanqing District arrested Mr. Yu Hongbing and his wife. On December 24, two officers from Kangzhuang Police Station in Yanqing District harassed Mr. Hao Xiufeng at his home in Xibozi Town.

Besides Beijing, officials in neighboring Hebei Province also did the same. In Wei County of Zhangjiakou City, for example, a large number of plainclothes police officers were dispatched to patrol the streets. In addition, Wei County Police Department has held numerous activities at the county seat and various towns since December 1. In these events, the police openly defamed Falun Gong and distributed a large number of slanderous flyers. They offered financial rewards to ordinary citizens for reporting practitioners to police.

As a result, some practitioners were arrested. Practitioner Ms. Zhou Guihong and her husband Mr. Niu Jiancheng (not a practitioner) were arrested on December 10 while transporting materials intended for use to produce New Year calendars with Falun Gong phrases. According to insiders, the police planned to increase the criminal penalty against Mr. Niu. In addition, domestic security bureau of Wei County have arrested practitioners on several occasions.


Persecution in the Name of “Social Stability”

Citing the Winter Olympic as an excuse to target Chinese citizens started several years ago. A document titled “Zhangjiakou Police Department 2020 Budget” showed an estimated expenditure of 481 million yuan in 2020 (or $76 million USD), about 5.1% higher than the previous year. The document revealed that the main reason for the proposed increase was to prepare for the Winter Olympics in 2022. Among the funding dedicated to domestic security bureau, Falun Gong was listed as the primary group to be targeted.

The document further explained that the budget increase should cover big data infrastructure cost, public security video surveillance funding, and auxiliary police expense. In particular, 16 million yuan was appropriated for big data infrastructure while 18 million yuan went to video information platform with new surveillance cameras to be installed at 3,680 locations.


A Repressive Machine

Caylan Ford, a documentary filmmaker in Canada, and David Matas, human rights lawyer in Canada, recently wrote an article titled, “Keeping Our Eyes Open to China’s Machinery of Repression.”

This article was published on the website of think tank Macdonald-Laurier Institute (WLI). “The 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics also took place against a backdrop of mass atrocities. The success of those games, and the muted response of the international community to the human rights abuses surrounding them, was understood by Beijing as a validation of its approach, and as licence to repeat it,” wrote the authors.

The 2008 Olympics took place in the 10th year since the CCP began to suppress Falun Gong, wrote the article. More than 8,000 Falun Gong practitioners were detained before the Olympics that year with at least 100 reportedly losing their lives due to abuse in custody.

“This occurred sometimes within walking distance of Olympic venues and major landmarks. Among them was 42-year-old Yu Zhou, a popular folk musician who died in custody 11 days after he was arrested for possessing forbidden religious literature (his widow, an artist named Xu Na, was arrested in advance of the 2022 Olympics, and is currently awaiting trial),” the authors wrote.

When Ms. Xu Na was painting an artwork at home on July 19, 2020, officers from the local Konggang Police Station in Shunyi District, Beijing arrested her. They returned the next day and confiscated her personal belongings including a computer, a cell phone, and a video camera. They also kept her at Dongcheng District Detention Centre, where Ms. Xu went on a hunger strike to protest.

When Ms. Xu and 10 other Beijing practitioners were on trial in Dongcheng Court on October 15, 2021, five lawyers, including Liang Xiaojun, defended their innocence. However, the authority revoked Mr. Liang’s license on December 16.

Ms. Xu’s husband Mr. Yu Zhou graduated from Peking University and was a musician. He was also persecuted for practicing Falun Gong and died on February 6, 2008. Ms. Xu was twice jailed prior to her latest arrest.

Yu Zhou and his wife Xu Na