(Minghui.org) From July 3 to August 3, 2023, three men in three different provinces were arrested for posting information on social media about their shared faith in Falun Gong.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a mind-body practice based on the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. The practice has been persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party since July 1999.
Mr. Cheng Qianyue, Shandong Province
Mr. Cheng Qianyue is a farmer in Longhuadian Village, Qinghe Town, Cao County, Shandong Province. He was arrested on July 3, 2023 and has remained in detention since then.
The arresting officers, from the Cao County Domestic Security Office and Qinghe Town Police Station, targeted Mr. Cheng for posting messages reading “Falun Dafa is good and Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good” on Kwai (a TikTok-type social media platform for short videos and trends).
Mr. Yao Xianmin, Jilin Province
Mr. Yao Xianmin, 53, is a native of Siping City, Jilin Province. He has been doing odd jobs in Changchun (the provincial capital) in recent years.
Mr. Yao had an account on TikTok, where he used an alias to post Falun Gong information in various forms (videos, poems, etc.) from the perspective of a non-Falun Gong practitioner. It was said he had about 30,000 followers. The Internet police discovered his true identity and arrested him around July 10, 2023.
Mr. Yao is currently held at the Zhenlai County Detention Centre in Jilin Province. His family and lawyer have been denied visits with him.
Mr. Tang Zhifei, Anhui Province
Mr. Tang Zhifei, 41, is a software engineer in Hefei City, Anhui Province. Jinggangshan Police Station agents broke into his home on August 3, 2023 and arrested him. His son, only in his underwear at the time, was not allowed to put on any clothes. A policewoman then dropped off the boy at his paternal grandparents’ home, which is nearby.
Mr. Tang’s wife was out of town at the time. She rushed back to Hefei upon learning of the news. When she picked up her son from her parents-in-law’s home, the boy was wearing his grandpa’s clothes.
The police raided Mr. Tang’s home and confiscated his computer, cell phone, house deed, and business license (he co-owns a business with a partner). Before leaving, the police also changed the lock on his door. His wife had no alternative but to take their son to her hometown in Fuyang City, Anhui Province. She had invited her parents-in-law, both retired physicians, to go with her to avoid police harassment, but they declined because their health wasn’t suitable for travel.
Mr. Tang is currently held at the Changfeng County Detention Centre. The police said they targeted him after discovering that he had been posting Falun Gong informational videos on an overseas social media platform with more than 6,000 views. They threatened to get him sentenced to at least three years.
Twenty-Plus Years of Censorship
Above are just three of the latest examples of the Chinese Communist Party’s censorship of information about Falun Gong over the past 24 years of persecution. While carrying out a relentless propaganda campaign to demonise the practice and justify the persecution, the regime has also been targeting practitioners who speak up, be it talking to people face to face, distributing informational materials, sharing information on the Internet, or even printing information on paper currency. Practitioners’ righteous actions are often met with retaliation by the authorities, resulting in arrest and prison sentences.
As early as September 9, 2001, Mr. Zhao Lin, of Mudanjiang City, Heilongjiang Province, was arrested by the local police after they found out about his downloading information from Minghui.org with a Yahoo email account and sending it to others. The computer he had just bought was confiscated. His wife, who was two months pregnant, was slapped in the face by the police. Both Mr. Zhao and his wife were taken to the police station for interrogation. Mr. Zhao escaped from the police station two days later and was put on the police’s wanted list. His wife was released after five days in detention and paying a 800-yuan bail bond.
For the next 15 years, Mr. Zhao couldn’t return home and lived a displaced life. The hard life took a toll on his health and he passed away on September 14, 2016. He was only 44. Even one month before his passing, the police harassed his parents and attempted to force them to reveal his whereabouts. The police also went to his son’s school and tried to deceived the middle-schooler into taking them to look for his father.
Since 2019, the Internet police in Henan Province have travelled across the country and arrested practitioners for spreading information online about the persecution of Falun Gong. Several practitioners have been sentenced to heavy terms as a result, including Ms. Dai Zhiying, of Shanghai, who was given 9.5 years and Mr. Sun Wanshuai, an art teacher in his 50s, of Zhangjiakou City, Hebei Province, who was sentenced to 8 years.
Mr. Hao Hucheng, 37, from Wu’an City, Hebei Province, sent a greeting video to the overseas media The Epoch Times via social media platform WeChat during the Chinese New Year in February 2021. The Beijing police soon found out about it through their tracking system. He was arrested on April 22, 2021 and sentenced to three years in April 2022.
Mr. Li Shihai, a 56-year-old Pingdu City, Shandong Province resident, stood trial in a Luoyang City, Henan Province court on January 10, 2023, after the Henan Internet police discovered that he had established and administered two chat groups on the app Potato and posted information about Falun Gong. The first chat group had over 700 users and the second had more than 3,000 users. He was sentenced to four years shortly after.
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