(Minghui.org) Twenty-four years after the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) began persecuting Falun Gong in 1999, practitioners from 44 countries submitted a new list of perpetrators to their respective governments in advance of Human Rights Day, December 10, 2023, urging the authorities to hold these individuals accountable for the persecution of Falun Gong in China. The practitioners asked their governments to bar the perpetrators and their family members from entry and to freeze their overseas assets.
Among the perpetrators listed was Zhang Wenge, former head of the Domestic Security Office of the Hebei Provincial Public Security Department.
Full Name of Perpetrator: Zhang (last name) Wenge (first name) (张文阁)
Date/year of Birth: November 1966
Place of Birth: Gucheng County, Hebei Province
Title or Position
June 2022 – Present: deputy mayor of the Langfang Municipal Government and Director of the Municipal Domestic Security Office
December 2019 – May 2022: member of the Party Leadership Group and deputy mayor of the Cangzhou Municipal Government, director of the Domestic Security Office
February 2017 – December 2019: head of the Domestic Security Office of the Hebei Provincial Public Security Department
November 2013 – February 2017: political commissar of the Domestic Security Office of the Hebei Provincial Public Security Department
August 1989 – November 2013: worked at the Hebei Provincial Public Security Department
Since the CCP launched its persecution of Falun Gong in July 1999, Zhang Wenge has served multiple roles in the public security system, including political commissar and head of the Domestic Security Office of the Hebei Provincial Public Security Department, and director of the Domestic Security Office for Cangzhou City and Langfang City.
He actively implemented the CCP persecution policy, mobilising the police force across all levels in Hebei to participate. At least 32 Falun Gong practitioners lost their lives due to the persecution during his tenure in the aforementioned two roles. Many more practitioners were detained, harassed, sentenced, and tortured.
December 2019 to Present: Deputy Mayor of Cangzhou City and Langfang City, and Director of Municipal Domestic Security Office
Since Zhang took over as director of both the Cangzhou City and Langfang City Domestic Security Offices in 2019, many Falun Gong practitioners have been arrested, harassed, and detained.
Persecution in Langfang
Between May and August 2023, a total of ten practitioners were arrested in Sanhe City, which is under the jurisdiction of Langfang. Ms. Sui Lixian and Mr. Zhang Xuefu had their arrests approved.
Ms. Guan Zhongfeng, of Langfang City, was arrested when she distributed information about Falun Gong in a residential community on the afternoon of August 18, 2023. Her home was ransacked. She was detained for 15 days despite her high blood pressure and was released on September 1, 2023.
In September 2022, before the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, the Sanhe City Domestic Security Office pressured local police stations to harass at least 40 Falun Gong practitioners. Some police officers made harassing calls, some visited practitioners’ homes, some secretly took photos and videos of the practitioners, and some deceived the practitioners’ family members into taking short videos of the practitioners for them.
Two Xianghe County, Hebei Province residents were convicted on September 5, 2023 for their shared faith in Falun Gong. Mr. Wang Zhishan, a 52-year-old physician, was sentenced to a two-year prison term. Mr. Zhang Xian, a 50-year-old former police officer, was sentenced to one and a half years. Both had been out on bail since January 2023, and were taken back into custody the day after their prison sentencing.
On the evening of January 11, 2022, Falun Gong practitioners Liu Zaiyun, Su Chunfeng, Hou Shuyuan, and Hu Xiumei drove to Xinhua District, Cangzhou City. As soon as they got out of their car, they were arrested by Gao Fusong and more than a dozen policemen from the Xinhua Public Security Bureau. The group was illegally detained and interrogated in the Xinhua Police Station, and their homes were searched without warrants.
Persecution in Cangzhou
In Cangzhou City, four Falun Gong practitioners were sentenced, 15 were arrested, and 100 were harassed in 2021; in the year before, seven practitioners were sentenced, 50 were arrested, and 306 were harassed. In November 2020, the police harassed Falun Gong practitioners using various excuses such as “taking the census” or “checking COVID-19 status.”
Mr. Zhang Tieshan, a Cangzhou City resident, was arrested on March 13, 2020 while talking to people about Falun Gong near the Qing County Experimental Elementary School. Although he was released on March 14, he remained in a distressed mood. He often cried and rarely talked. Meanwhile, he was unable to eat and sometimes coughed up blood. He quickly lost weight and began to have difficulty walking. He fell into a coma while at work on September 12, 2020 and passed away later in the evening. He was 64 years old.
Mr. Wang Shuiyong of Botou City (under the jurisdiction of Cangzhou), had trouble eating and sleeping after being harassed by local government and village officials on September 10, 2020. He died from a heart attack on October 2, 2020.
Ms. Zhang Rufen, nearly 70, was arrested at home by more than a dozen police officers on November 16, 2020. After the officers carried Ms. Zhang downstairs and pushed her into the police car, they shut the door while her feet were still outside. She screamed in pain. Being confined in the car, she had significant back pain and wanted to stretch her body, but the police refused to make room for her. When the car arrived at the police station, Ms. Zhang was in so much pain that she was unable to move. Several officers dragged her out of the car by her legs. Her head hit the concrete ground and she passed out.
When Ms. Zhang came to, she was lying on the concrete ground in the yard of the police station. Her back was exposed. One sleeve of her winter jacket had been torn off. She had difficulty breathing, was shivering, and couldn’t move due to extreme pain. She also had severe swelling on the back of her head that didn’t go away for days.
Seeing that she had woken up, several officers came over and attempted to drag her to the interrogation room. She screamed in pain. The officers then ordered her to stand up, but she almost fainted again. Her chest was very tight, and she felt as if her back was broken.
Four practitioners from Cangzhou City, Ms. Liu Zaiyun, Ms. Su Chunfeng, Mr. Hou Shuyuan, and Ms. Hu Xiumei, were arrested on January 11, 2022, after being followed by the police while out distributing informational materials about Falun Gong. Ms. Su was released on bail on January 14 due to a health condition, Mr. Hou was taken to the Cangzhou City Detention Center on January 16, and Ms. Liu and Ms. Hu were taken there two days later. Mr. Hou developed severe hypertension and had thick fluid buildup around his cerebral arteries due to abuse in custody, but has been denied bail. The four practitioners were indicted on October 26, 2022. They stood trial December 21, 2023 and are now awaiting verdicts.
November 2013 to December 2019: Head of the Domestic Security Office of the Hebei Provincial Public Security Department
After Zhang became the head of the Domestic Security Office of the Hebei Provincial Public Security Department in 2014, he orchestrated many large-scale arrests of Falun Gong practitioners. In the second half of 2017 and 2018, Hebei Province ranked first in the country in harassment cases.
In 2019, ten practitioners were persecuted to death, 64 were sentenced to prison, 544 were arrested, with 289 having their homes ransacked, and another 234 practitioners were harassed.
In 2018, a total of 1,075 incidents of harassment were reported, the highest in the country. Another 326 practitioners were arrested. Forty-one practitioners were subjected to various forms of financial persecution, either extortion or fines, for a total of 382,700 yuan.
In the first half of 2017, at least 306 harassment cases were recorded, along with 281 arrests and 126 incidents of home ransackings. Four practitioners were persecuted to death.
In the second half of 2017, 2,092 Falun Gong practitioners were harassed in Hebei Province, the highest occurrences in the country. During the same period, 269 practitioners were arrested.
In 2016, 1,226 practitioners in Hebei Province were arrested or harassed, including 187 whose homes were ransacked. In 2015, 462 practitioners were arrested and 901 were harassed.
In 2014, at least 487 practitioners were arrested in Hebei Province, ranking third in the nation. On August 17, 2014, 42 Falun Gong practitioners were arrested by more than a dozen officers in Cangzhou City, including Ms. Li Li, Ms. Kang Lanying, and Ms. Tang Jianying, when they were holding an experience sharing conference. The police raided the practitioners’ homes over the next several days.
Group Arrests and Harassment Cases
In April 2019, authorities in Hebei Province launched a 100-day campaign to target practitioners who refused to renounce their faith in Falun Gong. A special task force was set up by the Hebei Province Public Security Bureau to carry out the campaign, which lasted from April 5 to July 15, 2019. The task force was headquartered in a hotel in Laishui County. Li Hongyu, former head of the Laishui County 610 Office, lead the task force.
More than 300 police officers were mobilized to round up the practitioners at around 3 a.m. on July 6, 2019. A police chief revealed that they had monitored the practitioners’ cellphones for two months before making their move. The officers were required to arrest more than 30 people.
On July 13, 2019, 34 practitioners from Weichang County, Hebei Province were arrested and had their homes ransacked. The police confiscated the practitioners’ printers, computers, Falun Gong books, and Falun Gong informational materials. Thirteen practitioners were later sentenced to between one and six years by the Luanping County Court.
From July to August 2018, under the instruction of the Laishui Government, the Political and Legal Committee, the Stability Maintenance Office, and the Public Security Bureau of Laishui County, Hebei Province, agents ransacked the homes of 550 Falun Gong practitioners from 284 villages in 15 townships. They took pictures and video recordings, and collected practitioners’ personal information.
Selected Death Cases
Case 1: Ms. Kong Hongyun from Baoding City died in Baoding Detention Centre
Ms. Kong Hongyun, a resident of Baoding City, Hebei Province, was arrested on January 2, 2019 after she was reported for talking to people about her faith. She fell into a coma in March and a tracheotomy was performed without her family’s consent. She never regained consciousness and passed away on June 12, 2019. She was 47. The authorities refused to provide any explanation to her family as to what caused her sudden loss of consciousness and eventual death.
While investigating the cause of Ms. Kong’s death on their own, her family managed to obtain some of her medical scan results and consulted a doctor at another hospital.
The doctor told them that Ms. Kong’s spinal nerve was severely damaged from the neck down, which caused her to become completely paralysed.
In addition, because she was bedridden for a long time and lacked proper care, she had a severe lung infection that rendered her unable to breathe, which the doctor suspected was the main cause of her death.
The doctor also noticed slight injuries in the lower back of her head, and her lumbar vertebrae were also deformed and the tissue around them was severely swollen. He said he’d never seen anything like that before and didn’t know what could have caused such a condition.
Her family suspects that Ms. Kong might have been given some nerve-damaging drugs during her detention, which caused her spinal condition and eventual death.
Case 2: Ms. Ma Guilan’s Internal Organs Removed After Her Death
Ms. Ma Guilan, a Falun Gong practitioner in her 60s from Qinhuangdao City, Hebei Province, was arrested on July 4, 2018. On September 17, news suddenly broke that Ms. Ma had been persecuted to death in the Qinhuangdao Detention Centre. According to inside information, the authorities had her internal organs removed, saying they were going to do lab tests.
Case 3: Mr. Wei Qishan Dies Suddenly in Custody
Mr. Wei Qishan was likely tortured to death in the Qinhuangdao City Detention Centre in Hebei Province on the evening of November 23, 2019. Before his death, he had been sentenced to four years in prison, and his wife, Ms. Yu Shurong, was sentenced to three and a half years in prison.
Around 9:20 p.m. on November 23, Mr. Wei’s two sons received calls from the Qinhuangdao City Detention Centre and were told that their father was dying in the Qinhuangdao City People’s Hospital. As both sons live some distance from their hometown, they called their aunt and asked her to go to the hospital to check on their father. Ten minutes later, the police called Mr. Wei’s sons again and informed them that Mr. Wei had just passed away.
Mr. Wei’s sister-in-law rushed to the hospital and saw his body, which was still on a stretcher but not in the emergency room. She noted that Mr. Wei’s eyes were half-open. His right arm was hanging down and his right sleeve was wet. She rolled his sleeve halfway up and saw that his right arm was black and purple.
Case 4. Ms. Yan Guoyan Died from Abuse in Detention
Ms. Yan Guoyan, of Zunhua City, was arrested on January 15, 2016. On the night of February 2, 2016, Yan Wanjiang (no relation to Ms. Yan), the brainwashing centre director, called Ms. Yan’s family to ask for money and told them to pick her up. When her family saw her at the detention centre, she was very weak due to the abuse she suffered there. She was lying on her back in bed and was only able to talk in a very weak voice. Her husband and her son carried her out and brought her home that same day. She passed away on March 13, 2016. She was 46.
Case 1: Mr. Li Yanchun and His wife, Ms. Pei Yuxian, Sentenced to Lengthy Prison Terms
Mr. Li Yanchun and his wife, Ms. Pei Yuxian, were arrested on November 25, 2018, after being reported for handing out calendars containing information about Falun Gong. They were handcuffed and shackled while being interrogated. The officers later took the couple to their home and ransacked the place. When Mr. Li resisted, officers slapped him in the face, causing his mouth to bleed. They forced him to kneel with his hands cuffed behind his back.
After 20 hours of detention, Mr. Li was released on bail due to high blood pressure. Ms. Pei was taken to the Qinhuangdao City Detention Centre.
Mr. Li was sentenced to 7.5 years in prison and fined 20,000 yuan (about 3,139 USD). Ms. Pei Yuxian was sentenced to 4 years by the Changli County Court on May 31, 2019.
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