Mr. Zhang Tianqi and his wife, Ms. Gao Suzhen, were arrested after raids were carried out by Chinese Communist Party (CCP) agents starting on August 1st, in an effort to identify who posted the details of a petition signed by 700 villagers calling for the release of their Falun Gong neighbour, on the Internet. The local Procuratorate has recently approved the couple's arrest along with that of another Falun Gong practitioner.
More than 700 villagers from Zhengding County, Hebei Province, jointly signed a petition demanding the release of Falun Gong practitioner Mr. Li Lankui, who was arrested on June 7th, 2012. After the incident was widely covered in the media, the villagers were harassed, threatened, arrested, and detained by CCP agents. Ms. Gao Suzhen and her husband Zhang Tianqi were among those detained.
Ms. Gao, 58, from Xiaojiaying Village, Shijiazhuang City, was arrested on the evening of August 7th. Participating in the arrest were officers from the Hebei Province State Security Division, the 610 Office (an organisation of special agents just for persecuting Falun Gong), Shijiazhuang City Police Department, and Zhengding County Police Department. Ms. Gao was later transferred to the Shijiazhuang City No. 2 Detention Centre.
Ms. Gao's husband, Zhang Tianqi, 59, was arrested at work on August 14th. Plainclothes police officers deceived him into getting into a police vehicle, and took him to the Zhengding County Detention Centre. The police ransacked the couple's home two days later.
The Zhengding County Police Department and Zhengding County Procuratorate collaborated and approved the arrest of the couple and another practitioner around September 25th.
A Desperate Situation Resolved after Practising Falun Gong
Mr. Zhang Tianqi contracted to do a project which was completed in 1998. Unfortunately, the other party refused to pay the 400,000 yuan1 owed for the project. Mr. Zhang was so angry that he had a heart attack. Doctors said he would live at most one or two more years. In early 1999, the couple heard about the tremendous effects of Falun Gong on healing illnesses, and they went to a nearby practice site the next day to learn the exercises. A few days after Mr. Zhang began practising Falun Gong, his heart problems miraculously disappeared, and he has not taken a pill since. He also has become broadminded and tolerant, and he no longer tried to force the other party to pay the 400,000 yuan that they owed him.
Mr. Zhang's wife, Gao Suzhen used to suffer from a frozen shoulder, had a bad temper, and her skin was dark and rough. After she began practising Falun Gong, her shoulder joints recovered, her temper changed for the better, and her skin became fine and fair. Their entire family led a healthy and happy life.
Background of the “700-Signature Petition”
In June 2012, a governor from the United States visited Zhengding County, Hebei Province, at the invitation of Xi Jinping, a member of the Communist Party’s powerful Politburo Standing Committee and the man expected to succeed Hu Jintao as top leader later this year. The regime agents arrested Falun Gong practitioner Mr. Li Lankui from Dong'anfeng Village prior to the visit. More than 700 local villagers jointly signed a petition demanding his release, and wrote a letter to the governor in the U.S. to call the matter to his attention. Regime authorities then dispatched officials to Donganfeng Village. They harassed and threatened the locals, and also arrested Mr. Li Lankui's family members and Falun Gong practitioners in an attempt to find out who posted the petition with the 700 signatures on the Internet.
The recent large-scale arrests began on August 1st. Sixteen practitioners, along with their family members, from Zhengding County, Gaocheng County, and Shijazhuang City, were arrested and detained.
Fifteen people were covered with black hoods and forcibly taken from their homes. Their homes were all ransacked. It is believed that they were held in the Shijiazhuang City No. 1 Detention Centre, where they were subjected to various forms of physical abuse and torture, such as an iron chair, sleep deprivation, ruthless beatings, and shocks with high-voltage electric batons.
While practitioner Ms. Yang Yinqia was being arrested, she fell from the window of her fifth floor apartment and died. Three practitioners were sent to a forced labour camp on August 29th, and three were officially arrested around September 25th.
Those with a strong conscience however were undeterred. A third group of people, a total of 903, have signed the petition, once again calling for an end to the persecution of innocent Falun Gong practitioners.
Detailed information about Mr. Li Lankui's arrest and the 700-signature petition demanding Mr. Li's release can be found in the article, “Over 700 People Join in Effort to Rescue Mr. Li Lankui (Photos)”
1. "Yuan" is the Chinese currency; 500 yuan is equal to the average monthly income of an urban worker in China.
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