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Six High-ranking Chinese Officials Convicted Three Given Death Sentences with Reprieve

Falun gong persecution in China - credit: Minghui
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A correspondent in China | Minghui

Six key perpetrators involved in the persecution of Falun Gong in China were convicted between September 21-23, 2022, with three of them receiving death with reprieve, one with life imprisonment, one sentenced for 15 years, and another for 14 years. 

Falun Gong is a meditation system based on the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. It is a mind-body practice that has been persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) since July 1999.

Feng Zhenghua, former Central 610 Office chief and former Minister of Justice, was given a death sentence with a reprieve on September 22. All of his personal assets were also confiscated. 

Wang Like, a former member of the Standing Committee of the Jiangsu CCP Committee and former secretary of the Jiangsu Political and Legal Affairs Committee (PLAC), was sentenced to death with a reprieve on the same day. 

Sun Lijun, a former Vice-Minister of Public Security, received the same death sentence with a reprieve on September 23. 

According to China’s criminal law, death with reprieve allows the death row inmate a two-year suspended sentence of the execution. The inmate will face execution if he or she commits additional crimes during the two years of suspension; otherwise, the inmate’s sentence will be automatically reduced to life imprisonment or a lesser term if the inmate has earned enough merits during the suspension. 

On September 21, three other high-ranking CCP officials were sentenced, with terms ranging from 14 years to life imprisonment.

There is a Chinese saying, “Good is rewarded with good, and evil meets with evil.” While the above-mentioned officials were not convicted directly for persecuting Falun Gong, many people attributed their downfall to their instrumental roles in persecuting innocent Falun Gong practitioners. 

Crimes of Fu Zhenghua, Former Central 610 Office Chief

Fu Zhenghua worked in the public security system for 48 years, during which time he served as the director of the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau (2010 – 2015), deputy minister of the Ministry of Public Security (2013 – 2018), deputy director of the Central 610 Office Leadership team (2015 – 2016), director of the Central 610 Office (2015 – 2016), Minister of Justice (2018 – 2020), and Deputy Director of the Social and Legal Committee of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.

Before being investigated in October 2021, Fu was considered a key leader in political persecution by the CCP. He was often dubbed a “ruthless character” and “cruel official.” Public reports show that Fu has led or participated in many cases of human rights violations in China that have drawn international attention.

According to statistics from Minghui, when Fu Zhenghua served as Minister of Justice and Deputy Secretary of the Party Leadership Group between March 2018 and April 2020, at least 46 Falun Gong practitioners lost their lives due to torture, involuntary drug administration, or forced labor during imprisonment. Among them, 28 died in prison and 18 died soon after being released with life-threatening conditions. 

In addition, 1,816 Falun Gong practitioners were illegally sentenced to prison between March 2018 and April 2020. According to the “Investigation Report on the CCP Torture and Killing of Falun Gong Practitioners” published by Minghui, at least 122 prisons across China were responsible for the deaths of Falun Gong practitioners over those years. As a former Minister of Justice, Fu has an inescapable responsibility.

When Fu was the director of the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau and Party secretary of the Beijing Political and Legal Affairs Committee (PLAC), at least eight Falun Gong practitioners in Beijing lost their lives due to torture in custody. They were Geng Jin’e, Liu Chun, Du Juan, Zhao Shuhui, Cui Peiying, Tong Shouzhong, Yang Minghua, and Deng Huaiying.

Crimes of Sun Lijun, Former Vice-Minister of Public Security

Sun Lijun, of Han ethnicity, was born in January 1969 in Qingdao City, Shandong Province. From March 28, 2013, to April 9, 2020, he served as Director of the Domestic Security Bureau of the Ministry of Public Security and Director of the 26th Bureau of the Ministry of Public Security. In March 2018, he was promoted to Vice-Minister of Public Security. In addition, Sun had also served as Deputy Director of the Shanghai Foreign Affairs Office, Deputy Director of the General Office of the Ministry of Public Security, and Deputy Director of the Central 610 Office.

On the evening of April 19, 2020, the Chinese authorities officially announced that Sun was suspected of serious violations of discipline and law, and was subjected to investigation.

The Domestic Security Bureau of the Ministry of Public Security, also known as the First Bureau of the Ministry of Public Security, was formerly known as the Political Security Bureau of the Ministry of Public Security. After former CCP leader Jiang Zemin ordered the persecution of Falun Gong in July 1999, the First Bureau was tasked with carrying out the persecution policy. For the past 20-plus years, Domestic Security Bureau officials have led or supervised the arrests and home ransackings of Falun Gong practitioners as well as framing them with criminal charges.

According to information from Minghui, about 2.5 million to 3 million arrests of Falun Gong practitioners were made in China between July 1999 and July 2019. The arrested practitioners were given the following four major types of detention: 1) administrative detention based on the “Public Security Administration Punishment Law; 2) detention at brainwashing centers under the name of “Law Education Centers”; 3) detention in labor camps (also known as “re-education through labor” and abolished in 2013); 4) detention at detention centers and prisons, as well as at drug rehabilitation centers and mental hospitals. 

By overcoming the CCP’s internet blockade, Minghui has collected a large number of cases in which Falun Gong practitioners were detained and tortured. Among them, over 4,000 practitioners died as a result of the persecution. As the former head of the Domestic Security Bureau of the Ministry of Public Security, Vice-Minister of Public Security, and Deputy Director of the Central 610 Office, Sun has committed crimes in the persecution of Falun Gong. Some people considered his downfall a form of karmic retribution. 

Crimes of Wang Like, Former Jiangsu PLAC Party Secretary

Wang Like, the former member of the Standing Committee of the Jiangsu CCP Committee and former secretary of the Jiangsu Political and Legal Affairs Committee (PLAC), was sentenced to death with a reprieve on September 22, 2022. 

Because of persecuting Falun Gong, Wang was listed as a key perpetrator by Minghui. In September 2019, Wang Like was reported to the US government by Falun Gong practitioners as a human rights violator.

During Wang’s tenure in Liaoning and Jiangsu provinces, at least 99 Falun Gong practitioners died due to the persecution. More than 3,000 were arrested and hundreds were sentenced to prison.

When Wang was deputy director of the Jinzhou City Public Security Bureau between June 2002 and December 2006, at least 500 Falun Gong practitioners were detained in Jinzhou City, 38 lost their lives due to torture, and over 30 were permanently disabled from torture.

When Wang was head of Dalian Public Security from December 2009 to March 2013, at least 500 Falun Gong practitioners were arrested and seven later died. In addition, 23 were sentenced to prison, 79 were sent to forced labor camps, and 85 were held at brainwashing centers. 

From March 2013 to September 2020, Wang was a member of the Standing Committee of the Jiangsu CCP committee, Secretary of the Jiangsu PLAC, and Director of the Provincial Public Security Department. At least 2,145 Falun Gong practitioners were arrested and 21 were later tortured to death. Additionally, 268 practitioners were sentenced to prison and 247 were sent to brainwashing centers.

Crimes of Gong Daoan, Former Director of the Shanghai Municipal Public Security Bureau

The Intermediate Court of Tangshan City in Hebei Province publicly sentenced Gong Daoan on September 21 to life imprisonment, with all his personal assets confiscated. Gong was the Vice Mayor of Shanghai and Director of the Shanghai Public Security Bureau. The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection announced their investigation of Gong on August 18, 2020.

Gong Daoan was born in November 1964. He worked in the public security system of Hubei Province for a long time. In December 2007, he became the Party Secretary of the Xianning PLAC and director of the Xianning Public Security Bureau. In November 2010, Gong was appointed as the deputy director and then director of the 12th Bureau of the Ministry of Public Security. In June 2017, he became director of the Shanghai Public Security Bureau and deputy mayor.

During his tenure as director of the Shanghai Public Security Bureau and Xianning PLAC Party Secretary, at least six Falun Gong practitioners died due to the persecution, about 100 were sentenced to prison, and about 1,000 were arrested or harassed. 

According to statistics from Minghui, when Gong was director of the Shanghai Public Security Bureau, Falun Gong practitioner Xi Jiao of Baoshan District died of a mental disorder caused by the persecution. In addition, 316 practitioners were arrested, 244 were harassed, and nine were sent to brainwashing centers. During the Public Security Ministry’s “Knock-on-the-door” campaign in 2017, 30 practitioners were arrested in the second half of the year alone, with 16 harassed and two sent to brainwashing centers. The numbers in 2018 were 62 arrests, 24 incidents of harassment, and four practitioners sent to brainwashing centers. As the CCP celebrated its 70th anniversary of taking power in 2019, Shanghai reported 126 arrests, and 65 incidents of harassment, and two practitioners were sent to brainwashing centers. In 2020, there were 98 arrests, 139 practitioners harassed, and one practitioner sent to a brainwashing center. 

Crimes of Deng Huili, Chongqing Public Security Bureau Chief

The Baoding Intermediate Court of Hebei Province announced on September 21 that Deng Huilin was sentenced to 15 years of imprisonment with a fine of 4 million yuan. Deng was the former deputy mayor of Chongqing and director of the Chongqing Public Security Bureau.

According to the court, Deng had received 42.67 million yuan in bribes between the 1999 New Year and January 2020. After being investigated in June 2020, he was arrested in January 2021. 

Deng was born in March 1965 in Wuhan City, Hubei Province. In October 2010, he became a member of the Standing Committee of the Yichang CCP Committee, PLAC Party Secretary, and Public Security Bureau, director. In October 2014, Deng was appointed as deputy director of the Hubei Public Security Department. In June 2015, he became the Office Director of the Central PLAC. In July 2017, Deng was appointed as Party Secretary of the Chongqing Public Security Bureau, PLAC Deputy Party Secretary, Public Security Bureau chief, and Party Secretary, as well as deputy mayor. 

When Deng became Office Director of the Central PLAC in 2015, the Chinese justice system issued a policy that all cases would be accepted and all lawsuits would be handled. Following that policy, many Falun Gong practitioners filed criminal complaints against former CCP leader Jiang Zemin with the Supreme Procuratorate and Supreme Court. Instead of protecting the legal rights of the practitioners, however, the Central PLAC manipulated the Supreme Procuratorate and Supreme Court and handed the practitioners’ information to local 610 Offices. As a result, a large number of practitioners were arrested or harassed, with some sentenced to prison. 

Before the CCP’s 19th Congress took place in 2017, Deng and the Central PLAC ordered police in each province to carry out the “Knock-on-the-door” campaign, which saw every practitioner on the government’s blacklists harassed and ordered to renounce Falun Gong. Due to his role in the central PLAC, Deng was responsible for the persecution related to the criminal complaints and the “Knock-on-the-door” campaigns.

When Deng was Deputy Mayor of Chongqing and Director of the Chongqing Public Security Bureau, six Falun Gong practitioners died due to torture in detention. They were Zhou Jibi, Zhang Luyuan, Gong Yanzhao, Zhao Fengxia, Zhou Tao, and Ran Chongyang. In addition, 56 Falun Gong practitioners were sentenced to prison, with 367 arrested, 457 harassed, and 30 sent to brainwashing centers. 

When Deng was Party Secretary of the Yichang PLAC and Yichang Public Security Director, the PLAC implemented a Judicial E-pass forcing officials to track the locations of practitioners on the government’s blacklist through their cell phones 24 hours a day. In addition, delivery services would inspect these practitioners’ mail as well. 

These grid management measures against Falun Gong practitioners were praised by the Central CCP officials. In 2013, Yichang was awarded the designation of National Civilized City 2013. Officials from cities across China went to Yichang City to learn from their “experiences.” 

Crimes of Liu Xinyun, Shanxi Public Security Department Director

Liu Xinyun, Lieutenant Governor of Shanxi Province and Director of the Provincial Public Security Department, was sentenced to 14 years in prison on September 21. 

Born in September 1962, Liu used to be the deputy director of the Zibo Public Security Bureau and deputy director of the Zibo 610 Office. He later became director and Party Secretary of the Heze Public Security Bureau, and director and Party Secretary of Jinan City. He was then promoted to director of the Network Security Bureau of the Public Security Ministry. After that, he was appointed Vice Governor of Shanxi Province as well as director and Party Secretary of the Shanxi Public Security Department.

Liu’s roles in the 610 Office and police system made him responsible for the deaths of at least twelve Falun Gong practitioners, including six in Zibo City (Su Gang, Xiao Pifeng, Li Tingpeng, Wei Aiqin, Bai Jiazhen, Zhang Guohua), two in Heze City (Dou Suli, Wei Meilan), and four in Shanxi Province (Zhang Yinxiang, Lan Qingmei, Yu Zhengxiang, Cui Yutao).

From January 2000 to 2004 alone, more than 300 Falun Gong practitioners were illegally detained in Qiugu Forced Labor Camp in Zibo City. Guards and inmates deprived them of sleep, beat them, and shocked them with electric batons in an attempt to force them to give up their belief in Falun Gong. By the end of December 2004, more than 400 Falun Gong practitioners had been taken to brainwashing sessions organized by 610 Offices, where they suffered intense brainwashing, physical torture, and mental abuse. During that time, six Falun Gong practitioners lost their lives due to the persecution, 19 were sentenced, three disappeared, and six developed mental disorders because of abuse. 

In January 2018, Liu was appointed as Lieutenant Governor of Shanxi Province, as well as director and Party Secretary of the Shanxi Public Security Department. In these capacities he was responsible for the sentencing and imprisonment of Falun Gong practitioners. Between January 2018 and December 2019, two practitioners in Shanxi Province died due to the persecution and 101 were arrested and their homes raided. In addition, 42 practitioners were detained with 31 later sentenced, 51 were harassed, three were sent to brainwashing centers, and two went missing. A detailed list of practitioners who lost their lives during Liu’s tenure is available in the Chinese version of this article. 

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