The police monitored phones of the family members before arresting them during a joint operation between two regional law enforcement forces.
Li Changqing and five others in his family are members of The Church of Almighty God, a Chinese Christian new religious movement. On June 21, 2018, five Li Changqing’s family members who were renting a home in Lan county, Lyuliang city, Shanxi Province were arrested during a joint operation between two regional police forces after the location of the family members has been detected by monitoring their phones.
According to an eyewitness, on the morning of June 21, the Baode County and Lan County Public Security Bureaus joined forces with the Dong village police station, bursting into the home rented by one of Li Changqing’s sons, Li Xinguang, and arrested his daughter-in-law, Gao Han. At 3 p.m., ten plainclothes officers entered Li Changqing’s house by scaling the wall, captured Li Changqing, his daughter Li Jin, Li Xinguang, and his eight-year-old grandson, taking them to the Lan County Public Security Bureau and sealing off the house. The arrested were later transferred to Baode county, Xinzhou city for interrogation.
Li Xinguang and Gao Han are still being unlawfully detained, while Li Changqing, his daughter Li Jin, and grandson have been released but remain under strict surveillance by the Baode county village secretary and village head.
After the arrests, the Lan County Public Security Bureau ordered the village secretary to search for Li Changqing’s wife Wang Lan and his eldest son Li Yong, going door-to-door in the village. The two of them are still on the run and cannot return home.
This was not the first time that the police had apprehended members of Li Changqing’s family: his two sons were arrested for spreading the gospel on December 12, 2012. Li Yong, the eldest, was sentenced to one year in prison and two years on probation; Li Xinguang was sentenced to 15 days of administrative detention and then released. The local police arrested Li Xinguang’s wife Gao Han three days before, on December 9, and detained her for one day.
After the first arrests, the police continued to monitor Li Changqing’s family, so they were forced to leave the area and change houses a few times. During these years, his grandson’s school questioned the boy many times inquiring about his parents, which forced them to take their son out of school.
An insider revealed that the arrests in June were the result of surveillance and monitoring of family members through their cellphones.
All the names are pseudonyms.
Reported by Feng Gang