According to an internal document, the CCP is tightening the noose around the flow of information regarding its persecution of religion.
By Piao Junying
Bitter Winter accessed a document issued by the Liaoning Province’s Public Security Anti-Xie Jiao Organization. Popularly known as Office 610, it is a specialized police unit set up to persecute religious movements listed as xie jiao organizations, such as Falun Gong and The Church of Almighty God (CAG).
As per the document, the authorities launched a program in October to be carried out until December, through which it will target xie jiao believers and crack down on whistleblowers and media outlets exposing the persecutions by authorities.
The primary demand, as outlined by the document, is to carry out a concentrated suppression of Falun Gong and the CAG. For the former, the authorities want to revive the “knocking on doors” operation to gather personal information of practitioners or ferret out and arrest those who are on the run. The campaign when police officers and officials visited the homes of Falun Gong practitioners to harass them was first launched across China in advance of the Chinese Communist Party’s 19th National Congress in October 2017.
In case of the CAG, leaders and believers are and will be arrested en-masse to gather information on the Church’s activities at home and abroad as well as their communication channels, especially the ways of information transmission abroad, among other aims. Orders are given “to wage proactive attacks, strike at first sight, and use high-pressure intimidation.” The CAG’s financial situation is also under investigation, aiming at restricting the Church’s funding from abroad.
Given the level of persecution of religious belief in China, the CCP is well aware of the consequences if full details of it are exposed overseas. Therefore, the document stipulates that whistleblowers that report about such incidents of persecution must be dealt with severely.
For this, the authorities are working towards “in-depth execution of online spying and on-the-ground investigations” to control online content on popular social networking sites such as WeChat and QQ. Any online group or account found disseminating “problematic” information is to be immediately disbanded, shut down, and blocked.
Media outlets such as the Epoch Times and the New Tang Dynasty Television are amongst those on target as well. The CCP wants to “strike a blow at regional editors,” as per the document.
To leave no stone unturned, the document further calls for “strengthened guidance and supervision of lawyers defending and representing xie jiao cases.”
The document was circulated to all of Office 610 subsidiaries as well as the local Publicity Department, Court, Prosecutor General’s office, Ethnic and Religious Affairs Bureau, Public Security Bureau, and Justice Department.
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List of hundreds of documented cases of believers of various faiths in 20 countries: https://hrwf.eu/forb/forb-and-blasphemy-prisoners-list/