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For the first time, US Sanctioned Head of 610 Office for Persecuting Falun Gong

On May 12, the State Department announced a sanction against Yu Hui. Yu Hui is the first director of the 610 office for the U.S. to sanction publicly. [Editor’s Note: The 610 office, named after the date of its creation on June 10, 1999—is an extralegal police task force responsible for carrying out the mission of eliminating Falun Gong.] This is also the first time, since the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) started suppressing Falun Gong in 1999, that the U.S. government has named and sanctioned a CCP official because of the Falun Gong issue.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said at a press briefing, “We will continue to consider all appropriate tools to promote accountability for those responsible for human rights violations and abuses in China and elsewhere.” He then announced the release of the department’s annual report on international religious freedom, which cited arbitrary arrests, house raids, societal discrimination, and the forced harvesting of organs from live Falun Gong practitioners. Blinken said the designation was applied to Yu for his involvement in “gross violations of human rights, namely the arbitrary detention of Falun Gong practitioners for their spiritual beliefs.”

On December 10, 2020, the U.S. State Department imposed sanctions on 17 foreign current and former government officials for serious human rights violations. One of them was Huang Yuanxiong, a police chief from the Wucun Police Station of the Xiamen Public Security Bureau. Pompeo, then the U.S. Secretary of State, stated that Huang Yuanxiong seriously violated Falun Gong practitioners’ freedom of religious belief and “was connected with the detention and interrogation of Falun Gong practitioners simply for practicing their beliefs.” According to relevant regulations in the U.S., Huang and his spouse are not allowed to enter the U.S.

On March 8, according to Minghui, [Editor’s note: Minghui is a website dedicated to reporting on the Falun Gong community worldwide with a focus on China:] Falun Gong practitioners in 38 countries have recently submitted lists of names to their respective governments of agents from the 610 Office at all levels in China. So far, about 9,300 names have been placed on the list. Yu Hui’s name was on the list that was handed over to the U.S. government.

In a statement to the Epoch Times Newspaper, Zhang Erping, spokesperson for the Falun Dafa Information Center in New York, stated that the U.S. decision “will surely send a potent message across China that the world is watching and that there will be real-world consequences for persecuting Falun Gong practitioners.” Zhang said, “As the news spreads among the CCP security apparatus, it will very likely make some think twice about perpetrating further abuses.”

Sam Brownback, former U.S. ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom, said. “I think it sends a very strong signal to China. It sends the signal that we’re not going to let them get away with this war on faith.”

Source: Epoch Times, May 13, 2021