(Clearwisdom.net) In November 2009, the Clearwisdom website published an article entitled, "The Persecution of Mr. Yu Yaou, a Doctoral Student at the South China Botanical Garden of the Chinese Academy of Sciences" (http://www.clearwisdom.net/html/articles/2009/12/14/113118.html). This article described how Mr. Yu and his wife were arrested and monitored and about other, hidden means used to persecute this couple.

Mr. Yu was in graduate school at the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), and in August 2005, he started his work at the South China Botanical Garden, where he worked hard and was an honest person. His advisor told him on many occasions that he was welcome to stay and work in the group after he graduated. Mr. Yu was arrested in 2008, after which he had much trouble continuing his work at the garden. A police officer told him, "Don't even think about government jobs because you are a Falun Gong practitioner."

In November 2009, Mr. Yu's advisor told him, "I know you work hard and are very considerate of others. If it was up to me, I would keep you. However, I am not sure what the government leaders would do." Mr. Yu decided to talk to officials at every level who had exerted pressure on his advisor.

His appeals made these officials persecute him further, and they ordered his advisor to make certain Mr. Yu graduated by January 30, 2010, and that he leave Guangzhou soon after. Mr. Yu has been working hard writing his dissertation and preparing for his defense. He believed the time of his graduation should depend on his progress in his research rather than on a order from government officials. He refused to comply with the arrangement.

Mr. Yu's advisor told him again that, because of his personal schedule and pressure from above, he wanted Mr. Yu to defend his dissertation on January 26. Mr. Yu gave his advisor four reasons why he would not: "The Party secretary once told me that I may not be given a doctoral degree because of my practice. This is against the law and should be resolved before I proceed to defend my dissertation. Secondly, I have written two manuscripts for submission. If I continue to work here, I will have time to publish them and obtain my degree. If I am forced to leave, I may never publish them or get my degree. It is not the proper time for me to defend my work and then leave. Thirdly, I am being deprived of the opportunity to work in CAS without a reasonable explanation. Being able to work is important to me and this problem needs to be resolved before I defend. Finally, I have not finished a lot of work for the science project I am in. It is only responsible and ethical that I stay and finish the job. I therefore refuse any scheduled defense that is forced upon me."

Mr. Yu's wife, Ms. Li Shanshan, worked in a plant-chemistry related group. She often worked overtime and stayed late. In 2008, she and her husband were arrested together right before the Beijing Olympics. The government launched large scale arrests of dissidents, petitioners, and Falun Gong practitioners before the games to make sure no protests occurred during the international event and in front of the cameras. Ms. Li could not go to work for a year and a half. When she returned to work on December 14, 2009, her supervisor and a Party official told her that she needed to re-apply for her position. She refused to accept the conditions requiring her to go through a "three month trial period" before she could be officially hired.

Ms. Li's supervisor had told her before that she had passed the trial period and was officially employed. Ms. Li read the hiring and managing policies of the garden and could not find a regulation stating that she be fired before her arrest. She asked personnel in Human Resources and the Party secretary but received no answer.

An insider told Ms. Li, "Officials of the garden want your husband to complete and finish defending his PhD dissertation before they will allow you to go back to work. [The officials and Human Resources] push you around because you practice Falun Gong. They won't tell you that." The informer explained, "No one wants to get into trouble and be responsible for Falun Gong practitioners. The pressure from above is too much. You are a temporary worker, and no one cares if you come back to work, but your husband is a registered student and that is the problem."

In the CAS, the persecution of Falun Gong implicates those who work with practitioners. When a practitioner becomes problematic in the Party's eye, the practitioner's supervisor or advisor will shoulder a lot of pressure or even lose his job. Under such a policy, a practitioner's teacher, classmates, supervisor, and friends are targets of the persecution as well. As a result, practitioners are treated unfairly at work.