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After Eight Years of Imprisonment, Mr. Ma Zhiwu Sentenced Again to Three and a Half Years

July 31, 2011 |   By a Clearwisdom correspondent from Ningxia Autonomous Region, China

Name: Ma Zhiwu (马智武)
Gender: Male
Age: 41
Occupation: Driver
Date of Most Recent Arrest: September 12, 2010
Most Recent Place of Detention: Yinchuan Prison (银川监狱)
City: Yinchuan
Province: Ningxia
Persecution Suffered: Labor camp detention, imprisonment, beating, force-feeding (including the use of unknown drugs), sleep deprivation, “death bed” torture
Key Persecutors: Ai Jinchun and Du Liwen

(Clearwisdom.net) Wuzhong City Intermediate Court officials held a second trial for Falun Gong practitioner Mr. Ma Zhiwu in late June 2011. They sentenced him to three and a half years of imprisonment and sent him to the Hedong Brick Plant, a factory affiliated with the Yinchuan Prison in Ningxia Autonomous Region (AR).

Mr. Ma, 41 years old, was formerly a driver who worked in the Safety Supervision Division of the Yinchuan Railway Department. After beginning the practice of Falun Gong in 1998, he benefited both mentally and spiritually. Because of going to Beijing to appeal for justice for Falun Gong on July 20, 1999, Mr. Ma was detained at the Ningxia First Labor Camp, followed by eight years of imprisonment in the Wuzhong Prison. During that time, he was brutally tortured and was not released until early 2008.

Arrested, detained, and secretly sentenced

Officers from the Huamachi Police Station in Yanchi County arrested Mr. Ma on September 12, 2010 and confiscated the vehicle that he had borrowed. Later, he was held at the Yanchi County Detention Center and his family was harassed many times by officials from the 610 Office, the police station, and residential committee. Mr. Ma's wife, his 80-year-old father-in-law, and the vehicle owner went to various government agencies requesting his release and the return of the vehicle. But all of the officials from the Yanchi County Police Department and the Procuratorate refused to help, and shirked all responsibility.

Mr. Ma’s family learned in April 2011 that the Yanchi County Court had secretly sentenced him to prison on March 31 to a term of three years and six months.

Mr. Ma’s appeal

Mr. Ma appealed after the first trial. The Wuzhong Court agreed to allow his wife to defend him and issued her a Notice of Defense announcing a second trial for May 18.

Mr. Ma’s wife studied several books and references on law and prepared for the defense. But as the court date was approaching, she was notified that the chief judge Ai Jinchun’s leg was injured and the second trial could not be held as dated. Judge Ai called her the next day, saying that the court date would be rescheduled because of his high blood pressure. The court staff asked Mr. Ma's wife to come see them, claiming that they needed to discuss something important about the procedure for the defense.

When Mr. Ma’s wife and two relatives arrived at the court office with the Notice of Defense, all three of them were subjected to a body search. After the court staff took the Notice of Defense from them, they said it was confiscated and that Mr. Ma’s wife had been disqualified to defend him. The second trial was held secretly and his family was not notified.

The second trial

Several police officers went to the Yanchi County Detention Center at 9 a.m. on June 8, taking Mr. Ma to the secret second trial. To their surprise, his family was at the detention center as well. These agents immediately called upon additional police forces. After Mr. Ma was taken into the court, which was heavily guarded by the police and watched by 610 Office agents, Mr. Ma’s family was denied access.

The persecution of Mr. Ma and his family

After the communist regime began to persecute Falun Gong, Mr. Ma Zhiwu went to Beijing to appeal and was detained at the Yinchuan City Detention Center. He was later sentenced to three years of forced labor. At the Baitugangzi Labor camp, he was brutally beaten and force-fed. When he went on a hunger strike to protest the torture, he was further sentenced to six years of imprisonment.

In April 2002, Mr. Ma was taken to the Wuzhong Prison, where guards Liang Haiwang and Guo Jian often ordered inmates to mistreat him. Inmates beat Mr. Ma at will and, for more than 10 consecutive nights, deprived him of sleep. They also forced both his arms behind him, tying him up with a rope.

Once, Mr. Ma was tied up to a death bed and stretched for more than 40 days. His arms were stretched apart and pulled out straight. The guards then cuffed his hands, chained his feet, and tied his legs and waist to the bed. His ankles were tightly stressed, causing extreme pain. In addition, before torturing him on the death bed, inmates put several unknown drugs in a salty syrup that he was forced to ingest. The water used for cleaning utensils was used to make the syrup and several dead flies were added to it. After the syrup was force-fed to Mr. Ma, he could not walk or stand for six months and when he needed to move, inmates had to carry him.

When Mr. Ma was imprisoned, his wife was pregnant and she had to take care of the entire family by herself. Life was even harder after their daughter was born. During that time, Ningxia 610 Office agents went to their home to harass them. In order to force Mr. Ma’s wife to give up her practice of Falun Gong, officials from the Xihuayuan Police Station in Yinchuan City kidnapped her 2-year-old daughter in order to threaten her. During the time that Mr. Ma was detained, his father could not withstand the mental anguish and passed away in 2001.

When Mr. Ma returned home in February 2008, his daughter was already 8 years old. Since the Chinese Communist Party began to persecute Falun Gong in July 1999, the family was able to be together only about two years before Mr. Ma was arrested again in September 2010.

People responsible for the persecution of Ma Zhiwu and his family:
Wuzhong City Intermediate Court of Ningxia Province
Ai Jinchun, chief judge of the Second Criminal Court: +86-953-2134036
Du Liwen, deputy chief judge: +86-953-2134037