(Minghui.org) Since the Chinese government announced that it will eliminate the forced labor system this year, not only has the persecution of Falun Gong not eased, it has worsened. Fewer practitioners are being sentenced to forced labor, but more are being sentenced to longer prison terms. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) puts on a show that practitioners are no longer sent to prison without going through the legal process, but the persecution has not lessened, and the courts are covering it up.

Innocent People Sentenced to Forced Labor for Over a Decade

The CCP borrowed the practice of the forced labor system from the Soviet Union. It was a strange bird, not sanctioned by the constitution. From the time it was implemented, it has served the CCP during its many political movements. People are sentenced to forced labor without going through normal legal channels, which violates human rights and has been condemned by the international community.

The forced labor system was set up because of a decision by the State Council in 1957. It was an administrative regulation but did not get the approval of the National Congress, so it was not legal. It conflicted with the constitution, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Legislative Law, and Administrative Punishment Law. It also increased the power of police departments and created a variety of opportunities for corruption, such as extortion and bribes, and resulted in many injustices.

During the Chinese Communist Party's political campaigns, however, the forced labor system has become a convenient means to suppress any enemies of those in power. The Chinese government officially announced that a total of 3.5 million people have been penalized by the forced labor system since its establishment in 1957. International human rights groups believe this number to be much higher. The CCP's forced labor system has become the world's most infamous system of punishment, widely condemned by the international community.

After the persecution of Falun Gong began, all levels of government were ordered by the 610 Office to illegally sentence Falun Gong practitioners to forced labor camps. In Linyi City, Shandong Province, more than 400 practitioners were sentenced to forced labor camps. Hundreds of thousands of practitioners across the country have sent to forced labor camps during the past 13 years. In those camps around the country, practitioners are brutally tortured, and many have died as a result. Some practitioners were sentenced to forced labor several times; some were also sentenced to prison.

Mr. Gong Peijian is a former employee of Mengyin County Food and Oil Company in Shandong. Since the persecution of Falun Gong started in 1999, he has been sentenced to forced labor three times and sentenced to prison once. In March 2000, the Mengyin County 610 Office sentenced Mr. Gong to forced labor for three years and he was held in Wangcun Forced Labor Camp. In May of the same year, he was released under special circumstances. After his release, he went to work in Shanghai. However, 25 days later, a Shanghai police station arrested him and sent him back to Mengyin County. The Mengyin County Police Department sentenced him to forced labor for three years again. On August 4, 2004, Mr. Gong was arrested and his home was ransacked. He was detained for more than four months before he was sentenced to three and a half years in prison. He was incarcerated in Tai'an Prison in Shandong. On the morning of August 26, 2010, the Mengyin Domestic Security Division arrested him. After a few days of torture, he was again sentenced to forced labor. Since August 2004, the officials of the Mengyin County 610 Office have been withholding Mr. Gong's pension.

Changing Sentences from Forced Labor to Prison a Growing Trend

Because of condemnation from the domestic and international media, the Chinese Communist authorities announced not long ago the elimination of the forced labor system this year. According to reports, Yunnan Province government has taken the lead to end the forced labor system, and Guangzhou City government will also start soon.

But the situation has not improved. Not a single practitioner was released. Many practitioners were sentenced to long prison terms after the authorities went through the legal motions. The officials in the labor camps and detention centers have increased their efforts to try to “transform” practitioners. Local police officers across the country are still arresting practitioners and then charge them with the crime of “undermining the implementation of law.” From Minghui's reports, from January to February this year, more than 100 practitioners were arrested and their homes ransacked. Many of them were held in detention centers and are waiting to be sentenced.

For example, on January 6, 2013, Ms. Jiang Shuying, Ms. Lin Guoling, Ms. Feng Cuirong, and Ms. Sun Qianjing from Qixia City, Shandong, were sent to Jinan City Women's Prison. In December, 2012, Mr. Lin Guojun and Mr. Feng Yunxue from Qixia were sent to the prisons in Yantan City and Jinan City respectively, but they were not admitted due to their high blood pressure. They are now in the Qixia City Detention Center.

On January 17, 2013, the local 610 Office ordered Shenbei New District Court of Shenyang City to put practitioners Ms. Niu Guifang, Ms. Qu Lihong, Ms. Zhou Fenglan and a male practitioner whose name is unknown on trial. All four denied the charges and requested an unconditional release. The trial had to be aborted.

Ms. Bai Ruifang, a resident of Xinzhou City, Shanxi Province, began to practice Falun Gong in 2004 and became healthy afterward. On September 4, 2012, three police officers arrested her while she was on her way home. On January 30, 2013, she was sentenced to three years in prison. She appealed.

On February 4, 2013, the officials of Aimin District Court of Mudanjiang City, Heilongjiang Province, secretly held hearings in the Mudanjiang Detention Center for practitioners,Ms. Han Xiufang, Mr. Gong Chengge, Ms. Liu Chunlan, and Mr. Sun Fa. When their families asked the court why they were not notified of the hearing, they were told it was because they were Falun Gong practitioners.

On February 26, 2013, when Ms. Yu Lifeng's relative asked Wang Meng, an official of Xinmin Court in Xinmin City, Liaoning Province, when her hearing would be, Wang hesitated and could not give an exact time. He told them that the verdict had been announced and the case was now in the hands of Shenyang Intermediate Court. Xinmin Court sentenced Ms. Yu to seven years in prison without a hearing.

Ms. Huang Yujie, a resident of the Lubei District, Tangshan City, Hebei Province, was recently sentenced to four years in prison. On February 10, 2013, she was sent to Shijiazhuang City Women's Prison. Her parents were unable to bear the stress and both were hospitalized.

Mr. Zhao Xidong is a resident of Harbin City. Nangang District Court of Harbin City and Harbin Intermediate Court sentenced him to four years in prison. On February 27, 2013, he was transferred to Hulan Prison.

The Donghai County 610 Office, Donghai Procuratorate, and Donghai Court held three hearings for Ms. Wang Mingxiang from Linyi City, Shandong Province, and Ms. Yu Peiling from Beijing. They were sentenced respectively to three and four years. After the trial was over, their lawyers questioned the prosecutor, who said they had to do things that way, even with no legal grounds. Both practitioners appealed to Lianyungang City Intermediate Court.

The Party Is Still Corrupt and Evil

People worldwide now know about the persecution of Falun Gong. Although the CCP will eliminate the forced labor system, the Party is still corrupt and evil. Changing a person's sentence from forced labor to imprisonment only changes where the victim will be persecuted. During its over 50 years in power, the CCP has committed countless crimes against it own citizens: 80 million unnatural deaths, the "June 4th" massacre, hundreds of millions of forced abortion, the deaths of millions of Falun Gong practitioners, the harvesting of organs from living Falun Gong practitioners, and the list goes on.

The CCP's crimes are not forgivable, and those who have taken part will be punished. The CCP must be eliminated.