(Minghui.org) February 4, 2010 was a big day for doctoral candidate Mr. Yu Yaou at the Chinese Academy of Sciences. He was ready to defend his dissertation after six years of arduous study and research.

Mr. Yu, however, didn't get to shine on his big day. The school authorities suddenly canceled his defense at the last minute upon noticing one sentence in his acknowledgment section, “I want to express my gratitude toward Falun Dafa. Without the support from this righteous faith, there wouldn't have been this thesis of mine.”

A young man's school and career was thus put on hold simply because he voiced his heartfelt appreciation to Falun Dafa (also known as Falun Gong), a spiritual practice being persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party.

Fast forward to 2015, when Mr. Yu returned to the Guangzhou, the Guangdong campus of his school, to explore the possibility of defending his dissertation and receiving his PhD degree.

His family lost contact with him shortly after he arrived in Guangzhou early this year. It took his wife and mother, who flew to Guangzhou to look for him, a lot of probing to discover that he was held in Sanshui Brainwashing Center in Fushan City of Guangdong Province.

The two women went to the brainwashing center, but were turned away. They suspected that Mr. Yu was arrested either because he was under police monitoring or reported to police while talking to people about Falun Gong.

Mr. Yu's family is worried about him and questioned if there is still any justice. A hard-working and talented student was denied the right to defend his thesis, and is now being held without the right to family visitation.