(Minghui.org) “Do you think that we can't sentence you simply because you deny that the confiscated items are yours? It doesn't matter whether you admit it or not. We can sentence you without a confession,” said the deputy chief of Lianhua Police Station in the Changyi District, Jilin Province.

I am Mr. Li Guangjun, a Falun Gong practitioner. My wife and I were arrested on April 27, 2011, for practicing Falun Gong.

After the police took us to the station, deputy chief Guan Peng pointed at the items they'd confiscated from our home and asked us if these were ours. I neither admitted nor denied it and said, “My wife and I were not present when you ransacked my home. I do not acknowledge that these things are ours.”

I was asked a few other irrelevant questions that night. I signed my name on a document confirming that over 100 yuan in bills with Falun Gong information written on them had been taken from our home. I regretted it afterwards, because this was presented as evidence, and I was illegally sentenced to prison.

Hunger Strike in Detention Center

Police took me, my wife, and my two sisters-in-law to the Jilin City Detention Center. I went on a hunger strike in the detention center to protest my arrest and demanded that I be immediately released.

The detention center began to force-feed me on the fifth day of my hunger strike. About 10 people were called in to hold me down. They inserted a rubber tube through my nose and used a syringe to pump cornmeal mush into my stomach twice a day. My nose was swollen and bleeding after two days, and the detention center physician and guard Shen Rui got worried.

Shen punished all the inmates in my cell by forcing them to sit cross-legged on the bed every day for long hours. Some of the inmates started to encourage me to eat so they would not have to suffer. They also got in touch with the women's section where my wife was held and sent her some fruit. They passed her information to me. I relented and began to eat.

I was transferred from the No. 1 Team to the the No. 3 Team after three months. I had to wind coils to mount on circuit boards from 5:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Breakfast and dinner were steamed corn cakes. Lunch was rice porridge. The meals were very expensive, but I lost nearly 80 pounds within a year and had difficulty walking.

Sentenced to Four Years in Prison

The Changyi Court held a hearing August 2011. My family was not notified and I was not allowed to hire a lawyer. I was sentenced to four years in prison. I refused to sign the sentencing document and appealed to the Intermediate Court within 10 days. When my appeal was turned down, I refused to sign the rejection receipt.

Because I was too weak to work, the head inmate in my cell asked that I be transferred to prison as soon as possible. I was taken to Gongzhuling Prison on April 19, 2012.

At the prison, guard Li Wei told the head inmate to pressure me to write the three statements renouncing Falun Gong. Ma Wenlong and Sun Weinin, two inmates who repeatedly beat Zheng Lijun and other practitioners, beat me, too. Those two were locked in a small cell for stealing other inmates' money.

In the prison we had to work from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Quite a few guards who had learned the facts about Falun Gong treated practitioners better.

Wang Jianye had just been promoted to team head in April 2014. He was young and anxious to make career inroads. He repeatedly ordered me to meet a production quota. I told him time and again about my poor physical condition, but he did not budge. He also threatened other practitioners or he would transfer them to the Strict Supervision Team. When he noticed that my bed was not made to meet the standards on August 11, 2014, he struck me, slapped my face several times, and made me stand for a long time.

I was released on February 10, 2015, and returned home.

No Job, No Wife

My wife, who had been released a year earlier, had also suffered significantly. She did not want to live in fear and yearned for a normal life. She had quit practicing Falun Gong and tried to persuade me to give it up, too.

I asked my former employer to give me my job back, but I was told that I would have to renounce Falun Gong before I could return to work. I said, “I would be crippled if I did not practice Falun Gong. I was then locked up for four years. I could hardly walk. It is Falun Gong that made me healthy. How can I stop practicing!”

My wife has now asked for a divorce, as she does not see any future with me.

It is during this so-called "best period of human rights" in China that yet another happy family has been destroyed. Years of suffering turned my virtuous and kind wife into an indifferent stranger, and I have no way to make a living. It is fellow practitioners who have given me encouragement and offered help, which restored my optimism.