Teachers in China Persecuted for Their Faith
(Minghui.org) Teaching has been one of the most respected professions in China since ancient times. The country celebrates Teachers’ Day every September.
So why have so many teachers been killed, imprisoned, and detained for refusing to give up their faith?
Between November 2015 and August 2016, 28 teachers were sentenced for refusing to renounce Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline currently persecuted by the Chinese communist regime.
Their sentences range from one to eight years. In addition, as of August this year, three more teachers are confirmed to have died as a result of the persecution–two in 2016 and one in 2012.
The following details what some of these teachers have endured over the past 17 years.
Recently Confirmed Deaths
Ms. Zhao Ping, an outstanding lawyer from Guangzhou City, Guangdong Province, used to lecture at the Police Management College in Guangzhou City. She earned a national law certificate and published many articles.
After the persecution started in 1999, she lost her job and was frequently harassed. She was put in a brainwashing center four times, a forced labor camp for three years, and sentenced to prison for three years. After 17 years of suffering, Ms. Zhao died on May 14, 2016, at the age of 58.
Ms. Xu Huixian was a retired teacher in Zhenyuan County, Gansu Province. She was tortured in Lanzhou Women's Prison for her belief beginning in 2015. By June 2016, she was dangerously underweight and mentally unstable. She was granted a medical parole when she was in critical condition. She died three weeks later, on July 8, at the age of 71.
Ms. Liu Fengling taught middle school in Heilongjiang Province. She was recognized as an outstanding teacher multiple times. The police arrested and detained Ms. Liu in 2002 and 2005 because of her belief. She was fined a total of 4,000 yuan (~$700 USD).
She was arrested again in August 2006 and terrorized during an interrogation. She jumped out a second floor window in the police station and shattered her spine. She was paralyzed from the waist down.
The authorities still didn't stop harassing her and her family. Ms. Liu died at the age of 44 on November 4, 2012, leaving behind her husband, two sons, and her elderly mother.
Recently Tortured and/or Currently Imprisoned
Ms. Che Pingping taught at the Jilin Province Institute of Physical Education. Her latest arrest took place in October 2013. She was tried without legal representation and sentenced to four years. She is currently incarcerated in Jilin Woman's Prison, where she is being force-fed, beaten, and otherwise tortured.
Over 20 police officers in Chongqing City picked up 78-year-old retired teacher Mr. Zheng Kaiyuan and drove him off in a police vehicle in June 2016. He was put in Wuzun Brainwashing Center and injected with unknown drugs in the liver and spleen. He became delusional and had blurred vision, memory loss, and muscular atrophy.
Due to his bad reaction to the drugs, the police released him two days later. The symptoms persisted, and he was unable to care for himself at home.
Ms. Liu Hui has been on a hunger strike since her last arrest on June 2, 2016. When her family visited her in Chengdu Detention Center two weeks later, two guards had to carry her out. She was so weak that she had to rest on the meeting table shortly after speaking to her lawyer.
Prior to this arrest, Ms. Liu had been incarcerated in different facilities for a total of 12 and a half years over the past 17 years.
Recently Arrested and/or Sentenced
Police in Yunnan Province arrested Mr. Shi Jianwei and his wife Ms. Xiao Zhu in October 2015 for suing the former Chinese leader Jiang Zemin, holding Jiang responsible for initiating the persecution of Falun Gong and causing them pain and suffering.
In August 2016 Mr. Shi was sentenced to six and a half years and Ms. Xiao to five years. Both have filed an appeal.
Having been sentenced twice before for his belief, Mr. Qi Hongshu from Chifeng City, Inner Mongolia, was secretly tried without legal representation in June 2016. He was sentenced to six and a half years.
After years of suffering due to the persecution, Ms. Jiang Xinbo, a middle school teacher in Heilongjiang Province, sued the authorities at the Jiansanjiang Brainwashing Center. As a result, the police arrested her last year in December. She was sentenced to three years in prison in August 2016 and fined 30,000 yuan (~$ 4,500 USD). Ms. Jiang refused to sign any documents.
Ms. Jiang was tortured in Heilongjiang Woman's Prison for four years beginning in 2010. She was incarcerated and tortured in Jiansanjiang Brainwashing Center for a total of four months in 2013 and 2014.
Jiansanjiang Court Officials in Heilongjiang Province Force Jiang Xinbo's Husband to Dismiss Lawyers (Photos)Ms. Jiang Xinbo from the Jiansanjiang Area of Heilongjiang Province Sentenced to Four Years in PrisonTeacher Ms. Jiang Xinbo Taken to Brainwashing Center after Being Persecuted in Prison for Four YearsHigh School Teacher Ms. Jiang Xinbo Harassed and Detained After Filing Charges Against Persecutors
Mr. Qin Wei was an art teacher in a middle school in Beijing. The Beijing police arrested Mr. Qin on May 18, 2016. This was the eighth time he was detained for his belief.
Mr. Qin was held for 18 months in a forced labor camp in 2000. He was beaten and his face badly burned by electric batons. Between 2003 and 2004, he was tortured in a brainwashing center. The torture resulted in heart failure. In 2004, he was sentenced to five and a half years in prison. He was physically and mentally abused and forced to do slave labor. In October 2012 Mr. Qin was tortured in a forced labor camp for six months.
An elementary school teacher in Chefeng, Inner Mongolia, was arrested and detained on June 30 of this year for talking to her students about the persecution of Falun Gong. Ms. Jia Xuedong's mother and three aunts were arrested for seeking her release. Their whereabouts remain unknown at this time.
Fired from Job and Extorted by Police
Ms. Zhang Fuming was a teacher from Chongqing City, Sichuan Province. The school stopped paying her salary in March 2016. The principal told her it was because, in 2015, she had filed a criminal against former Chinese leader Jiang Zemin for starting the persecution.
Ms. Song Zhanbiao, 52, was an associate professor at Hebei University. She filed a criminal complaint against Jiang with the Chinese Supreme Procuratorate in June 2015. As a result, she was harassed by the authorities and is now no longer allowed to teach.
The police arrested Ms. Zhang Yulan, a middle school teacher in Tianjin, in March 2016 for telling people about the persecution. The police did not incarcerate her because she had hypertension. They extorted 42,000 yuan ($6,300 USD) from Ms. Zhang's family, and her son had a stroke as a result of the extreme pressure.
Ms. Zhang was once imprisoned and tortured for eight years. As a result of the torture, which included being injected with unknown drugs, Ms. Zhang is now almost blind, and her legs are crippled. Her brother killed himself after witnessing the degree of her suffering.