(Minghui.org) A married couple, both of them school teachers, exercised their legal right to sue the former leader of the Chinese Communist Party for launching the nationwide persecution of their spiritual belief. As a result, their lives were turned upside-down.

Authorities had them suspended from their teaching posts at an elementary school and attempted to arrest and sentence them soon after it was discovered that the couple had filed the complaint.

Ms. Liu Xiaolin, 40, was eventually sentenced to five years of imprisonment and her husband Mr. Xia Chenggui was forced to leave home and move from place to place in an effort to hide from the police.

Ms. Liu was a teacher at Panlong Elementary School in Luzhou City, Sichuan Province. She has won numerous awards for her interactive teaching style and focus on traditional values. Her husband also teaches at the same school.

Authorities learned that the couple had filed a complaint against Jiang Zemin, so police officers, 610 Office agents and staff from the local education bureau picked them up and took them to the county government in an attempt to force them to withdraw their complaint. This was November 11, 2015. The couple refused and were allowed to go home.

One week later, however, staff from the local education bureau talked to the couple again. After they refused to withdraw their criminal complaint for the second time, the education bureau immediately announced their suspension from teaching and started an investigation against them, citing a “violation of political orders based on the agency's regulations.”

The day after the suspension, Ms. Liu was brought to the police station and interrogated for five hours. Her cellphone and tablet were taken from her purse and confiscated. The police kept pressuring her to withdraw the criminal complaint against Jiang and admit that the facts detailed in her complaint were false.

Ms. Liu refused.

While Ms. Liu was being interrogated at the police station, another six officers went to her home and attempted to arrest her husband. He escaped and has had to remain homeless to avoid being arrested.

Two days later, on November 20, 2015, the 610 Office placed Ms. Liu in a brainwashing session run by the county government. She was subjected to nearly eight hours of brainwashing each day. The brainwashing center staff demonized Falun Gong and still tried to pressure her to withdraw her complaint.

Ms. Liu resisted the persecution and stopped going to the brainwashing sessions after a few days. A 610 Office agent went to her home and harassed her.

One week later, Ms. Liu was arrested and detained at the Naxi Detention Center.

Her 18-year-old son hurried home from college upon learning of the actions against his parents, only to find the mess left after the police raid of their home. The college freshman was also brought to the police station and interrogated.

After nearly one year of detention at the Naxi Detention Center in Luzhou, the court secretly sentenced Ms. Liu in a makeshift courtroom inside the detention center on October 14, 2016, with only her parents, parents-in-law and her son attending the trial.

Her parents had intended to hire a lawyer to defend Ms. Liu, but they gave up after the police threatened to arrest their lawyer and sentence her to a longer term.

Ms. Liu is now imprisoned at Longquan Women's Prison in Chengdu City.