(Minghui.org) A 53-year-old bus driver in Qingdao City was released on December 5, 2016, after serving 3 years and 7 months for refusing to renounce Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline being persecuted by the Chinese communist regime.

Mr. Yuan Shaohua was among the more than a dozen Falun Gong practitioners arrested on May 2, 2013, for their faith. The authorities initially accused the practitioners of “illegal gathering,” but they changed the charge a month later, alleging that the defendants re-enacted methods of torture used on imprisoned practitioners.

Before long, the charges against the practitioners were escalated to “using a cult to undermine law enforcement,” a standard pretext used by the Chinese communist regime in its attempt to frame and imprison Falun Gong practitioners. Shortly afterward, the indictments were modified to “inciting subversion of state power.”

Seven of the arrested practitioners were later sentenced to prison, with Mr. Yuan given 4 years; Liu Xiuzhen, 3 years; Feng Hua, 4 years; Yang Naijian, 6 years; Li Hao, 4 years; Lu Xueqin, 10 years; and Cui Luning, 5.5 years.

While Mr. Yuan has been released, some of the other practitioners are still languishing in prison. Mr. Yuan has recounted details surrounding his arrest and imprisonment.

Arrested and Sentenced

Mr. Yuan was arrested while meeting with a group of local practitioners on May 2, 2013. He learned during a police interrogation that they had been tracked for a long time because of their faith in Falun Gong.

A medical exam two days later revealed that Mr. Yuan had unusually high blood pressure, but the police decided to send him to Pudong Detention Center anyway. The guards there refused to admit him, citing his worrisome health, but they relented after the police bribed them.

In the month that followed, Mr. Yuan was interrogated almost every day by agents from the police station and the local 610 Office, who even went to his bus company to try to gather evidence against him. Mr. Yuan’s boss consistently replied that he was a hard-working employee who did his job well.

Mr. Yuan was made to appear in court three times. After learning that his lawyer had been barred from entering the courthouse, he refused to answer questions during the third hearing.

Mr. Yuan was sentenced to 4 years in prison in July 2014. His appeal was rejected two weeks later.

Hospitalized for over 3 Months, Denied Medical Parole

The court ordered Mr. Yuan to serve time in Ji’nan Prison, which refused to admit him due to his poor health. Several fully armed police officers escorted him to Shandong Prison Hospital on December 22, 2014, to be examined.

Still unwilling to admit him, the prison said Mr. Yuan needed a more comprehensive exam.

A deputy director of Pudong Detention Center, who was accompanying Mr. Yuan, called the Qingdao police seeking advice. They told him to take Mr. Yuan to Zhangqiu Detention Center.

Two days later, Zhangqiu Detention Center officials tried Ji’nan Prison again. This time, the prison authorities didn’t turn Mr. Yuan away, but they took him straight to the prison hospital, where he stayed for more than 3 months. There were fully armed police and assigned inmates watching him around the clock.

The hospital director refused to grant Mr. Yuan medical parole, saying, “Only dying inmates get out on parole—you’re far from being critically ill!”

Brainwashing at Shandong Province Men’s Prison

Mr. Yuan was transferred to Shandong Province Men’s Prison on July 24, 2015. He was forced to watch videos slandering Falun Gong on a regular basis.

The guards also pressured him to transcribe prepared statements saying that he’d stop practicing Falun Gong. When he refused to renounce Falun Gong at an inmates’ meeting, he was put in a room and ordered to make statements against Falun Gong in front of a video camera.

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