80-Year-Old Man Serving 11.5 Years in Prison for His Faith in Falun Gong
(Minghui.org) When Mr. Liu Dianyuan's daughter visited him at Shenyang's No. 1 Prison in early 2017, he was in a wheelchair and looked very weak and emaciated.
Mr. Liu, now 80, is serving a 11.5-year prison term for suing former Chinese Communist Party leader Jiang Zemin, who ordered the persecution of Falun Gong in 1999. The judge charged him with “using a cult organization to undermine law enforcement,” a standard pretext used by the Chinese Communist Party to imprison Falun Gong practitioners.
Mr. Liu's wife, Ms. Liu Yufang, was denied visitation because she practices Falun Gong.
Mr. Liu was arrested on November 9, 2015, while visiting his sister. He had been forced to leave home and had gone from place to place since 2010 to avoid arrest.
The Jianping County Court tried him on April 7, 2016. According to his family who attended the trial, Mr. Liu looked pale and appeared to be suffering from memory loss during the trial. He had been strong and sharp before being arrested.
Mr. Liu was thrown into prison even though he failed to meet the minimal physical requirements for imprisonment.
Since the persecution of Falun Gong began in 1999, Mr. Liu has been repeatedly arrested and sentenced for his faith. Prior to the latest lengthy sentence, Mr. Liu had spent seven years in prison between 2001 and 2008.
Mr. Liu was forced to do more than ten hours of heavy labor during his previous imprisonment. When the prison guards found him talking to others, he was slapped on the face and locked in solitary confinement. He was tied to a bed in a spread eagle position for seven days, until the skin all over his body was broken. Prison guards also forced him to take ten tablets of unknown drugs twice a day for nearly a year.
When he was finally released after seven years of torture on July 31, 2008, he was skin and bones. He couldn't stand up straight and coughed up blood frequently. He resumed doing the Falun Gong exercises and gradually recovered.
While he was imprisoned, his wife was arrested in 2002 and sentenced to three years of forced labor, leaving their two teenage children to stay at home alone. The winter in northeastern China was extremely cold, where a cup of water would freeze up inside the house, but the two children couldn't afford to heat the home.
Their 16-year-old daughter quit school and did odd jobs to make a living for her and her 14-year-old brother. She often got up at around 3 am to make breakfast pancakes, and then rode a bike to grocery markets miles away to sell them.
After Ms. Liu was released in 2004, she rode a bike more than 100 miles to visit her husband, but was blocked outside the prison by the guards. She was allowed to see him the second time she biked there, and the couple burst into tears upon seeing each other.
The couple were arrested again in 2010. While Mr. Liu escaped from the police detention facility, his wife was sentenced to another four years. Their two children were left at home alone again. Without proper care, their house was badly damaged, and their fruit tree farm became a wasteland.
After years of going from place to place, Mr. Liu was arrested again in 2015 and given the heavy sentence of 11.5 years.