(Minghui.org) A villager in Youyan County, Liaoning Province was secretly sentenced to 6 years in prison for suing former Chinese dictator Jiang Zemin for infringing upon his constitutional right to freedom of belief.

Prior to his latest prison sentence, Mr. Zhao Yonghua had been given forced labor three times for a total of 7 years and once imprisoned for 5 years. He was targeted because he refused to renounce Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline based on the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.

The 63-year-old man filed a criminal complaint against Jiang in 2015 for ordering the persecution of Falun Gong that resulted in his lengthy incarceration in the past.

The local police responded by arresting Mr. Zhao again on November 8, 2016, which led to a new 6-year prison term. However, it is unclear when the verdict was announced, as the local court never notified his family of his court date.

Below is an excerpt of Mr. Zhao’s criminal complaint, which details his ordeal.

Surveillance and Harassment Since Beginning of Persecution

The local police began to keep tabs on me on July 20, 1999, when Jiang openly launched his campaign against Falun Gong. Wherever I went, there were police cars following me. My wife and child became so traumatized by the never-ending surveillance that their mental and physical health quickly declined. I had to borrow money for their medical treatment.

Once, I had just returned home when a police car pulled over to my house. They didn’t believe that I just went out to borrow money and dragged me into their cruiser. Wang Shengjun, a local Party Secretary, slapped me on the face as soon as I was brought into the local police station. A few officers then showered me with kicks and punches before forcing me to kneel.

Wang held a meeting on July 27, 1999 for all local Falun Gong practitioners. He demanded that we write a statement to denounce Falun Gong. I refused and was not allowed to go home until late that night. From that point on, I became a major target and faced repeated arrests.

I was arrested five times between October 1999 and July 2000. Each time, I was detained for 15 days.

The next seven years, from 2001 to 2007, saw me thrown into labor camps three times. Not long after I was released from my last forced labor term, I was arrested again and sentenced to 5 years in prison.

Three Forced-Labor Terms

I was given two years of forced labor in January 2001, three years in December 2003, and another two years in spring 2007.

The local police brutally tortured and abused me following my arrest in 2003 that led to my second forced labor term. My hands were twisted behind my back and cuffed to a heater pipe for several hours. Officer Wang Xiaodong later removed my handcuffs, only to re-cuff me to another heater pipe next to an open window. To make me suffer even more, Wang stripped me to my underwear and whipped my body with my belt. When he became exhausted, he asked officer Liu Yunzhi to continue the beating.

Wang took me to the courtyard later that day and forced me to stand barefoot in the snow. After a little while, he forced me to lie down and stomped on my head.

I wasn’t allowed to go inside until hours later. Wang again handcuffed me to a heater pipe and went out to eat. I wasn’t given any food or water.

Wang returned after dinner and resumed his torture of me. He kicked my ribs and burned my mustache, penis, and pubic hair with a lighter.

I was transferred to a local detention center days later and soon given a three-year forced labor term.

Sentenced to 5 Years

I was arrested on August 27, 2009 after being reported for giving a friend some Falun Gong materials. The police tortured me for eight straight hours after the arrest. They forced me to sit on the ground with my legs straightened and my hands behind my back. They kept elevating my heels with more and more bricks, causing excruciating pain. I sweat profusely as a result.

The local court later sentenced me to five years in prison. On the day of my scheduled release, the local government drove me to a nursing home and didn’t let me return home until 16 days later.