(Minghui.org) A twice-imprisoned man was recently given a third prison term for refusing to renounce Falun Gong, a mind-body practice based on the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. Also known as Falun Dafa, the practice has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since July 1999.

Mr. Li Jiucheng, 55, lives in Morin Dawa Daur Autonomous Banner, Inner Mongolia. He has been repeatedly arrested for holding firm to his faith. He was sentenced to four years in prison in 2001 and five years in 2007. His most recent and seventh arrest took place in July 2017, and he appeared in court in March 2018.

His attorney pleaded not guilty on his behalf, as no law in China criminalizes Falun Gong. He was sentenced to four years in prison five months later and is now in the process of appealing his case.

No family visits have been allowed since Mr. Li's latest arrest.

Arrested Ahead of 19th Party Congress

Prior to the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, police in Morin Dawa arrested six Falun Gong practitioners on July 27, 2017, including Mr. Li. Two other practitioners were also targeted but were soon released on bail because of their advanced age.

Mr. Li was transferred to Morin Dawa Detention Center two months later. He and another practitioner, Mr. Wang Daicai, were tried jointly on March 6, 2018. The prosecutor alleged that the Falun Gong books and materials confiscated from Mr. Li's home were evidence against him, citing as legal basis two notices issued by China's Administration of Press and Publications in July 1999, banning the publication of Falun Gong books.

Mr. Li's lawyer countered that the Administration had issued a new notice on March 1, 2011, lifting the ban on Falun Gong books. Therefore, printing, owning, and distributing such books are permitted by law.

When defending himself, Mr. Li said that he caused no harm to anyone by following the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance to be a better citizen. He pointed out that former communist leader Jiang Zemin violated Falun Gong practitioners' rights of freedom of belief as protected by the Chinese Constitution.

The presiding judge from Hulunbuir Intermediate Court sentenced Mr. Li to four years of imprisonment in mid-August. It is unclear what verdict was issued to Mr. Wang, who is known to have been released after being forced to pay over 50,000 yuan to police.

Six Prior Detentions

Mr. Li's latest arrest was preceded by six prior arrests.

Mr. Li was first arrested in 2001 and later sentenced to four years of imprisonment.

The second arrest was in March 2006. Zhang Yong from the Morin Dawa Domestic Security Division arrested 22 practitioners, including Mr. Li. After being detained for 15 days and extorted of 1,000 yuan, Mr. Li was released.

Mr. Li was sentenced to five years in prison by Guo Changsuo from Dawa Daur following his third arrest on January 16, 2007. He was ordered to serve time at the Baoanzhao Prison, where he was jailed in 2001.

The fourth arrest occurred on April 9, 2014, when Mr. Li was distributing Falun Gong materials near a high school. He was held at the Morin Dawa Detention Center for 15 days before being released.

Mr. Li's fifth arrest happened in June 2014 after he was reported for talking to fellow passengers about Falun Gong on a long-distance bus. Police stopped the bus and seized him. He was again held at the Morin Dawa Detention Center for 15 days.

The sixth arrest was in March 2016. Zhang Baiming, head of the Morin Dawa Domestic Security Office, went to the home of Mr. Li's mother with four officers. They arrested Mr. Li and confiscated Falun Gong books and materials. They also took a computer from the family and later held Mr. Li at a detention center inside the Morin Dawa Police Department for 15 days.

Unusual Home-based Brainwashing

Mr. Li was briefly held at a home-based brainwashing center following his third arrest on January 16, 2017.

Zhang Shibin, former 610 Office head, stole 1,060 yuan from Mr. Li's pocket and took him to a detention center after arresting him. Zhang later took Mr. Li back to his home, where he had set up a brainwashing center to try to force Falun Gong practitioners to give up their belief.

Unable to shake Mr. Li's faith, Zhang and his people chained his feet to a bed and tortured him for a day and a night. One man beat Mr. Li hard with tree branches, until the branches broke into pieces. They returned Mr. Li to the detention center the following day.

This brainwashing center was set up by Zhang and his wife, Guan Wanzhen, at their own home. At least 29 practitioners had been detained and mistreated there. These practitioners were from Morin Dawa and other areas of Inner Mongolia, and most of them were detained for about a month.

Home-based brainwashing centers are rare, as police usually use hotels or other discreet business or government venues as brainwashing centers.

Related Reports:

Twice Imprisoned, Inner Mongolia Man Arrested a 7th Time for His Faith

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Key Personnel Responsible for the Persecution:

Morin Dawa Police Department, +86-470-4613876, +86-470-46138764613571, +86-470-46138764626660, +86-470-46138764626625Zhang Shibin, former director of 610 Office, +86-470-4621889, +86-13848600007