(Minghui.org) A Falun Gong practitioner's family learned from an acquaintance with government connections that the authorities had decided to sentence their loved one to four years in prison. One month later, on November 24, 2018, a secret court hearing was held for Mr. Du Yihe without his family's knowledge.

Mr. Du's family believe that the reported prison sentence, which hasn't been formally announced yet, is in retaliation for their refusal to use a court-appointed lawyer. The authorities had promised to give Mr. Du a lighter sentence if his family accepted a lawyer who was instructed to enter a guilty plea for him.

Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a mind-body practice based on the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. The Chinese communist regime launched a nationwide campaign against the practice in July 1999. Since then, China's law enforcement and judicial system have been actively carrying out the government's persecution policy by arresting Falun Gong practitioners, indicting without legal basis, and handing down predetermined prison sentences.

Guard Claims Mr. Du “Enjoys Being Detained”

Mr. Du, a father of three sons, is a resident of Yi'nan County. The 56-year-old man was arrested for his faith in Falun Gong on May 28, 2018, shortly before the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit was held in Qingdao City, Shandong Province on June 9-10, 2018. It was reported that the police arrested him to prevent him from leaving home to work in another city.

Mr. Du's family visited the Yinnan County Detention Center to request his release, but a guard there told them, “Mr. Du likes it in there and doesn't want to leave.”

Prior Arrests and Torture

Prior to his latest arrest, Mr. Du was targeted previously on several occasions and served three years in a labor camp for not renouncing his faith in Falun Gong.

He was first arrested on July 25, 1999, shortly after the onset of the persecution. The police beat him brutally with bamboo planks, shocked him with electric batons and tied him up until he lost consciousness.

Following his second arrest in 2001, Mr. Du was sent to a brainwashing center where the authorities attempted to force him to renounce Falun Gong. His feet and back were severely injured by the guards' savage beatings. He was unable to walk and could only crawl. At night, the guards stripped him and left him outside in the snow.

Mr. Du was given three years of forced labor on June 19, 2003 and sent to Wangcun Forced Labor Camp, where he was again brutalized. Torture methods included freezing, sitting on a small stool for an extended period of time, sleep deprivation, intensive brainwashing, as well as hard labor. He was force-fed when he staged a hunger strike to protest the persecution. The guards once slammed his head against the wall. He was on the verge of death because of the torture and general abuse.

The labor camp extended his term for two months because he resisted the persecution by not cooperating with the demands of the guards.

He was weak and emaciated when he was released on May 1, 2006.

Mr. Du enjoyed family life only for a very short while before the police arrested him again on May 24, 2007. When his wife returned home after work that day, she found the door to their apartment wide open and their residence in terrible disarray after a police raid.

After Mr. Du filed a criminal complaint in 2015 against former Chinese communist regime leader Jiang Zemin for ordering the persecution of Falun Gong, the police harassed his wife at home while he went out of town for work. They ransacked his residence and forced his wife, who cannot read, to sign a document without telling her what it was.