(Minghui.org) Three residents of Xichang City, Sichuan Province, were arrested in January 2015 while they were reading Falun Gong books together. They were each sentenced to three years in prison on charges of “using a cult to undermine law enforcement,” a standard pretext used to frame and imprison Falun Gong practitioners.

Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a mind-body practice based on the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. The practice has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since July 1999.

Now, almost a year after they were released, Mr. Liao Ancai, Ms. Guo Bing, and Ms. Zhang Yi have separately filed motions with the Liangshanzhou Intermediate Court to reconsider their case and exonerate them. The court has yet to make a decision on whether or not to accept their applications.

In their motions, the three practitioners described how Falun Gong changed them physically and mentally. They reasoned that no law in China has ever deemed practicing Falun Gong a crime or labeled it a cult organization and that their reading Falun Gong books posed no harm to anyone, much less undermined law enforcement. They emphasized that they should never have been imprisoned for exercising their constitutional right to freedom of belief.

In 2000 and again in 2005, the Chinese Ministry of Public Security issued notices about cults. The notices, both titled “Notice from Ministry of Public Security Regarding Identifying and Banning Cult Organizations,” identified a total of 14 cult organizations. Falun Gong was not mentioned in either notice.

Mr. Liao and Ms. Guo included copies of those two notices in their applications as additional evidence. They also included a copy of “Announcement 50 of the General Administration of Press and Publication on March 1, 2011,” which repealed the Administration's earlier ban on the publication of Falun Gong books. The practitioners argued that owning and studying Falun Gong books was legal and presented no grounds for their arrest.

All three asked the intermediate court to re-examine their case and clear their names.

What Happened

On January 28, 2015, right before the Chinese New Year, these three practitioners were studying Falun Dafa books and sharing cultivation experiences with a group of practitioners when the police arrested them and took them to Xiaomiao Detention Center. The Xichang Procuratorate approved the arrests on February 16. They were secretly tried, and on December 23, they were sentenced to three years and fined 10,000 yuan.

On May 24, 2016, Mr. Liao was taken to Leshan Jiazhou Prison while Ms. Zhang and Ms. Guo were transferred to Chengdu Women's Prison. They were tortured when they refused to be “transformed.”

Below are excerpts from their applications.

Mr. Liao Ancai

I am in the cargo delivery business. I was always unhealthy, and by 1995 I was suffering from stomach problems, rheumatoid arthritis, and hepatitis. I tried all kinds of medical treatments, but nothing worked. That same year, my healthy older brother was diagnosed with liver cancer and died two months later. His sudden death was a big blow, and I lost hope.

After I started to practice Falun Gong in the spring of 1997, my health problems disappeared completely in just over a month. Because of Dafa, I was free of illness and felt I'd been given a second chance.

From reading the book Zhuan Falun, I understood why people get ill and how to stay healthy. I also understood the meaning of life and the preciousness and sacredness of cultivation.

I changed greatly. My character improved, and I became more tolerant and considerate when there was a conflict. I have encountered many conflicts over the past 21 years and always resolved them with tolerance.

In the winter of 1997, a motorcycle rear-ended my vehicle. The driver was a young man from the 610 Office. He got off his motorcycle and hit me. When my friends wanted to fight him, I stopped them and said, “Mr. Li Hongzhi, the founder of Falun Gong, taught us 'not to fight back when punched or insulted.'”

Another time, I delivered a truckload of vegetables to a farmers market in Chongqing in May 1998. The vendor did not pay me the 1,500-yuan delivery fee and ran away. When two friends and I ran into him a month later, he was frightened and agreed to pay what he owed. When he added 500 yuan to make up for not paying me when he should have, I would not take it.

I said, “I am a practitioner. I follow the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance to deal with people and do things. I do not hurt people.”

“I have never met anyone as nice as you in all my over 40 years of life,” he said.

I was 62 years old when I was arrested again in 2015. In prison, I was tortured for refusing to write the four statements and not giving up the practice. I became emaciated because I was given only 20 seconds at most to eat a small amount of rice and vegetables at lunch and dinner and half a bowl of porridge for breakfast every day.

My two children, 17 and 15, were terrified when I was arrested. Local Chinese Communist Party (CCP) cadres, instigated by the 610 Office, monitored them. My 86-year-old mother died from worry because of my arrest.

I am requesting that my case be re-examined not only to see justice done for me and for Falun Gong, but also for people to realize that only by being sincere, kind, and tolerant will there ever be harmony in society, happiness for our families, and good health for all. By failing to follow the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, we are inviting chaos and disaster, and everyone will suffer.

Ms. Guo Bing

I divorced my husband in 1998 because of his multiple extra-marital affairs. Even though my friends and colleagues comforted me, I was in misery. I even thought of killing my ex and myself.

That was when I found out about Falun Gong. After I started to practice it, my life returned to normal, and I became a better mother and also a better daughter to my parents.

I became open-minded and optimistic. I was truly happy to go to work every day. I took good care of my daughter and we were happy.

I was also healthy and have not taken any medicine since I began the practice.

After reading the book Zhuan Falun, I understood that Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is the sole measure of goodness. I follow these principles to become kind, considerate, and tolerant. When I was released from the labor camp in 2004 after two years, my ex-husband had advanced diabetes and his wife had divorced him. I was kind to him and took care of him every day until he passed away in December 2005. I also took care of his octogenarian mother until she died in 2012.

I would not have been able to do those things if I were not a Falun Gong practitioner.

In the Chengdu Women's Prison, I was closely monitored and followed around the clock and forced to do hard labor for long hours every day. I had to stand still long hours for refusing to be “transformed.”

On every holiday, the 610 Office always ordered the prison to monitor me more closely, which worried and frightened my family and my daughter.

My 85-year-old father, who had hypotension, was extremely sad when he learned of my arrest in 2015. His blood pressure shot up to 120/180 and he was rushed to the hospital for emergency care.

Seeing me handcuffed and my home ransacked petrified my sister, who was 49 and very timid. She suffered a mental collapse as a result. Every time she heard a siren or saw someone in a police uniform, she thought she was going to be arrested. She suffered in this state of madness for more than a year before her untimely death.

Ms. Zhang Yi

I am an engineer. I was 27 when I first read Zhuan Falun in 1997 and found answers to all the questions that I had pondered for a long time. I understood that the meaning of life is to follow the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance and return to my original, true self.

As Master requires, I try to consider others first at work and in my daily life. I look inward for my shortcomings when a conflict arises and never fight back when punched or insulted. I study the Fa and do the exercises whenever I have free time.

I have let go of all my bad habits and human notions such as jealousy, fighting, and others faults. I removed the attachment to personal gain and returned gifts I'd accepted previously. I have been healthy and have never taken any medicine since I started to practice.

Detained in Yanbian County Detention Center in 2002 for my belief, I was so brutally beaten that my face was swollen and I was black and blue. I was also hung from the window bars with my face down and my hands backward. A police officer even said, “You are guilty if Jiang Zemin says so. This is the way I interrogate and persecute criminals. No one, not even a strong man, can withstand it.”

I was tortured physically and mentally in Sichuan Women's Prison for refusing to be “transformed.” I was often forced to stand still or squat, except for meals, and was not allowed to use the restroom from 6 a.m. to midnight. I was handcuffed and hung up one whole day. I was deprived of sleep for more than three months, and on one occasion, for four days straight. The criminal inmates monitored, verbally abused, and beat me whenever they felt like it.

I was fired from my job at Liangshan Highway Bureau when I was released from prison. The years of service I had accumulated at the Bureau qualify me for inclusion in social security benefits, but the authorities said they'd delay considering the accumulated years of service given my record of imprisonment. As such, my pension benefits cannot accrue as much as they should.

My daughter was four when I was arrested and has been traumatized ever since. Agents from local 610 Office always visited my family over the holidays and stressed them terribly. My arrest and sentence upset my 103-year-old grandmother so much that she died. She did not have a chance to see her granddaughter one last time.