(Minghui.org) A convicted robber who is serving 15 years at Zhengzhou Prison didn't expect his life would be changed when he met another inmate there in 2008. The latter man was also given 15 years, not for committing a crime, but for refusing to give up Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline being persecuted by the Chinese communist regime.

Mr. Wei Yanjie was deeply touched by the calming and kind character of Mr. Li Baoxing, a Falun Gong practitioner from Beijing sentenced for his faith in late 2004. Mr. Wei had never seen another inmate or friend like Mr. Li before, so he decided to give Falun Gong a try.

The Jia County, Henan Province resident was delighted to see the practice help him break many bad habits and thoughts within a short time, turning him into a completely different person.

Life in the prison wasn't desperate to him anymore and for the first time in many years, he began to have hope for a real future.

As Mr. Wei strove to be a good person by following Falun Gong's principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, he was met with persecution by the prison authorities, who spared no efforts in attempting to force him to renounce his faith.

When the guards found he was hand-copying Falun Gong's teachings, they deducted the points he earned for an early release and locked him in solitary confinement.

Fearing other prisoners would know about Mr. Wei's practicing Falun Gong and follow suit, the guards punished him in private. They found Mr. Wei's family, who were heavily influenced by the communist regime's propaganda smearing the practice, to pressure him to give up his faith.

Mr. Wei's family complied with the prison's demand, but Mr. Wei refused to budge. The prison guards then beat him and shocked him with several electric batons.

In a new round of persecution since May 2018, ten years after he learned it, the guards transferred him to the 9th ward that is dedicated to persecuting imprisoned practitioners. Mr. Wei's family members are forced to slander Falun Gong before they are allowed to visit him.

While it is unclear what Mr. Wei is going through at the 9th ward now, according to other practitioners who were imprisoned there before, all practitioners are subjected to intensive brainwashing, as well as physical restrictions, such as sleep deprivation, long-term standing or no showering, in attempts to force them to renounce Falun Gong. Some practitioners were starved or force fed.

Local Falun Gong practitioners in Zhengzhou City are calling for international attention to Mr. Wei's case.

Related article in Chinese:

狱中开始修大法做好人 魏延杰遭折磨