(Minghui.org) A 49-year-old man was recently sentenced to three years and six months in prison for his faith in Falun Gong, a spiritual and meditation discipline persecuted by the communist regime since 1999.

Mr. Tian Xu is a native of Anyue County, Sichuan Province. He had been repeatedly targeted in the past for his faith and served two terms of forced labor for a total of 4.5 years. In order to avoid further arrests, he left home in 2012 and moved from place to place.

He was arrested in Suining City, about 50 miles from his hometown, on May 18, 2018 for talking to people about Falun Gong. Officers from Suining Domestic Security Division interrogated him for nearly a month before transferring him to Yongxing Detention Center. He was sentenced by Chuanshan District Court in late December.

A group of police officers and staff members from the local residential committee went to Mr. Tian's apartment complex in Suining on May 24, one week after his arrest, to try to find his rental place. They had searched the neighborhood's surveillance videos and identified his apartment building.

They went door to door and asked residents about Mr. Tian. They finally learned that his home was on the fifth floor, but couldn't open the door with the key confiscated from him. A locksmith was no help either. In the end, the police smashed open the lock and the piece of drywall near it.

Forced to Live Away from Home to Avoid Persecution

Mr. Tian was first arrested for exposing the persecution in 2000. He was given 1.5 years of forced labor and fined 5,000 yuan. His employer fired him upon pressure from Anyue County Domestic Security Division.

He was arrested again on November 6, 2004 for distributing Falun Gong informational materials. Agents from the Domestic Security Division and 610 Office secretly took him to Xinhua Forced Labor Camp six days later and gave him a term of three years.

While at the labor camp, he was savagely beaten, force fed and injected with unknown drugs. Because he refused to wear the detainees' uniform, guards shocked him with electric batons for a long time and tied him up. He was on the verge of death after the torture.

During a detainees' meeting, the guard ordered over a dozen inmates to force the uniform on him. He resisted and shouted out “Falun Dafa is good.” The guards tied him up and savagely beat him. He later lost all of his teeth from this beating.

The authorities continued to harass him after he was released from the labor camp. He was forced to live away from home in 2012. His wife also divorced him.

Mother Passed Away After Nine Years of Wandering About

Mr. Tian learned Falun Gong from his mother, Ms. Yang Suzhi, who began the practice in 1997 and was delighted to see her severe rheumatoid arthritis disappear.

In 2006, after finding Ms. Yang printing informational materials to expose the persecution, the police ransacked her home and confiscated her computer, printer, other equipment and a bank deposit note of more than 10,000 yuan. Ms. Yang escaped the arrest, but was forced to live away from home.

After being on the run for nine years, she passed away on September 15, 2015. She was 74.

Related report in Chinese: