(Minghui.org) Five years after he graduated college, Mr. Li Ming was sentenced to 15 years in prison for talking to people about his belief in Falun Gong, a mind and body cultivation system that has been persecuted in China since 1999. When he was finally released in January 2019, he was greeted with a bedridden and emaciated mother and an ill father who could barely crawl.

Mr. Li, in his early 40s, is originally from Northeast China. He was accepted to Henan Polytechnic University, one of the best universities in Henan Province, in 1995, and it was there that he began practicing Falun Gong. The year he graduated from college was the year the persecution of Falun Gong started. Mr. Li gave up a good job offer in a different city and stayed near his alma mater in order to tell the local people why the persecution was wrong.

Mr. Li was arrested in December 2004 after someone who had been deceived by the Chinese Communist regime’s propaganda against Falun Gong reported him to the police for talking to people about the practice.

During his court hearing, Mr. Li took out a banner reading “Falun Dafa is good” and held it high over his head. The judge sentenced him to 15 years in Xinmi Prison in Henan Province.

The Xinmi Prison guards tortured detained Falun Gong practitioners in attempts to force them to renounce their belief. Mr. Li was deprived of sleep and forced to stand still, sit, or squat, around the clock. The guards often viciously beat him when he refused to follow these demands. Mr. Li never wavered in his faith during his lengthy imprisonment.

Mr. Li was granted early release in January 2019. The local practitioners who went to pick him up were shocked to see how severely malnourished he was. His complexion was dark and he was partially bald.

After several days’ travel, Mr. Li made it back to his hometown in northeast China. What awaited him at home was a paralyzed and bedridden mother and a father who was so ill that he couldn’t walk anymore. The elderly man was struggling to take care of his wife and do household chores.

Mr. Li’s parents used to be healthy and so proud of their only son, who was smart, a good student, and a loyal and attentive son. Because of his belief in Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance, he was treated like a felon and spent what should have been the most productive years of his life in prison.

Over the past 15 years, Mr. Li's parents were given the runaround between various government agencies as they tried to secure the release of their unjustly imprisoned son. Under the constant worry and stress, and without any income, their health deteriorated.