(Minghui.org) Four residents of Luzhou City, Sichuan Province are facing prosecution for their faith in Falun Gong, a spiritual and meditation discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.

Ms. Li Shifang, Ms. Dai Qunyin, Mr. Liu Kaisheng and his wife Ms. Jian Hongmei were arrested on August 16, 2020, at the Zihuai Town Farmers' Market in Hejiang County. They were held in the Hejiang County Detention Center.

On September 23, 2020, some of the Falun Gong practitioners' relatives were informed by an instructor from the Hejiang County Domestic Security Division that their arrests have been approved and the Domestic Security Division and procuratorate will continue to send the practitioners to brainwashing classes to force them to renounce their faith.

Arrested and Home Ransacked

On August 17, one day after the practitioners’ arrests, Mr. Liu and Ms. Jian's home was ransacked. The next day, the police and neighborhood community officers went to ransack the homes of Ms. Dai and her daughter, who didn't practice Falun Gong. The police confiscated many of the practitioners' personal belongings without providing a list of confiscated items. Ms. Li's home was also ransacked.

The four practitioners were initially held at Hejiang County Detention Center under criminal detention. The three female practitioners were later transferred to Luzhou City Detention Center. At the time of writing, it remains unclear if Mr. Liu is still held at Hejiang County Detention Center.

Ms. Dai's family hired a lawyer for her. On September 4, 2020, the lawyer visited Ms. Dai at the detention center and later stopped by the police department and met with Wang Zhonghe, the officer in charge of the case. He submitted a document to Wang requesting for Ms. Dai to be released.

Officer Wang ignored the letter from Ms. Dai’s lawyer and submitted the practitioners' case to the procuratorate, seeking to advance their prosecution. The police also collected witness accounts from the practitioners' relatives in an attempt to extract information with which to file charges against the practitioners.

During this time, Mr. Liu's manager at work and Ms. Li's family contacted the police several times, requesting their release. The police told them that the practitioners would be released if they wrote a guarantee statement renouncing Falun Gong. Mr. Liu and Ms. Li refused to write the statement and remained steadfast in their faith.

Currently, all four practitioners are facing indictment and still in detention.

Previous Persecution

This was not the first time that the four practitioners had been arrested and detained for their faith.

Factory Director Once Imprisoned for 15 Months

Ms. Li, 67, is a former director and secretary of Luzhou Towel and Bed Linen Factory. She spent 15 years trying to save the factory from closing down. Her efforts finally paid off—the company became profitable and increased it assets by more than ten times; its products were exported to more than 10 countries and regions.

Due to her performance, she was named one of the top 10 outstanding factory directors in Luzhou City and the top 100 outstanding factory directors in Sichuan Province. She also served as the president of the Luzhou Women Entrepreneurs Association and director of the Sichuan Women Entrepreneurs Association. Many media outlets reported on her story, and she received many awards and certificates.

However, her years of work caused her health to deteriorate. She was suffering from an insufficient blood supply to the brain, dizziness, insomnia, gallstones, anemia, hepatitis, memory loss, and other diseases. Her health showed no improvement despite searching for various kinds of treatments. It wasn’t until May 1997 when she started practicing Falun Gong that her illnesses disappeared.

Having obtained a healthy body, she refused to give up practicing when the persecution started in 1999. As a result, she was detained six times, with the longest detention being 15 months. Her home was ransacked five times, and she was sent to a brainwashing center twice. Her business had to be stopped when she was detained, leading to an economic loss of more than 200,000 yuan. Her 4,700 yuan in cash was also confiscated by the police.

Ms. Li later exercised her legal right to sue former Chinese Communist Party leader Jiang Zemin for launching the persecution of Falun Gong. In her criminal complaint, she wrote that she was detained three times and that in 2001, she and other practitioners who were detained at the brainwashing center weren't allowed family visits or get a break in the yard after 11 practitioners escaped from the center. They were also interrogated from noon to midnight without being given anything to eat. She also wrote that she went on a hunger strike after she was detained for nearly 1.5 years and was finally released. By then, all her hair had turned gray.

Ms. Li was arrested again on October 7, 2012, before the 18th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party. She was detained for 10 days at the brainwashing center, where she was monitored around the clock by two people and not allowed to leave the room.

On January 6, 2015, Ms. Li was arrested for attending a practitioner's trial. In recent years, the police and neighborhood community officers harassed her several times at her shop and took photos without permission.

Married Couple Praised for Their Character

Mr. Liu, 48, is a senior engineer at the Sichuan Geology and Mineral Bureau and a technical consultant and chief engineer of the Hydrogeological Survey Institute.

He started to practice Falun Gong in 1995 when he was studying in college. He said that Falun Gong taught him to think of others before himself. As a result, he never took bribes, an action that won the trust of his leaders and respect from his coworkers. Since taking up Falun Gong, he has not been ill and is happy and energetic every day. His acquaintances all know that he practices Falun Gong, and his leaders and coworkers hope that he could soon be released from prison.

Mr. Liu's wife, Ms. Jian, is an elementary school music teacher. Prior to practicing Falun Gong, she had hyperthyroidism, severe anemia, and gynecological diseases. She was diagnosed with weak vocal cords when she was teaching at the Southwest Normal University in 1995. She couldn't sing high or low notes, and the illness greatly affected her work. However, she fully recovered in 1996 after practicing Falun Gong and could finally teach again.

“After practicing Falun Gong, I became more caring for my students, treating them like my children,” she said. “The students love to attend my classes, and they can feel the kindness that I bring to them.”

She added that practicing Falun Gong has allowed her to let go of her hatred towards her ex-husband and forgive him in her heart.

As Ms. Jian and her current husband, Mr. Liu, refused to give up practicing Falun Gong, they were arrested in January 2001, interrogated overnight and not allowed to sleep. When Ms. Jian was extremely sleepy, the police told her to stand up until dawn.

Mr. Liu was also made to stand, and the guards kicked his legs. After the interrogation, Mr. Liu was held at a local detention facility and later transferred to Sanhuashan Detention Center.

At Sanhuashan Detention Center, he was forced to sort pig hair. If he couldn't complete his work, he would be beaten by the inmates, burned with cigarette butts, and hit on his legs by a soft hose, which resulted in long, black scars. Mr. Liu was also taken to brainwashing classes and ordered to give up his belief.

Ms. Jian was taken to a detention center near the Longmatan District. She was forced-fed when she went on a hunger strike. After being detained for nearly a year, she was taken to a public trial assembly and paraded on the streets. Afterward, she was sent to a forced labor camp for two and a half years.

At the Nanmusi Women's Forced Labor Camp, Ms. Jian was torture and deprived of sleep. She was also pressured to write guarantee statements stating that she had been “transformed” (renounced her faith) and made to perform in shows.

Woman Arrested for Telling People About Falun Gong

Ms. Dai, 68, is a retired worker of Luzhou Carton Factory. She started practicing Falun Gong after hearing about it in August 2009 from other practitioners. Through practicing Falun Gong, her previous illnesses, such as chest pain, cervical pain, and a corn on her foot were cured. She was once scalded by hot oil, and her skin rotted. She did the Falun Gong exercises and recovered completely.

Practicing Falun Gong has changed her from a bad-tempered person who would often get into arguments. “I was a stubborn person and nobody was able to change me,” she said. “Only Dafa changed me to a kinder and better person.” She now has a harmonious relationship with her family.

Having benefitted from the practice, she hoped that more people could learn about Falun Gong. However, she was arrested in 2010 for distributing Falun Gong materials. The police took away her bag for a search and found Falun Gong materials inside. She was released a few hours later after having her photo taken and making a statement.