Chongqing Couple Repeatedly Persecuted for Their Faith—Husband Still Imprisoned
(Minghui.org) A retired military officer was force-fed and tortured after he held a hunger strike while serving time for practicing Falun Dafa, a meditation practice that has been persecuted by the Chinese government since 1999.
In addition to his own suffering, his wife, who started to practice Falun Dafa in 2010, has also been harassed, arrested, detained, and imprisoned numerous times during the past ten years.
Husband Force-fed in Prison
Mr. Yao Rongxuan, of Chongqing, was arrested on April 6, 2017. He was tried on January 23, 2018 and later sentenced to a five-year prison term by the Yongchuan District Court.
While in Yongchan Prison, Mr. Yao went on a hunger strike to protest and was force-fed. His front teeth were knocked out and he almost died in the process.
Mr. Yao joined the military in 1983. He was previously an accountant at Changdu military regiment in Tibet and was later promoted to be head of the finance department at the border security division. He was a hardworking employee and was awarded a dozen times for his outstanding work performance.
He started practicing Falun Dafa in 1998, and was forced to retire from the military after the persecution began one year later. He served seven months at a forced labor camp and seven years in prison, from February 2001 to late 2009. He was subjected to various forms of torture during his detention, and nearly died in prison.
Wife Tortured in Prison
Mr. Yao’s wife, Ms. Xu Xiaoqin, was arrested on May 7, 2018, while telling people about Falun Dafa outside of a supermarket. Police confiscated her cellphone and other Falun Dafa materials she had with her. Police searched and ransacked her home after they drilled a hole in the wall of her apartment to open the door.
Ms. Xu was sentenced to 1.5 years and sent to Zoumazheng Women's Prison on March 5, 2019. She was subjected to a number of inhuman treatments in the prison, including:
1) Shocked by electric batons, slapped in the face, and forced to squat for a long period of time2) Forced to stand all day long with exception of mealtimes and half an hour of TV news3) Not allowed to sleep at all, or only four hours of sleep a night4) Not allowed to use the toilet, and forced to go without a shower or change of clothes for a month at a time6) Forced to work over 13 hours per day, and not allowed to drink water.
Prior to her latest term, she was also imprisoned at Chongqing Women’s Prison for three years between 2014 to 2016, for practicing Falun Dafa.