Former Colonel to Be Released from Serving Six Years for Refusing to Give up His Faith
(Minghui.org) A former lieutenant colonel of Hulunbuir City, Inner Mongolia is scheduled to be released on April 1, 2020, after serving six years in prison for his faith in Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted in China in the past 21 years.
For practicing Falun Gong, Mr. Yang Wanming was sentenced to seven years in 2009. Although he was released in 2013, two years ahead of time, he was arrested again one year later and given six years in prison.
Arrested Shortly After Previous Release
The police and officials in Hailar District arrested Mr. Yang on April 2, 2014, less than four months after he was released from his previous imprisonment. The authorities targeted him for publishing his persecution account on Minghui.org.
The officers ransacked his place and confiscated his belongings and 10,000 yuan in cash. He was given six years after a secret trial in September at Hailar District Court.
Mr. Yang’s wife divorced him because she was unable to withstand the tremendous pressure from the persecution. He was transferred to Baoanzhao Prison on June 21, 2016.
Tortured in Prison
Mr. Yang was sprayed with chili pepper water and shocked with an electric baton because he did the Falun Gong meditation on March 26, 2019. He collapsed from the pain. The prison guards shocked him the next day until he passed out. He was sent to an emergency room and resuscitated.
A guard named Liu Chang repeatedly pepper-sprayed Mr. Yang’s face on October 4 while he did Falun Gong exercises. Liu warned other prisoners that they would suffer if they failed to report him doing the exercises. To gain the term reduction, two prisoners actively abused Mr. Yang and prevented him from doing Falun Gong exercises.
The two prisoners many times stole Falun Gong books from Mr. Yang and lied about him doing Falun Gong exercises. One time they reported Mr. Yang for not wearing prison underpants. Guard Liu stripped Mr. Yang and had him stand barefoot on the concrete floor on a cold winter day in November. Liu handcuffed and pepper sprayed him before putting him in solitary confinement for 15 days.
Mr. Yang was formerly the head of the Beijing Military Zone Communications Section and was awarded as “Outstanding Employee” for many years. With the onset of the persecution, he was demobilized for practicing Falun Gong. He later worked for China Mobile Communication Group in Hulunbuir.
Arrested for Exposing the Persecution
In February 2009, a speech given by Zhao Xicheng, the then head of Political and Legal Affairs Committee in Hulunbuir City, on the persecution of Falun Gong, was publicized in an overseas media. Being a key practitioner on the 610 Office watch list and also attendee of the meeting, Mr. Yang was placed under strict surveillance by the authorities. He was arrested on March 15, 2009 and detained in the Hailar Detention Center.
Defense by Lawyer Forbidden
Mr. Yang was secretly tried by the Hulunbuir City Intermediate Court in August 2009. He was sentenced to ten years in prison and fined 50,000 yuan for “leaking state secrets and disrupting the implementation of law.”
In the appeal trial, the court and the procuratorate did not allow the attorney to defend Mr. Yang. The Hulunber Intermediate Court upheld the original sentence.
Mr. Yang's family appealed to the Inner Mongolia Autonomous District High Court, which reduced the term to seven years.
Mr. Yang was transferred to Baoanzhao Prison on September 17, 2010, where the guards brutally tortured him, in an attempt to force him to renounce Falun Gong. He was released on December 14, 2013.
Employer and Family Implicated
While Mr. Yang was detained, the authorities also went after his employer. They removed the president and demoted some managers. Some other employees were also monitored by the Bureau of Public Security.
Mr. Yang's son was often harassed while studying in college in Beijing and his job assignment after graduation was also affected. His family and relatives were intimidated with body searches and restrictions of their personal freedom. They were vilified and slandered.