Mother and Son Jailed 11 Years for Their Shared Faith in Falun Gong
(Minghui.org) A mother and her son, residents of Yangquan City, Shanxi Province, both served 11 years between 2008 and 2019, simply for their faith in Falun Gong, an ancient spiritual and meditation discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.
Ms. Wang Lanfang took up Falun Gong first, and her son, Mr. Song Licheng, joined her in 2000, when he was 19 years old. They studied Falun Gong’s teachings and did the exercises together. In their spare time, they used various means to raise awareness about the persecution of Falun Gong.
A group of officers broke into their home on the evening of March 16, 2004, and arrested Ms. Wang. Mr. Song, then 23, was forced to live away from home to avoid being arrested. Ms. Wang also went into hiding after she escaped during a health checkup.
Mr. Song was tracked by the police and then arrested while he was browsing the Internet at an Internet cafe in his hometown of Datong in the same province, on January 19, 2005. He was sent back to Yangquan and held in the Yangquan Detention Center.
The detention center guards used all kinds of methods to torture him, from inserting bamboo sticks under his nails to burning his arms with cigarette butts. Three scars on his arms are still visible today.
Mr. Song was later sentenced to a five-year prison term, and because he appealed the verdict, the judge retaliated by adding five years to his term.
Before Mr. Song was sent to the prison, he escaped from the detention center on January 24, 2006 and went into hiding again.
Mr. Song and Ms. Wang later reunited and found a rental place to stay together. The mother and son were both arrested again on December 1, 2008 after being tracked by the police when they called home. Mr. Song was beaten in the detention center again. His head bled and he was forced to wear shackles weighing nearly 90 pounds for over ten months.
The Kuangqu Court sentenced Ms. Wang to an 11-year term in 2009, and added another 1.5 years to Mr. Song’s previous ten-year term, as a punishment for his escape.
Mother and son were both released in late 2019. When they took the train back to Datong on July 3, 2020, train station security personnel stopped Ms. Wang and asked whether she practiced Falun Gong. Ms. Wang told them she had just served 11 years for her faith. The security guard let her go after confirming her information with the police in Yangquan.