Five Falun Gong Practitioners in Liaoning Province Indicted for Their Faith
(Minghui.org) Five residents in two cities of Liaoning Province were indicted on July 1, 2020 for their faith in Falun Gong, a mind-body improvement discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999. Three of them were arrested in February while the other two were seized two months later.
On February 12, 2020, three Falun Gong practitioners in Anshan City, Ms. Lou Yan, Ms. Zhang Xu, and Mr. Fang Fuqiang, borrowed a car from Ms. Yu Haiying, a resident of Haicheng City (which is under the administration of Anshan City), to travel from Anshan City to Shenyang City. The trio was stopped for an ID check at a checkpoint after they got off the freeway.
The ID check revealed that they are Falun Gong practitioners and the police in Shenyang searched their car and found two copies of Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party. The three practitioners were arrested and subsequently detained at the police department in the Sujiatun District of Shenyang City.
Ms. Lou and Ms. Zhang were transferred to a hotel opposite the Sujiatun District Public Security Bureau Branch two days later, while Mr. Fang was held at a detention center.
Ms. Zhang and Mr. Fang were released on bail on April 16 and Ms. Lou was released on April 29 after being tortured while in custody.
Ms. Yu, the car owner, was arrested on April 14 with another practitioner, Ms. Liu Yanbin (a resident of Anshan City).
Ms. Liu was released on April 2 and Ms. Yu on April 15.
Though all five practitioners were arrested by Shenyang police, their cases were later moved back to Anshan City. The Lishan District Procuratorate in Anshan City indicted the five practitioners on July 1 and soon forwarded their cases to Lishan District Court.
Below is a summary of the persecution suffered by the five practitioners while in custody.
Ms. Lou Yan
Ms. Lou was subjected to torture and developed symptoms of epilepsy after she was arrested on February 12 and later detained at a hotel. When Ms. Lou refused to explain the reason for going to Shenyang City, she was slapped in the face and hit on her forehead, resulting in an egg-yolk-sized bump on her forehead. An officer named Han Ping later slapped Ms. Lou again with such force that her left ear went deaf.
Ms. Lou was forced to sit on a metal chair after being detained for about 10 days. She was once made to sit continuously for more than 120 hours with her hands and feet restrained to the chair.
The torture only stopped after her buttocks festered and her feet became hardened and could no longer fit into the shackles. Despite her condition, the police threatened to send her to prison. For about a month, Ms. Lou had to sleep with her right hand cuffed to a ring on the floor.
Officer Han called four collaborators (former practitioners who assist the authorities in trying to convince practitioners to renounce the practice) from a local brainwashing center—Yang Na, Chen Jie, Liu Wenying, and Li Suying—to attempt to force Ms. Lou to renounce her faith. Ms. Lou was forced to listen to the brainwashing from the collaborators every day while seated on the metal chair.
Once, two policemen used Falun Gong books and Falun Gong founder's photos to form a circle around Ms. Lou's feet, before tying her feet tightly together with a rope. They then forced Ms. Lou to squat with her heels on the ground, hands behind her back and her head lifted up while Chen placed two Falun Gong books behind Ms. Lou's knees. If she fell or moved a little, she would step on the books or photos.
When Ms. Lou couldn't squat any longer, the officers held her down, causing her to be out of breath due to the pain and almost suffocated. The torture lasted for half an hour until it was time for the officers' lunch break.
Ms. Lou became emaciated after she was detained for about two months; she coughed every day and sometimes non-stop for four to five hours, coupled with vomiting phlegm, blood, and bile. She eventually went on a hunger strike to request for her release.
During her hunger strike, Ms. Lou was force-fed thrice. The police pinched her cheeks while pouring porridge into her mouth. Due to the force-feeding, she vomited blood and the skin on her cheeks was torn.
Ms. Lou was deprived of washing and cleaning herself for the 78 days that she was detained. The torture caused her to have difficulty breathing and she had to lie on the ground many times. The police on the night shift had to watch her all the time as they were afraid Ms. Lou could die at any time.
On April 29, Ms. Lou was sent back to Anshan City on the brink of death and the police refused to return the 60,000 yuan in cash confiscated from her during her arrest.
Ms. Zhang Xu
Ms. Zhang refused to answer any questions after she was arrested on February 12 and interrogated. Wang Chunyang of the Shenyang Police Department then brought in three burly men in an attempt to record her statement. That afternoon, the police brought a blank search warrant to her residence and confiscated three printers, printing papers, and a computer after finding her address by searching the internet user database.
Wang came again the next day and hit Ms. Zhang. Her winter jacket was torn up by him. On February 14, Wang returned with the three burly men and took Ms. Zhang to a room with no surveillance camera at the Jiefang Police Station and interrogated her.
Ms. Zhang was later transferred to a hotel where she was made to sit on a metal chair. When the police failed to transform her, they forced her to stand for long hours before changing the punishment to squatting. Ms. Zhang was allowed to sleep after 12 midnight.
On March 8, officer Han Ping started hitting Ms. Zhang's head, face, and shoulders, while trying to force her to renounce her faith. He continued to hit her the next day and threatened to torture her if she refused to confess.
Han later called for the three officers—Yang Na, Chen Jie, and Liu Wenying—from the brainwashing center and told them to transform Ms. Zhang at all costs. Ms. Zhang had her legs bounded tightly together and her hands behind her when she refused to squat. Han ordered Ms. Zhang to squat for two hours. When she couldn't stay in position, an officer pressed and held her down.
Ms. Zhang was released on April 16.
Mr. Fang Fuqiang
Mr. Fang was interrogated, had his body searched, and beaten after he was arrested and taken to the Sujiatun District Police Department. He was sent to Jiefang Police Station at night where he slept, either on a chair or on the ground.
He was sent to a detention center on February 14 and subsequently transferred to the hotel, where Ms. Lou was detained, on March 16. During the detention, Mr. Fang was forced to sit on a metal chair for four days continuously until his feet and legs became extremely swollen. He was restricted from drinking water, using the bathroom, and taking a shower. At night, the police handcuffed his right hand to a ring on the floor, and only stopped two days before his release.
Ms. Yu Haiying
After Ms. Yu lent her car to the above three practitioners, the police started to gather evidence in an attempt to persecute her. She was arrested by Shenyang police on April 14 and interrogated. On the night of April 15, she was released on bail and sent back to Anshan City. While Ms. Yu was detained, the police searched her home but found nothing.
Ms. Yu's husband Mr. Wang Hongzhu was a high school physics teacher who was also persecuted for practicing Falun Gong. He was arrested on August 22, 2018, and later sentenced to 3.5 years in prison and fined 5,000 yuan. His personal belongings and over 30,000 yuan in cash that were confiscated during the house raid have not been returned to him.
Mr. Wang's arrest and imprisonment caused tremendous mental distress to his family. His son who was about to take his examinations started to perform badly at school.
Ms. Yu, who was also a high school teacher, was assigned to take visitors’ temperature and other temporary jobs after Mr. Wang's sentencing. In order to hire a lawyer for her husband, Ms. Yu spent all their savings. Their financial situation became worse when Mr. Wang's salary was suspended. Ms. Yu had to use her salary to cover living expenses and their son's education, deposit money into Mr. Wang's commissary account, and support her mother who doesn't have a pension.
The authorities took Ms. Yu back into custody from her workplace on July 7, 2020. According to her supervisor, the police sent Ms. Yu to Anshan City Detention Center, where she remains. Her son is currently alone at home.
Ms. Liu Yanbin
Ms. Liu was arrested on April 14 together with her son and daughter-in-law and her home was ransacked. Her son was beaten by police. As both he and his wife do not practice Falun Gong, the police later released them. However, Ms. Liu wasn't released until April 29. She is currently under house arrest.