(Minghui.org) Since the Chinese communist regime started the persecution of Falun Gong, a mind-body discipline based on the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, in July 1999, a married couple in Jilin City, Jilin Province, has been arrested repeatedly for their shared faith.
While the husband was soon released following their latest arrest in 2018, the wife was sentenced to three years and two months without their family’s knowledge. She appealed her sentence, but a higher court upheld the verdict.
Latest Arrest and Wife’s Sentencing
On October 12, 2018, Ms. Zhou Xiuzhi and her husband, Mr. Wang Enguo, were arrested with over 20 Falun Gong practitioners during a police sweep. Ms. Zhou was held at Weizigou Detention Center for 15 days and later transferred to Changchun No. 4 Detention Center; Mr. Wang was held at Changchun No. 2 Detention Center.
The couple’s arrests left their two children, one still in middle school, at home with no financial support. After the New Year, Ms. Zhou’s 74-year-old mother went to Qikai District Domestic Security Division to ask for their release and learned that their cases had been filed with the Qikai District Procuratorate.
One year after being detained, Ms. Zhou was sentenced to three years and two months with a 10,000-yuan fine on October 30, 2019. After she appealed to the Changchun Intermediate Court, her family called the higher court judge many times trying to seek justice for her, but to no avail. When the judge answered the call from Ms. Zhou’s lawyer, he implied that there was no use for her to appeal the case, as the result would be the same.
On May 10, 2020, Ms. Zhou’s family received a letter from the trial court urging them to pay her fine. When they contacted Wang Qiang, the clerk at the trial court who had sent the letter, Wang said that the trial court had been notified that the appeals court had rejected Ms. Zhou’s appeal. When her family questioned why they had not received any notice, Wang replied that he was only responsible for collecting the fine and that they should talk to the appeals court judge themselves. When they called the judge, no one ever answered.
Ms. Zhou’s family soon found out that her bank account had been frozen without their knowledge. When they inquired about it, they were only told that everything had been done according to the law.
Husband Fired, Wife Taken to Forced Labor Camp
In the past two decades, Ms. Zhou and Mr. Wang have been persecuted repeatedly. Ms. Zhou was once held at Heizuizi Forced Labor Camp and tortured, and Mr. Wang was once detained in a forced labor camp and later sentenced to six years in prison. He was also tortured. As the couple were often harassed, arrested, and had their home ransacked, their children were also harassed and threatened by the police.
When the Chinese Communist Party began its persecution of Falun Gong on July 20, 1999, Mr. Wang, a worker at a steam radiator plant, was not allowed to work and told to report to Anqing Police Station every day. He was not allowed to go home.
In early 2000, a section chief at Mr. Wang’s workplace had a talk with him and threatened to confiscate his apartment given by the workplace and not allow him to work if he refused to renounce Falun Gong. Mr. Wang rejected the request. In the same year, Mr. Wang was taken to Chaoyanggou Forced Labor Camp and fired from his job.
Ms. Zhou, who started practicing Falun Gong in December 1998 and recovered from her heart disease, was arrested on November 5, 2000, when she went to Beijing to appeal for the right to practice Falun Gong. She was detained at the Changchun Office in Beijing the next day and taken back to Changchun City on November 7.
The police from Anqinglu Police Station detained Ms. Zhou in the basement of the police station and took her to Tiebei Detention Center at night. She was held there for 18 days before being transferred to Heizuizi Women’s Forced Labor Camp.
At the forced labor camp, Ms. Zhou and other Falun Gong practitioners were deprived of sleep, forced to attend brainwashing sessions, and tortured if they refused to be “transformed” (coerced into renouncing their faith). The practitioners were also shocked with electric batons, tied up, and forced to do manual labor for more than 10 hours a day.
When Ms. Zhou’s mother took her three-year-old son to visit her, the child took a long time to recognize her and call her “Mom.”
Husband in Forced Labor Camp, Wife Lives a Difficult Life
On March 8, 2000, Mr. Wang had just arrived home and was about to open the door when four plainclothes police officers pushed him into his home. They placed a motorcycle helmet on his head and hit it with a blunt object. Mr. Wang was in shock and felt dizzy; he had difficulty breathing.
After 20 minutes, Mr. Wang was taken to Yiqi police department and then moved to the local detention center to be detained for two years and three months. At the detention center, the guards instigated inmates to bend Mr. Wang’s fingers hard and rotate a toothbrush between his index and middle fingers. In an attempt to force Mr. Wang to renounce his faith, an inmate hit Mr. Wang’s head with his elbow.
Mr. Wang was taken to Chaoyanggou Forced Labor Camp in March 2000. He was forced to sit on the cement floor, deprived of sleep, and forced to look at a light bulb. A few months later, he was transferred to Fenjin Forced Labor Camp and made to sit on a stool in a classroom during the day with 12 people; the wooden stool broke after a few days. He was also not allowed to sleep at night.
In the autumn of 2000, Mr. Wang went on a hunger strike and was force-fed. The guards pried open his mouth with a tool and poured the porridge in. As the porridge was too sticky, they mixed it with dirty water.
Mr. Wang was given two years of forced labor on March 22, 2002.
While Mr. Wang was detained, Ms. Zhou and their children were often harassed by police and staff from the neighborhood committee.
Ms. Zhou had no source of income as she also lost her job. She found a job near her home that paid 300 yuan a month, but the police went to her workplace and harassed her, telling her to submit her photos and fingerprints. Ms. Zhou refused, and the police took her photo on the spot. She lost her job again.
In the name of preventing Ms. Zhou from going to Beijing, the police went to her son's kindergarten and collected his personal information.
One morning, Ms. Zhou was about to send her children to school and saw the police downstairs, waiting to arrest her. Two officers came up but she didn’t open the door. They left after half an hour.
Ms. Zhou’s phone was also monitored, and she and her children lived in fear every day. Her children became afraid whenever they heard someone knocking on the door.
Mr. Wang finally returned home in 2002 after his term was extended for another 3 months. However, the couple continued to be harassed frequently, and they had to move from place to place with their children. Within 2 years, the family moved 9 times after being severely harassed by the police.
Wife Forced to Become Homeless
On March 8, 2005, Mr. Wang was followed by police and arrested at his rental apartment. Ms. Zhou and their 15-month-old daughter were in the house. The police pinned Mr. Wang on the couch and put a helmet on his head. They tied his hands behind his back and started hitting his head.
Ms. Zhou, who was carrying her daughter, tried to stop them and was punched in the head, causing her daughter to cry. Ms. Zhou’s two relatives who came at that time were arrested with Mr. Wang.
Despite being at home, Ms. Zhou was handcuffed to the bed and released only when it was time to feed her daughter. When her 8-year-old son came home in the evening, he was frightened and started crying. The three of them spent a night on a single bed.
In an attempt to arrest other practitioners, three police officers stayed in the house and even took her son to and from school, so as to see if there would be anyone who tried to contact her son. This went on for five days.
The police took all valuables from Ms. Zhou’s home, leaving her penniless. As her daughter had no milk to drink, one police officer bought a package of milk for the child. The police also ate at her home during those days.
When Ms. Zhou’s mother came over, the police forced her mother to another room and confiscated her keys and money. They interrogated her for half an hour before letting her see the children. Then, Ms. Zhou heard a police officer making a call outside, informing someone, “Someone is here to look after the children.” Ms. Zhou understood that the police were about to arrest her.
Ms. Zhou ran out when she was making meals for the children. The officers couldn’t catch up with her. When they came back, they slapped her mother and kicked her daughter. Since then, her daughter became afraid of male strangers.
Ms. Zhou was forced to become homeless to avoid further persecution, and her children were left in her mother’s care.
Husband Sentenced to 6 Years in Prison
After Mr. Wang was arrested, the police ransacked the couple’s home and took away Falun Gong books and related materials, a motorcycle, a printer, a copier, two laptops, a disk burner, between 7,000 and 8,000 yuan in cash, a bank deposit, and printing materials.
The police took Mr. Wang to the basement of the public security section of the Changchun City Auto Factory for interrogation. He was tied to a metal chair and a rope was used to lift his legs and pull them behind him. Mr. Wang felt unbearable pain.
When Mr. Wang wanted to use the restroom at night, the police loosened the ropes and Mr. Wang took the chair to a corner and knocked himself unconscious. The police released Mr. Wang from the chair after a long time and became afraid upon seeing blood on the ground and on Mr. Wang’s shirt. They used a towel to cover his head and sent him to the hospital emergency room in the morning. Mr. Wang required seven stitches. After returning to the interrogation room, he was tied to the chair for two days.
The police took Mr. Wang to Tiebei Detention Center on March 12. The detention center refused to accept him upon seeing blood all over his body. The police managed to have him admitted after talking to the detention center's higher-ups.
At the detention center in May 2005, Mr. Wang was forced to wear a straitjacket and three layers of warm clothes. When Mr. Wang had difficulty breathing after the inmates tightened the straitjacket, they loosened it a little. Mr. Wang had to wear the straitjacket at night while sleeping and being sandwiched by two inmates.
Mr. Wang went on a hunger strike for over four months and was force-fed every day. The doctor told him during a physical exam that his gastric mucosa had been rubbed raw and that he shouldn't be force-fed. However, the guards continued to force-feed him by inserting a thick, hard feeding tube into his stomach without taking it out. The tube was also tied to his head.
Mr. Wang was once fed with fruity potassium mixed with salt, instant noodles, vegetable soup, and steamed buns made into paste. He was force-fed two to three times a day.
On December 29, 2005, Mr. Wang was sentenced to 6 years in prison by Lvyuan Court. He appealed but the Changchun Intermediate Court upheld his verdict on March 1, 2006. He was taken to Shilingzi Prison on March 19, 2006.
In May 2006, Mr. Wang was shocked with electric batons when he refused to wear a name tag. Two months later, from the end of July to August 8, Mr. Wang was beaten every day until midnight by three inmates.
On August 8, a drunk guard called the three inmates over and told them to strangle Mr. Wang with the prison uniform and cover his head with clothes before punching and kicking him. One of them pinned Mr. Wang to the ground, stepped on him, and shocked him with electric batons until midnight. The beatings caused Mr. Wang to lose his mobility, and he needed someone to help him to the restroom; he also couldn’t chew with his teeth.
Mr. Wang was also pressured to write “guarantee statements” renouncing Falun Gong every month and would be beaten if he refused. When he was beaten, an inmate would use a screen to block the view to the room. Once, an inmate hit Mr. Wang’s chest very hard, causing sudden chest pain.
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