Seven in an Extended Family Detained for 1.5 Years for Their Faith, Still Awaiting Verdicts in Custody
(Minghui.org) Only two months after Ms. Yu Jianli and Mr. Wang Dongji were married, the young couple in Changchun City, Jilin Province, was arrested while visiting Mr. Wang’s parents on August 15, 2019. Together with Mr. Wang’s parents, Ms. Yu’s mother, Ms. Yu’s brother-in-law, and his father, the seven members of the extended family have been detained ever since and are still awaiting verdicts for their shared faith in Falun Gong.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a spiritual and meditation discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.
Ms. Yu, 30, practiced Falun Gong with her mother Ms. Fu Guihua since she was little. As she gradually became busy with school and her mother was forced to live away from home for ten years to avoid the persecution, she stopped practicing Falun Gong.
Not wanting to face the pressure from the persecution, she led a muddled and indulging life. After she graduated from college and began to work at a property management company, there were always residents coming with different complaints. Most of them had bad attitudes and shouted at her and her colleagues. Sometimes Ms. Yu was unable to control herself and shouted back.
On June 3, 2013, when her mother was suddenly arrested, she had been out drinking with a colleague. Her mother's arrest was a wake-up call for her. Since then, she has had to face everything again and take things seriously. She worked hard to expose the torture against her mother and rescue her.
Ms. Fu was later sentenced to three years. Despite the harsh persecution, Ms. Yu, however, took up Falun Gong again and found inner peace. When Ms. Fu was released in 2016, the family’s life gradually returned to a peaceful state. In June 2019, Ms. Yu and another Falun Gong practitioner, Mr. Wang Dongji, got married. Life ahead of them seemed to be promising.
The Group Arrest
At around 4 a.m. on August 15, 2019, a group of officers broke into the home of Mr. Wang's parents, Mr. Wang Kemin and Ms. Wang Fengzhi, in Jiaohe City, Jilin Province. The younger Mr. Wang and his wife Ms. Yu, who had come earlier to visit the older couple, were also arrested. The police spent four hours ransacking the place and confiscated the elderly couple’s personal properties. On the same day, the police also located Mr. Wang Dongji’s home in Changchun City and ransacked it.
At 7:40 a.m., another 20 officers broke into Ms. Yu’s younger sister, Ms. Yu Jianping’s home. Ms. Yu’s husband, Mr. Meng Xiangqi, was arrested. Their home was ransacked and their 4,000 yuan in cash was confiscated. The Yu sisters’ parents, Mr. Yao Deyi and Ms. Fu Guihua, as well as Mr. Meng’s parents, Mr. Meng Fanjun and Ms. Wang Guizhen, were also arrested.
As Ms. Yu’s baby daughter was only three-months-old, she was spared by the police from the arrests and was left at home to take care of the baby.
Both Mr. Yao and Ms. Wang were later released after 15 days of detention.
It was later confirmed that 34 practitioners in the region were arrested by several hundred officers that day. Most practitioners had been monitored by the police for months before being arrested.
While half of the practitioners were later released and cleared of prosecution, sixteen practitioners had their cases submitted to the procuratorate and faced prosecution. Except for two of them who were released on bail, the remaining fourteen practitioners, including the seven members of the above-mentioned extended family, have remained in custody at Siping City Detention Center since.
Ms. Yu Jianli was charged with publishing on Minghui.org a solemn statement about resuming the practice of Falun Gong and a few articles exposing the persecution against her mother.
In June 2020, two months before the practitioners’ court hearing on September 28, 2020, Li Changfu, director of the Lishu County Political and Legal Affairs Committee, interrogated Ms. Yu and asked her whether she still practiced Falun Gong. Ms. Yu refused to answer his question.
In December 2020, the practitioners were subjected to brainwashing that aimed to force them to renounce their faith. Now they are still awaiting verdicts in the detention center.