Yinan County, Shandong Province: Six Residents Remain Imprisoned During Chinese New Year for Their Faith
(Minghui.org) While families in China celebrated the Chinese New Year in mid-February 2021, six Falun Gong practitioners in Yinan County, Shandong Province, remain imprisoned for refusing to renounce their belief.
Since the Chinese communist regime launched the persecution of Falun Gong, a meditation practice following the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, seven Falun Gong practitioners in Yinan County have died in the persecution. The past two decades have also seen over 200 cases of local practitioners being arrested and detained and 73 cases of local practitioners jailed or sent to forced labor camps. The authorities have confiscated and extorted a total of over a million yuan from local practitioners over the years.
The following is a list of practitioners who are currently incarcerated and summaries of their past persecution.
1. Mr. Du Yihe Sentenced to Four Years
Mr. Du Yihe, 59, from Dongcaiyuan Village, Sucun Town, Yinan County, was arrested in July 1999 for going to Beijing to protest the persecution. He was detained, beaten, and almost strangled. In February 2001 the authorities put him in a brainwashing center and tortured him.
In June 2003, he was given three years in Wangcun Forced Labor Camp and tortured for 22 months in solitary confinement.
On March 14, 2004, a guard grabbed Mr. Du's head and rammed it against a wall. He went on a hunger strike. On May 1, 2006, Mr. Du was released.
At 11 a.m. on May 24, 2007, Mr. Du was at home by himself when Jiang Chunxiao, Director of the Sucun Town Armed Forces, and several others broke in. They turned his home upside down and threw him into the vehicle they arrived in. They locked him in the Yinan County Detention Center.
Mr. Du’s was most recently arrested in 2018. The police forged evidence against him, which led to a four-year sentence in Shandong Prison.
2. Mr. Zu Peiyong Serves 3.5 Years, 3 Family Members Arrested
Mr. Zu Peiyong is in his 50s. He developed epilepsy in the early 1990s. He saw many doctors and tried different medications, but none of them worked. He was introduced to Falun Gong in 1997. In a short period of time, his symptoms went away. He and his family were grateful for getting their lives back.
On July 20, 2000, the police arrested Mr. Zu and his wife and held them in detention for a month.
The police tried to arrest the couple on January 28, 2001. They escaped and were forced to live away from home to hide from the police.
Four months later in May 2001, they were stopped on the street by the police, who searched their bags and found Falun Gong materials. Mr. Zu's wife was given one month of detention this time, and he got a two-year term at Wangcun Forced Labor Camp.
The police and agents from the 610 Office in Mengyin County arrested Mr. Zu in 2007. Mr. Zu was given another two-year forced labor term on July 22, 2007, and served time at Shandong Province No. 2 Forced Labor Camp. He was subjected to brainwashing and forced to do slave labor.
Mr. Zu was arrested together with three other Falun Gong practitioners in October 2018 for helping another practitioner's family seek justice for her wrongful death. Mr. Zu was sentenced to 3.5 years in prison with a 30,000-yuan fine. He was transferred to Shandong Province Prison on July 11, 2019.
Mr. Zu’s family was not spared, either. Officers from Liuqing Street Police Station in Lanshan District arrested his wife, son and daughter-in-law in 2020. They were released on bail awaiting trial while their case was being processed by Lanshan District Procuratorate.
3. Couple in Their 70s Relentlessly Persecuted, Husband Remains in Prison
Mr. Liu Naixun and his wife Ms. Wang Xilan, both in their 70s, are from Suijiadian Village, Yiwen Town. Mr. Liu is a retired teacher. He suffered serious trauma in a hit-and-run accident. A few months in the hospital did not help him as he sustained severe brain injury and neural injuries. After learning Falun Gong, his health improved every day. Eventually he was able to work on his farm and help with his relatives’ farm work. His wife also recovered from many chronic illnesses.
The police and domestic security agents from Yinan County broke into their home one day in August 2018 and ransacked the place. They arrested the two elderly practitioners and interrogated them in a detention center.
Mr. Liu was sentenced to three years and fined 20,000 yuan, while Ms. Wang was given two years and fined 10,000 yuan. They were taken to Shandong Prison. Ms. Wang has since been released, while Mr. Liu is still in prison.
4. Mr. Tian Dejun Serves a Total of 11.5 years for Upholding His Belief
Mr. Tian Dejun, around 57, took up Falun Gong in 1996 at his mother’s recommendation, when he was grief-stricken and had lost hope in life after his wife’s passing from illness. Falun Gong’s teachings gave him hope, and he was able to move on. His health also improved shortly thereafter. Mr. Tian began to actively promote Falun Gong in his village.
He was arrested on September 16, 2002, and relentlessly tortured at the Mengyin County Detention Center. He was later sentenced to eight years in Shandong Province Prison, which deeply traumatized his elderly parents and two young children.
By the time Mr. Tian was released in 2007, his hair had turned gray and he was emaciated.
Mr. Tian was arrested at home on May 28, 2020. The police ransacked his place and confiscated his Falun Gong books and other personal items. After two days of detention at the local police station, he was transferred to the local detention center and subjected to brainwashing.
The Yinan County Court secretly sentenced Mr. Tian to 3.5 years in September 2020. He was taken to Shandong Province Men's Prison.
5. Ms. Wang Xiai Imprisoned after Speaking up for Relatives Who Died in the Persecution
Ms. Wang Xiai, in her 60s, lived in Suijiadian Village, Yiwen Town. Before she took up Falun Gong, she suffered chronic illnesses and did not get along with her in-laws. After she began to practice Falun Gong, however, her illnesses quickly disappeared. She was joyous and hopeful, and her relationship with her in-laws improved.
She had a big family. Her son’s parent-in-laws Mr. Liu Chengji and Ms. Xing Ximei, her younger brother Mr. Wang Xijie, and his wife Ms. Li Changfang all practiced Falun Gong. Two of them died in the persecution. Ms. Xing died in custody on November 20, 2017, 13 days after her arrest. Ms. Li died in custody on July 12, 2019.
The police arrested Ms. Wang on January 5, 2020, at her son’s place in Linyi City. While the police claimed that they arrested Ms. Wang only for her faith, her family suspected that they were also trying to stop her from seeking justice for Ms. Xing and Ms. Li.
Ms. Wang was held in the Hedong District Detention Center, and her arrest was approved on February 11, 2020. The authorities barred her family and lawyer from visiting her, citing the coronavirus pandemic.
Ms. Wang was secretly tried on June 18, 2020, and sentenced to three and a half years on July 15. She was transferred to Shandong Women’s Prison on November 11, 2020.
6. Mr. Lu Yongtang Secretly Sentenced to 3.5 Years
Mr. Lu Yongtang, 74, is from Xitaigou Village, Hutou Town. Both he and his wife, Ms. Li Jinghua, practice Falun Gong.
On November 12, 2019, someone who monitored internet content reported Ms. Li and another practitioner, Ms. Zhang Xiuzhen from Qijiadianzi Village, to the police. Officers from Sucun Police Station arrested Ms. Li. Ms. Zhang escaped. The next day Ms. Li was released because of her hypertension. The police monitored her closely at home. They constantly harassed, threatened, and interrogated her.
The day Ms. Li was arrested, officers from Sucun notified the Hutou Police Station, who sent officers to Mr. Li’s home to arrest Mr. Lu and ransack the place. Mr. Lu was held in the Yinan County Detention Center. He was tried in secrecy and given 3.5 years. It’s been reported that he was transferred to Shandong Prison.