(Minghui.org) Mr. Tong Xuesheng has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime for his faith in Falun Gong since he was 16 years old. After being expelled from school at age 16, given one year of forced labor at 17, and serving four years in prison in his early 20s, he is facing indictment again after his most recent arrest in July 2020.

Mr. Tong, now 37, is a native of Qingliu County, Fujian Province and now a resident in Guangzhou City, Guangdong Province. He was seized by the police along with three other Falun Gong practitioners, Ms. Sun Xiuli, Ms. Zhang Yongmei, and Mr. Mai Kanglin, on July 3, 2020. He is being held in the Tianhe District Detention Center.

After the Haizhu District Procuratorate twice rejected his case due to insufficient evidence, the Tianhe District Police Department submitted his case for the third time on February 8, 2021.

First Arrest: Expelled from College at 16

Xuesheng took up Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, in September 1997, at the age of 13. Shortly afterward, the short-tempered and foul-mouthed boy with many bad habits became a broad-minded and kind-hearted one, full of confidence. When the persecution of Falun Gong started in July 1999, he was attending Tianjin Light Industry College.

Xuesheng wanted to speak up for Falun Gong so he went to Tiananmen Square in March 2000. He was 16 years old at the time. Upon arrival in Beijing, he saw that a Falun Gong practitioner’s banner had been snatched by the police. He immediately ran over and tried to take it back. Several police officers suddenly came up to him and beat him to the ground with their batons. He was dragged into a police car and taken to Tiananmen Police Station.

An official from his college later escorted him back. He was allowed to go to classes but was locked up in a room. Officers from the school security department and the Xinglin District 610 Office sent Xuesheng to the local detention center. Since he refused to renounce his belief in Falun Gong after 15 days of detention, the school expelled him and sent him back to the local police station in his hometown.

Second Arrest: One Year of Forced Labor

Xuesheng came to Tiananmen Square again in January 2001 and unfurled a banner with the words “Falun Dafa is good.” Within a minute, several police officers showed up. They snatched the banner and beat him to the ground with batons. He was taken to Tiananmen Police Station. Then he and all those practitioners who did not give their addresses were sent to the three nearby provinces in Northeastern China for detention.

Xuesheng was sent to Panjin City Detention Center in Liaoning Province. All the Falun Gong practitioners were separated, so each cell held only one practitioner. Upon his arrival, the cell head instructed the cellmates to strip him down and pour cold water all over him despite the bitterly cold weather. Xuesheng was shivering.

He was forced to sit still every day except when he ate, slept, or used the restroom. Once when he moved, the cell head kicked him in the chest so hard that he had difficulty breathing for a long time afterward. They only ever gave him a corn bun and a bowl of corn soup, both of which were difficult to swallow. He didn't have enough space to sleep and always had to sleep on his side.

To force him to give out his address, a police officer used a wooden stick with metal spikes to beat him during each interrogation session.

After he was taken back to his hometown in Qingliu County, Fujian Province, Xuesheng was held in the Qingliu County Detention Center. The food there was not edible. Qingliu County 610 Office agents interrogated him and threatened to send him to a forced labor camp.

Xuesheng chose to uphold his belief and was given a year of forced labor. He was taken to Rujiang Labor Camp in Fuzhou City, Fujian Province.

Xuesheng was put in a special group set up for Falun Gong practitioners where special methods were used to force them to give up their belief. He was made to stand facing a wall all day. Each practitioner was monitored by two inmates, who were not allowed to talk to each other.

The persecution escalated a few days after Xuesheng was admitted. He was deprived of sleep for 48 hours, after which he was allowed to sleep only two hours per day. He had to stand still facing a wall when he was awake and was beaten for moving. His whole body swelled up.

A week later, all practitioners were asked if they would renounce Falun Gong. Practitioners who said they would not were dragged to a secret room and shocked with electric batons. Xuesheng was tortured this way since he upheld his faith. His mind was numb for a long time after that.

Third Arrest: Four-Year Prison Term

Several officers from the 610 Office broke into Xuesheng's home in September 2005 and arrested the 21-year-old man. They took him to a hotel room and handcuffed him to a chair. He began a hunger strike. He was transferred to the Qingliu County Detention Center a week later.

Shortly afterward, he was tried by the Qingliu County Court and sentenced to four years in Minxi Prison in Longyan City, Fujian Province.

Upon arrival, one of Xuesheng’s hands was handcuffed to a pipe or a table leg around the clock. Sometimes both of his hands were handcuffed to the window bars with arms stretched out. Since he refused to give up Falun Gong, he suffered this torture for a while.

His three cellmates, who once practiced Falun Gong but later gave up and collaborated with the prison to persecute the practitioners, were assigned to monitor him. They seized every opportunity trying to “transform” him. When Xuesheng did not listen to them, they played videos that slandered Falun Gong. They also intimidated and tortured him in order to force him to give up his faith.

Because Xuesheng refused to renounce Falun Gong, after two months of torture and coercion, he was sent to the strict control team which was considered a prison within a prison. He was ordered to remain on the athletic field all day long, either standing or sitting, but not moving. If he moved, he was beaten. He was only given limited water despite the scorching sun. He was unable to sleep at night because of all the mosquitoes.

A guard once ordered an inmate to beat him until the inmate himself was exhausted.

Xuesheng was sent back to a regular team a month later. But soon after, he was put into solitary confinement and endured another round of efforts to force him to renounce his faith.

Chinese version available

Category: Accounts of Persecution