(Minghui.org) Three Daqing City, Heilongjiang Province residents stood trial on May 19, 2021 after the authorities suspected them of hanging up banners about Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999. Another practitioner who was arrested with them is having her case prosecuted separately.

The banners first appeared on the roadside in Dumeng County in January 2020. After going through surveillance camera footage, the police arrested Mr. Li Helong, 32, on February 5, 2020, although he doesn’t practice Falun Gong himself. Later in the day, Mr. Li’s aunt, Ms. Li Shuchun, 50, and two other Falun Gong practitioners, Ms. Yang Haixia, 62, and Ms. Liu Shuping, 59, were also arrested. 

When the police ransacked Ms. Li’s home at 10 p.m., they also arrested her husband, Mr. Liu Fubin, who had just been released from serving ten years for practicing Falun Gong. 

The police snatched the home keys of Ms. Yang and Ms. Liu. Ms. Yang’s home was ransacked when no one was around. Her Falun Gong books, a printer, a laptop, and 20,000 yuan in cash were confiscated. Ms. Liu’s Falun Gong books were taken away when the police searched her home. 

In the early next morning, Mr. Liu was released and his wife Ms. Li was also let go on bail. Ms. Yang and Ms. Liu were taken to the Daqing City Detention Center, but were rejected admission due to their health condition. They were then released in the afternoon. Mr. Li was held at the Dumeng County Detention Center for two days and his private car is still being kept at the Dumeng County Police Department.

Both Ms. Yang and Ms. Liu were arrested again on July 24, 2020. Ms. Yang was released on bail in the afternoon. Ms. Liu, on the other hand, was taken to the hospital for a physical checkup. She refused to comply with the examination, and was taken to the county police department for interrogation. When she refused to sign the interrogation record, the police held her head against the desk, handcuffed her behind her back and forcibly put her fingerprint on the document. She was released at around 2 p.m. on the same day.

The police went to Ms. Yang’s home on January 11, 2021 and arrested her for the third time. Around the same time, another group of officers arrested Ms. Li, who had just returned home from shopping. Mr. Li was arrested as well, but was released on bail on the same day. Both Ms. Yang and Ms. Li were then taken to the Dumeng County Detention Center, before being transferred to the Daqing City No. 2 Detention Center in March. 

Weeks later in April, Mr. Li was arrested for the third time and held in Dumeng County Detention Center. 

The police submitted the cases against Mr. Li, Ms. Li and Ms. Yang to Ranghulu District Procuratorate, which soon charged them with “undermining law enforcement with a cult organization,” the standard pretext used to frame and imprison Falun Gong practitioners.

The three of them were tried by the Ranghulu District Court in the detention center on May 19, 2021. The presiding judge, Wang Guangming, conducted the hearing through WeChat on cellphones, with the excuse that the video device in the courtroom was broken. He only allowed one family member of each person to attend the hearing, who could only hear their voices without seeing them. 

Both Ms. Yang and Ms. Li were represented by their own lawyers, who entered not guilty pleas for them. 

The hearing lasted for one hour, during which the prosecutor, Feng Guang, called the wrong names of the defendants. He also tried to coerce Ms. Li into making confessions about other practitioners, but she refused to comply. The prosecutor suggested to sentence Ms. Yang to eight years, Ms. Li to five years and Mr. Li to one year at the end of the hearing.

The other practitioner, Ms. Liu, was arrested for the third time in mid-April and held at the Dumeng County Detention Center. The police submitted her case separately to the Ranghulu District Procuratorate on May 10. She is now facing indictment.

Past Persecution of Ms. Yang and Ms. Li

Ms. Yang used to suffer breast cancer and after having double mastectomy, the incision wouldn’t heal for years. Unable to afford medical treatment, she endured tremendous pain and relied on her family to take care of her. 

Shortly after she began to practice Falun Gong in 1997, she fully recovered and took on the responsibility to care for her bedridden father. With her meticulous care, he didn’t have any bedsores and later passed away peacefully. 

After the persecution started in 1999, Ms. Yang was arrested and detained multiple times for speaking up for Falun Gong.

Ms. Li struggled with severe heart condition, bronchitis and asthma before taking up Falun Gong. Her family relied on her husband’s meager income and she often had to borrow money from family and friends to see doctors. Yet her health kept deteriorating. 

In the winter of 1996, after witnessing how her mother quickly recovered from severe lung and heart conditions afterlearning Falun Gong, she also took up the practice and saw her own health recover as well. She found a job and helped pay off the family’s debt. 

In September 2002, sixteen months after Ms. Li gave birth to her son, she was given one year of forced labor. Because she refused to give up Falun Gong, the guards forced her to sit on a small stool for long hours without moving and sometimes handcuffed her behind her back or to the fixture on the ground. They also subjected her to freezing temperatures and shocked her with electric batons. 

Ms. Li was given another two-year labor camp term in 2009. On the day when she was transferred from the Dumeng County Detention Center to the Harbin Drug Rehab Center (functioned as a labor camp), her 16-year-old daughter ran after the police car, crying hard for her mother. 

In the labor camp, Ms. Li was forced to do long hours of intensive labor without pay. She was released in April 2011.

Chinese version available

Category: Accounts of Persecution