(Minghui.org) A 70-year-old man in Huangmei County, Hubei Province was sentenced to 4.5 years for his faith in Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party since July 1999.

Mr. Yuan Yuzhu was arrested in June 2020, after being reported by a village official for distributing informational materials about Falun Gong to raise awareness about the persecution. He was later sentenced by the Wuxue City Court and has been taken to the Fanjiatai Prison.

Mr. Yuan had a miserable childhood. He suffered food poisoning at 7 when he accidentally ate castor bean during the great Chinese famine (1959-1961). Although he survived, he struggled with severe headaches and stomach problems since. As he grew older, he also developed a neck problem and rheumatoid arthritis.

In 1998, Mr. Yuan was introduced to Falun Gong. After two months of practice, his body became very light and he was filled with energy.

After the persecution began in 1999, the authorities constantly harassed him and monitored his daily life, eventually forcing him to give up the practice. In 2009, his headache relapsed. The side effects of the medicine caused severe damage to his kidney. He was unable to stand up, but had to bend over while walking. With no other hope, he began to practice Falun Gong again and recovered in less than a year. He began to raise awareness about the persecution in his spare time, only to be arrested and sentenced to prison.