(Minghui.org) After nearly a year of detention, an elderly couple in Jiangyou City, Sichuan Province were sentenced to prison for their shared faith in Falun Gong.

Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.

Mr. Du Zhijun, 75 and his wife, Ms. Wu Qihui, were arrested on June 18, 2021 during a police sweep, orchestrated by the Jiangyou City Political and Legal Affairs Committee. It came days before the 100-year anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party’s founding on July 1, 2021. An officer shouted at a practitioner during the arrest, “July 1 is coming! It’s because you are against the Chinese Communist Party that we are arresting you!

The police ransacked the couple’s home and confiscated their Falun Gong books and computer. Mr. Du was held at the Jiangyou City Detention Center and Ms. Wu was detained at the Mianyang City Detention Center.

It’s recently been confirmed by Minghui.org that Mr. Du was sentenced to 3.5 years and Ms. Wu to 4.5 years by the Jiangyou City Court in May 2022. Further details about their case aren’t yet clear. 

Past Persecution

Mr. Du used to be the president of the Jiangyou City Psychiatric Hospital. He had a car accident on March 30, 1990 and he became disabled in his right shoulder. He also had most of his stomach removed. In order to improve his health, he took up Falun Gong. 

With the onset of the persecution, Mr. Du was targeted for not renouncing his faith. He was arrested twice, on February 20 and December 5, 2000, and detained 15 days each time. 

Mr. Du was arrested again on July 2, 2004. The police gave him one year of forced labor on November 11 without due process. Although he was refused admission by the Xinhua Forced Labor Camp on December 5, the police didn’t immediately release him, but kept him at a detention center until April 19, 2005. 

The police broke into Mr. Du’s home on September 4, 2009 and confiscated his Falun Gong books, a laptop, a VCD player, a DVD burner, three cellphones and 100 blank discs. He was later sentenced to three years.

Mr. Du’s wife, Ms. Wu Qihui, has also been targeted in the persecution.

Ms. Wu was first arrested on March 22, 2000 and detained for 15 days. She was arrested again on November 27, 2000 and taken to the Nanmusi Women’s Forced Labor Camp to serve a one-year term. 

Following her arrest on July 20, 2004, Ms. Wu was detained for 28 days. She was given another 1.5-year labor camp term following another arrest on April 25, 2005. 

Only a year after she was released, Ms. Wu was arrested one more time in October 2007 and held at a brainwashing center for two weeks. 

In 2008 and 2009, the police harassed her at home multiple times, especially around July 20, the anniversary of the start of the persecution.

Both Ms. Wu and Mr. Du were arrested on December 9, 2015 and detained for 15 days.

Related report:

Sichuan Province: A Dozen Falun Gong Practitioners Arrested Ahead of CCP’s Centennial