After 13.5 Years of Incarceration, Chongqing Man Sentenced to 4.5 Years for Practicing Falun Gong
(Minghui.org) A Chongqing resident was recently sentenced to 4.5 years and fined 10,000 yuan for his faith in Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.
Mr. Yuan Zhiqiang was arrested at home on May 15, 2020, after the police suspected him of providing informational materials about Falun Gong to another practitioner for distribution. His Falun Gong books, related materials, computer and printer were confiscated.
The police submitted Mr. Yuan’s case to the Jiangbei District Procuratorate in early August. Weeks later, his lawyer submitted a legal opinion and urged the prosecutor not to indict Mr. Yuan. The authorities pressured the lawyer and warned against entering a not-guilty plea for Mr. Yuan.
The judge of the Jiangbei District Court sentenced him to 4.5 years more than one month after his court hearing on November 18.
Mr. Yuan’s latest sentencing was preceded by multiple previous arrests and over 13 years of incarceration for his faith, including a two-year term at the Xishanping Forced Labor Camp given on February 24, 2000, a nine-year sentence to the Yudu Prison on October 20, 2004, and another 2.5-year prison term given in August 2016.
While serving time at the Yudu Prison, Mr. Yuan was subjected to various forms of torture for upholding his faith. The guards put him in heavy shackles and handcuffs and forced him to do intensive unpaid labor or hard physical training even though he was starved. They also deprived him of sleep, forced him to stand under the scorching sun for long hours, and subjected him to verbal and physical abuse. Severe force-feedings caused severe damage to his lungs and he began to cough up blood. Sometimes they poured cold water on his clothes in the winter or spread potent essential oils on his face.
In addition to the physical tortures, the guards didn’t allow Mr. Yuan to talk to others, held him in solitary confinement, and restricted his contact with his family, including visitation and correspondence.