(Minghui.org) A Yinchuan City, Ningxia Province resident was sentenced to 14 years and fined 30,000 yuan on December 17, 2020, for his faith in Falun Gong, a spiritual and meditation discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.

Mr. Ma Zhiwu, a 50-year-old former railroad crew driver, was arrested on June 5, 2020, while looking for a job in Guyuan City in the same province. He held a hunger strike at the Guyuan City Detention Center. His family frequented the local police station and detention center to seek his release, but to no avail. The detention center also barred his family from visiting him.

Mr. Ma’s lawyers went to the detention center on July 10 and 28 to meet with him, but were rejected both times.

The police submitted his case to the Yuanzhou District Procuratorate in late August, with the charges of “undermining law enforcement with a cult organization” and “subversion of state power,” two standard pretexts often used by the Chinese communist regime against Falun Gong practitioners and dissidents.

The Yuanzhou District Procuratorate forwarded his case to the Guyuan City Procuratorate on September 2, claiming that the charge of “subversion of state power” should be handled by the higher-level procuratorate.

The Guyuan City Procuratorate indicted him on September 24 and moved his case to the Guyuan City Intermediate Court.

After two hearings on November 19 and November 22, the judge sentenced him to 14 years on December 17. Mr. Ma was informed of his verdict on December 25. He is now preparing to appeal the case.

Mr. Ma took up Falun Gong in May 1998. After the Chinese communist regime ordered the persecution in 1999, he has been repeatedly arrested and held in detention for 12 years.

Mr. Ma was first given three years of forced labor, shortly after he was arrested in September 1999 for appealing for Falun Gong. Because he went on a hunger strike to protest the illegal detention, the local court sentenced him to six years in prison at the two-year mark of his labor camp incarceration.

The prison guards once tied him to a “death bed,” with his four limbs stretched tightly in a spread eagle position for more than 40 days. He was also force-fed with unknown drugs with dead flies in it. He felt his body was burning inside afterward, and he was unable to stand or walk for six months.

Mr. Ma’s wife was pregnant with their daughter when he was first arrested in 1999. The little girl grew up without her father around. She was taken into police custody on November 20, 2001, when she was two years old, as the police tried to use her to force her mother to renounce Falun Gong.

When Mr. Ma was released in February 2008, his daughter was already 8 years old. However, only two years later, Mr. Ma was arrested again on September 12, 2010, and sentenced to three and a half years in prison. He suffered brutal torture, including beatings, sitting on a small stool for long hours every day for 1.5 years, sexual assault, and freezing. His left kidney was injured. His rib was broken. He had blood in his urine. His legs were severely swollen and bruised, and he was unable to stand.

During the time of his incarceration, his father passed away in 2010 due to the mental distress of worrying about him.

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