(Minghui.org) Four Ningxia Province natives were arrested in Lianyungang City, Jiangsu Province on May 6, 2014, for practicing Falun Gong. Their cases were later transferred back to Ningxia. The police there decided to stop investigating the cases in 2016 after the prosecutor returned them several times for insufficient evidence.
It took the police another five years to fully return the practitioners’ one-year bail bond totaling 94,000 yuan that should have been returned in 2015. The persecution also took a toll on one practitioner’s health. He fell ill and passed away in 2015. He was 72.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.
Two married couples, Mr. Chen Baozong and Ms. Li Lanfeng, as well as Mr. Ma Yansheng and Ms. Zhang Yinxia, were arrested at their rental apartments in Lianyungang on the evening of May 6, 2014, by Kong Jie of Xinpu District Domestic Security Office and local police force. Their homes were ransacked and many of their valuables were impounded.
The four practitioners were held in a brainwashing center for a week, and each was watched by 14 people in four shifts.
While Mr. Ma and Ms. Li were taken to the Lianyungang City Detention Center on May 12, Mr. Chen and Ms. Zhang were released on 90,000-yuan and 2,000-yuan bail, respectively. Mr. Chen’s employer was ordered to deduct his bail bond from his salary, while Ms. Zhang paid bail in cash.
In mid-June 2014, the Lianyungang police transferred the cases to the Dawukou Police Station in the practitioners’ hometown in Shizuishan City, Ningxia Province. Both Mr. Ma and Ms. Li were also released on bail after they were ordered by the Lianyungang police to each pay 1,000 yuan bail bond. None of their bail bonds were transferred to Ningxia though.
Mr. Ma, the former Chief of Finance Department of Supply and Marketing Cooperative in Shizuishan, took up Falun Gong in 1996. He was previously given three years at the Baitugangzi Forced Labor Camp in 2000 for going to Beijing to appeal for the right to practice Falun Gong.
After he retired, he moved to Shangdong Province and then to Lianyungang in Jiangsu Province in 2013, only to be arrested a year later.
After his case was transferred to Ningxia and he was released on bail in June 2014, he returned to Lianyungang to care for his disabled daughter in serious condition. Weeks later, he and his wife moved to Yantai City, Shandong Province to hide from the police.
In May 2015, Ningxia police put his wife, Ms. Zhang, on the wanted list, upon finding out that she was no longer living at her home in Lianyungang.
Ms. Zhang was arrested in Yantai City by the local police on June 15, 2015, and taken to the Shizuishan City Detention Center by the Ningxia police. By then, Mr. Ma had fallen into critical condition and stayed at his son’s home (location unknown).
Unable to cope with the pressure from the persecution, Mr. Ma passed away on September 29, 2015.
After the Dawukou Police Station received the two couples’ cases from Lianyungang police, they submitted them to the Dawukou District Procuratorate in August 2014. The prosecutor later returned the cases several times, citing insufficient evidence. He also suggested that the police drop the cases against the two couples.
While the cases were moving back and forth between the police and the procuratorate, Ms. Li, her husband Mr. Chen, and their two lawyers persisted in telling the responsible parties that no law in China criminalizes Falun Gong and that there is no legal basis for the arrest and subsequent prosecution of citizens for practicing their spiritual faith.
The lawyers pointed out that the police had also violated legal procedures. Lianyunguang officers did not provide a search warrant before ransacking their clients’ rental residence, and the list of confiscated items they produced did not match what was actually taken from the couple’s home. The lawyers also demanded the police drop the case against their clients.
As Mr. Chen and Ms. Li’s bail terms expired in August 2015, they asked the police to return their bail bonds. The police didn’t respond initially.
When the Dawukou police decided to stop investigating the two couples’ cases in September 2016, they returned to Mr. Chen and Ms. Li their impounded car and over 200,000 yuan in confiscated cash. In December 2020, the Lianyungang police also returned the couple’s 91,000 yuan in bail bonds (Mr. Zhang’s 90,000 yuan and Ms. Li’s 1,000 yuan).
Then in June 2021, the Lianyungang police also returned Mr. Ma and Ms. Zhang’s 3,000-yuan bail bond (Mr. Ma’s 1,000 yuan and Ms. Zhang’s 2,000 yuan).