(Minghui.org) After over two years of detention, a Tianjin resident was sentenced to five years in October 2021 for practicing Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.

Mr. Liu Liankun, 52, was arrested on August 2, 2019 at home. Both his home and office at work were ransacked. Prior to the arrest, the police had harassed him three times. He was held at the Beichen Detention Center.

The arrest and sentencing of Mr. Liu was part of the “Zero-out” campaign, a concerted effort aimed to force every Falun Gong practitioner on the government's blacklist to renounce their faith. His wife was also targeted for practicing Falun Gong. Two staff members from their village committee found her on January 11, 2021 and ordered her to sign the renouncing statement. They said the authorities were planning to sentence Mr. Liu to seven years and would give him a lighter sentence if she signed the form. They also threatened to arrest her and suspend her pension. She refused to comply.

Mr. Liu was sentenced to five years and has been taken to the Binhai Prison. The authorities didn’t inform his wife of his sentence.

This wasn’t the first time that Mr. Liu has been targeted for his faith. He was previously arrested in April 2000 and given two years at the Shuangkou Forced Labor Camp. His term was extended by a year as he refused to renounce Falun Gong.

Mr. Liu was arrested again in April 2003, shortly after he was released. He was first jailed at the Banqiao Forced Labor Camp and then transferred to the Shuangkou Forced Labor Camp. He was released on April 27, 2005, only to be arrested one more time on December 15 in the same year.

In Tianjin alone, 28 Falun Gong practitioners were sentenced to prison, 72 practitioners were arrested, 162 were harassed, and 12 practitioners had their pension suspended during the first half of 2021.