(Minghui.org) A 52-year-old man in Anyue County, Sichuan Province, was sentenced to 3.5 years in prison for his faith in Falun Gong, a mind-body practice that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999. He was released from Jiazhou Prison on November 17, 2021.

Prior to this last stint in prison, Mr. Tian Xu served two labor camp terms, one for a year and a half and the other for three years, for refusing to give up his faith. He was forced to live away from home in 2011 to avoid further persecution after he was released from the labor camp the second time.

His mother, Ms. Yang Suzhi, who also practiced Falun Gong and was wanted by the police in 2006, passed away in September 2015 after being on the run for nine years.

Mr. Tian’s latest arrest took place on May 18, 2018, when the police stalked him after seeing him talking to people about Falun Gong. He was taken to Yongxing Detention Center.

On the third day, he went on a hunger strike for a month and was force-fed three times. When he was examined the third time, the guards handcuffed him to the bed when they couldn’t detect his blood sugar. They inserted a tube through his nose into his stomach and force-fed him until he passed out.

On May 24, 2018, with the house key that was confiscated from Mr. Tian, officers from the Chuanshan Police Department, Nanjinlu Police Station, and local residential committee went to his apartment complex to try to find out which apartment was his. They found it by going door to door and trying his key.

Mr. Tian was sentenced to 3.5 years and fined 3,000 yuan by the Chuanshan District Court on April 16, 2019, on charges of “undermining law enforcement,” the standard pretext used to convict Falun Gong practitioners.

He appealed to the Suining City Intermediate Court, which ruled to uphold the original verdict. He was transferred to Jiazhou Prison on May 18, 2019, after one year in the detention center.

Below is an account of the persecution that Mr. Tian had endured in prison.

Punched by Inmate

On Mr. Tian’s first day in the prison, the inmate in charge of the No. 9 Division slapped him in the face several times. Two inmates who were assigned to “transform” forced him to squat for a long time. One of them, a 20-year-old, punched Mr. Tian’s right arm and right side of his chest repeatedly. The next day, his arm and chest were black. He had difficulty walking and felt dizzy even lying down. He was taken to the hospital, where the doctor was alarmed by his injuries. The guards lied, saying that Mr. Tian had fallen.

Two weeks later, the prison launched a new campaign to force practitioners to give up their faith. Inmates were given electric batons to torture them. Practitioners were also forced to wear straitjackets, made to stand under the scorching sun, and had their meal times restricted to only a few seconds. This went on for six months.

Those who went on a hunger strike to protest were tortured more severely. The inmates hit their thighs so that their long pants would hide the injuries. No one, not even those in their 70s and 80s, was spared.

Forced Labor

Mr. Tian was transferred to the No. 7 Division after two months and forced to do hard labor. Because he couldn’t finish his quota, every day he was forced to stand or squat in the corner until 9:30 p.m. after he returned to his cell. Since they had to work for 10 to 11 hours, with a lunch break, Mr. Tian had no chance to rest. He also wasn’t given enough to eat.

Due to the heavy workload, some inmates fainted. Those who protested were forced to wear straitjackets and a helmet and their mouths were stuffed with metal balls. Some inmates also developed frozen shoulders and neck pain.

Mr. Tian refused to cooperate with the guards when they ordered him to renounce Falun Gong, so they sprayed his face with chili water and then didn’t let him wash his face. He was also forced to squat until 9:30 p.m. with two inmates keeping him from sleeping. During the day when he was in the workshop, Mr. Tian was made to squat again.

Related report:

Man Arrested While Living Away from Home to Avoid Persecution for His Faith, Sentenced Months Later