(Minghui.org) Having lost his 32-year-old younger son in 2007, an elderly father in Yushu City, Jilin Province was devastated when his older son was arrested again on November 12, 2020, for his shared faith in Falun Gong. The 48-year-old Mr. Yu Chunbo is now suffering from a serious medical condition in custody. His father is calling on the authorities to release him.

The Yu family’s ordeal began when the Chinese Communist Party ordered the persecution of Falun Gong, a spiritual and meditation discipline, in July 1999, due to its immense popularity.

The older brother, Mr. Yu Chunbo, was arrested in late 2000 for going to Beijing to appeal for Falun Gong. He was given two years at the Chaoyanggou Forced Labor Camp. The guards shocked him with electric batons, beat him, kicked his legs, deprived him of sleep and forced him to do intensive labor. His hands were covered with scabies and yet the guards still forced him to work in the brick factory or dig up dirt.

While Mr. Yu was serving time, his younger brother, Mr. Yu Chunhai, was also arrested for practicing Falun Gong and incarcerated at the same Chaoyanggou Forced Labor Camp. The torture and intensive labor took a toll on the younger Mr. Yu’s health. He struggled with poor health for three years after his release and passed away on January 21, 2007, at the age of 32. He was survived by his wife and two children, then aged two and eight.

The older Mr. Yu was arrested again on November 12, 2020. His wife, Ms. Li Fengxia, who doesn’t practice Falun Gong, was also arrested. The couple’s arrests left their daughter, a high school student, in tremendous mental and financial distress.

A guard from the Changchun City No. 2 Detention Center called Mr. Yu’s family on January 13, 2021, and said that Mr. Yu had been hospitalized due to a medical condition, without providing further information. 

The authorities initially agreed to allow Mr. Yu’s lawyer to visit him on February 1, but later retracted their decision. With the lawyer’s repeated requests, he was allowed to visit Mr. Yu in the hospital on February 2. Mr. Yu told the lawyer that he was hospitalized on December 13. He was unable to eat and his weight had quickly dropped. With a height of nearly 5’6’’, he only weighs 90 pounds now. 

Due to his health condition, the Chaoyang District Court canceled his court hearing scheduled in early February. 

In the past few weeks, Mr. Yu’s 70-year-old father frequented different government agencies, including the police station and procuratorate, to seek his release, but to no avail. 

He recently wrote an open letter, calling on the authorities to release Mr. Yu. Below is his letter.

***Dear leaders, 

I’m Yu Chunbo’s father. I live in the Changde Village in Yushu. I have been a farmer all of my life. Recently, my older son was smeared and arrested. To seek justice and protection of my son, I write to inform you of the persecution against my son and I hope you can help stop tragedy from happening again.

Since July 20, 1999, my two sons, Yu Chunbo and Yu Chunhai, were persecuted for practicing Falun Gong and being a good person by following “Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance.” Their homes were ransacked and they were sentenced to prison or sent to labor camps. 

In the detention center, they were subjected to long-term savage beating, verbal abuse, electric shocks, sitting on a small stool without moving, sleep deprivation, poured with cold water, kicked by leather boots and forced to do intensive labor. Their bodies were covered with injuries and they were on the verge of death. Due to the torture, my younger son died in 2007, leaving behind my little grandsons, who were only 2 and 8.

My son was only 32 when he died. There is nothing more painful in the world than having elderly parents losing their children. 

Now similar persecution happens again. My older son, my only child who can take care of me and support the family, was arrested on November 12, 2020, together with my daughter-in-law, Li Fengxia. Their home was ransacked. My granddaughter, who had just begun her high school study, often cries at home. It breaks my heart, an elderly man, to face the incomplete family and my poor granddaughter. 

My son is a really good person. He is kind and sincere. He has a big heart and never has any conflicts with people. Many villagers speak highly of him. I just don’t understand, why he would be arrested – he didn’t do anything wrong or break any law. Since when is believing in “Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance” become a crime? Is there any justice left?

For people who don’t know the background, no law ever criminalizes Falun Gong or designates it as a cult. I have looked up many materials, but couldn’t find any legal basis for the persecution. I also know that the Chinese publication bureau has lifted the ban on Falun Gong books in March 2011. So no one should be prosecuted for having Falun Gong books, no matter how many they have. 

In fact, many Chinese lawyers are condemning the persecution and hundreds of them have represented Falun Gong practitioners in court and entered a not guilty plea for them. 

As law enforcement agencies or judges, your first priority is to follow the law and uphold justice. Now my son has been detained for several months and he is suffering a serious medical condition, yet the hospital doesn’t allow us to visit him. This is simply unacceptable! We are really worried about him. This isn’t fair for him. 

I believe you also have parents and children. I hope you can understand the pain I’m having and the unimaginable physical and mental agony our family has suffered in all these years. I don’t want to lose another son again. Heaven is watching everything we are doing. I know my son is innocent, you know too. 

I sincerely hope that you will uphold justice and your conscience. Release my son and daughter-in-law as soon as possible. I will be grateful for the rest of my life!

Related reports:

Ailing Man Hospitalized After Being Arrested, Faces Trial for His Faith in Falun Gong

Younger Brother Tortured to Death, Older Brother Detained and Tortured