(Minghui.org) When a couple in Dalian City, Liaoning Province, was notified of their prison sentences on February 23, 2021, the husband, Mr. Ding Guochen, had been in a coma for nearly a month after suffering a second stroke following his and his wife's arrests more than a year and a half ago.

On July 11, 2019, Mr. Ding, a 50-year-old math tutor, was seized by the police while tutoring his students. His wife, Ms. Yan Qinghua, was arrested at home around the same time. Both were targeted for their faith in Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline also known as Falun Dafa that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.

Mr. Ding was sentenced to two years and fined 5,000 yuan. Ms. Yan was given three and a half years and fined 8,000 yuan.

Only months after his arrest, Mr. Ding held a four-week-long hunger strike to protest the arbitrary detention and was force-fed. He lost his hearing and had a stroke as a result of the abuse. He was then released on bail on October 19, 2019.

Although Mr. Ding regained some of his mobility after he resumed doing the Falun Gong exercises at home, he still has issues with his hearing.

While he was still detained, Ms. Yan, who was released the day after their arrests, went to the local police station to demand his release. Officer Li once grabbed her neck and pushed her into a room for interrogation. When she went again on September 10, 2019, the same officer pulled her hair and pushed her around. Much of her hair fell out as a result. The police also threatened to arrest her two children when they reach 18.

The police submitted the couple’s cases to the Jinzhou District Procuratorate in early 2020. They were indicted and their cases were forwarded to the Jinzhou District Court on May 14, 2020. When the couple refused to attend the hearing, the police and court staff members often harassed them at home.

On January 27, 2021, Mr. Ding had another stroke and fell into a coma. He has been unconscious ever since.

The Jinzhou District Court delivered their sentences to the couple on February 23. It’s not clear if a hearing ever took place or if Ms. Yan has been taken back into custody to serve time.

Mr. Ding credits Falun Gong for curing his Hepatitis B and complications from a stroke he suffered in his 20s. He and his wife were fired from their jobs in 1999 for appealing to the central government in Beijing for their right to practice Falun Gong. Unable to find other jobs because of the persecution, the couple ran a small family business to make ends meet.

With a bachelor's degree in Electronic Information and Electrical Engineering from Dalian University of Technology, Mr. Ding began to tutor students in math two years ago to supplement the family’s income. He treated every student with patience and care. Most of them improved their grades quickly, and one who often failed math exams ended up first in his class. During class breaks, Mr. Ding told the students stories of ancient times and encouraged them to quit their bad habits and improve their posture. Many of them cried when they heard about his arrest.

Related reports:

Students Cry for Math Tutor Arrested for Not Renouncing His Faith

Liaoning Province: At Least 35 Falun Gong Practitioners Arrested in Two Days

Shenyang City, Liaoning Province: 13 Falun Gong Practitioners Arrested in One Day

Five Liaoning Residents Face Prosecution for Practicing Falun Gong

Chinese version available

Category: Accounts of Persecution