(Minghui.org) In February 2021, Minghui.org confirmed that another 120 Falun Gong practitioners were sentenced for their faith, including 47 in 2020, 12 in January 2021, and 61 in February 2021.
The newly confirmed cases brought the total number of practitioners confirmed sentenced in 2020 and January 2021 to 814 and 53, respectively.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a spiritual practice centered on the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance. Since the Chinese communist regime started persecuting the practice in July 1999, many practitioners have been subjected to arrest, imprisonment, torture, forced labor, and even organ harvesting.
The practitioners reported sentenced in February 2021 came from 41 cities in 19 provinces and centrally-controlled municipalities. The province of Liaoning registered the most cases (18), followed by Heilongjiang (15) and Jiangsu (11). The remaining 16 provinces reported sentencing between one and nine practitioners.
The prison terms given to practitioners ranged from five months to twelve years, with an average of 3.14 years. Thirteen practitioners’ terms were unknown.
A total of 37 practitioners were each fined between 1,000 and 200,000 yuan by the courts for a total of 723,000 yuan, averaging 19,565 yuan per person.
The 120 practitioners were between 48 and 82 years old. Eighteen of them were 65 or older at the time of their sentencing, and their prison terms ranged from 14 months to 10 years.
The oldest practitioner, 82-year-old retired teacher Mr. Li Dengchen of Shenzhen City, Hebei Province, was sentenced to 10 years in January 2021 and fined 151,700 yuan.
Mr. Chu Liwen, 65, of Weifang City, Shandong Province, was sentenced to 8 years on February 9, 2021. He was later released after he became extremely ill while imprisoned.
Below are snapshots of more sentencing cases reported in February 2021. The full list of sentenced practitioners can be downloaded here.
A married couple in Dongying City, Shandong Province were both sentenced to three years and three months with a 30,000-yuan fine for practicing Falun Gong.
Mr. Geng Lutang and his wife Ms. Zou Peixia were arrested on September 17, 2019 after being reported for talking to people about Falun Gong. Their home was ransacked the following day and many Falun Gong materials and personal items were confiscated.
When the couple’s family went to seek justice for them, the police claimed that they would release them in a month. But a month later, they reneged on their promise, even after the prosecutor had returned the couple’s cases for insufficient evidence. Mr. Geng was taken to the Hekou Detention Center and Ms. Zou to the Dongying Detention Center.
The couple’s family hired a lawyer to seek justice for them. But when the lawyer went to the detention center to visit Ms. Zou on October 21, 2019, the police denied his visitation request. The lawyer later filed a complaint against the police but to no avail.
Mr. Geng was later released, while Ms. Zou was still kept in custody.
Mr. Geng’s mother was around 100 years old. The couple’s arrests and detention caused her tremendous distress. Worrying about Ms. Zou’s prolonged detention, her health quickly deteriorated and she passed away in January 2020, a few days before the Chinese New Year.
The couple was tried by the Dongying City Court on November 2, 2020. Mr. Geng attended the virtual hearing from home and Ms. Zou was tried in the detention center. Their two lawyers entered not-guilty pleas for them at the court.
Their family recently confirmed that both practitioners have been sentenced to three years and three months with a 30,000-yuan fine.
This is not the first time that the couple has been arrested. Ms. Zou was given a term at Shandong Province Women’s Forced Labor Camp in October 2000. The guards tortured her by forcing her to stand and to sit on a small stool for long hours without moving. They also beat her, held her in solitary confinement, restricted her restroom use, and forced her to do unpaid labor.
Mr. Fa Zhengping, a 75-year-old retired middle school teacher in Shanghai, was sentenced to one year and two months for his faith in Falun Gong on February 24, 2021.
Mr. Fa was arrested at home on February 16, 2020. The police targeted him because he had been reported for distributing informational materials about Falun Gong.
His family was summoned to the local police station the next day to pick up his criminal detention notice. They were also told that the case was being handled by the Domestic Security Division and that the police station didn’t have any further details about the case.
Mr. Fa was held at the Pudong New District Detention Center. In mid-May 2020, the police submitted his case to the procuratorate, which then indicted him and moved his case to the Fengxian District Court.
After over a year of detention, Mr. Fa was sentenced to one year and two months with a 2,000-yuan fine on February 24, 2021. He is scheduled to be released on April 16, 2021.
Mr. Fa took up Falun Gong in late 1995. After the communist regime began the persecution of Falun Gong in 1999, he served two terms of forced labor and one prison term, for a total of seven years of detention.
Mr. Fa said he was subjected to constant torture while incarcerated, including being starved, force-fed with unknown drugs and deprived of sleep. In the summer, the guards twice forced him to wear a thick sweater and down jacket, and kept him tied up for over 20 days. Sometimes, they shocked him with four electric batons at once or tied him to a fence.
As a result of the torture, Mr. Fa suffered severe brain damage and had significant hearing, vision, and memory loss. He had trouble thinking straight. His legs and arms were bruised after being tied up for long stretches. He was unable to lift his arms and had difficulty walking. He also suffered from extremely low blood pressure, which caused him to faint and fall many times. When he was asked to give a blood sample, he noted that his blood appeared dark due to lack of oxygen.
While Mr. Fa was serving a three-year term in prison, the inmates picked at the inside of his cheeks with their fingers. The injuries took a long time to heal. He also had injuries to his face and ears from being beaten by the inmates. After returning home, he often fainted, and his urine was brown. After Mr. Fa resumed practicing Falun Gong, he gradually recovered.
73-year-old Woman Sentenced for Her Faith in Falun Gong
Ms. Luo Ji, 73, of Maoming City, Guangdong Province, was sentenced to three years on February 5, 2021 for distributing Falun Gong materials. She was tried by the Maonan District Court on November 24, 2020 and is still detained at the Maoming City No.1 Detention Center at the time of writing.
On August 10, 2020, Ms. Luo was giving out informational materials about Falun Gong at a farmers’ market when she was noticed by a plainclothes officer. Agents from the 610 Office arrested Ms. Luo and took her to the Hedong Police Station.
Shortly after Ms. Luo appeared in court on November 24, she had a headache, dizziness, and difficulty walking.
Ms. Luo started to practice Falun Gong in 1998. After the communist regime ordered the persecution in 1999, she was arrested five times between 2000 and 2008 and served one year and nine months in Sanshui Forced Labor Camp. While in custody, she was tortured, force-fed, and injected with unknown drugs.
She was arrested for the sixth time on November 19, 2015, and held in custody until November 23.
Her next arrest was on May 4, 2019, for distributing Falun Gong materials. The police searched her bag and confiscated 40 Falun Gong keepsakes and 60 yuan worth of banknotes that had Falun Gong messages printed on them. She was released that evening.
Ms. Han Shujuan, a 69-year-old Tianjin resident, was sentenced to a three-year prison term on February 22, 2021 for her faith in Falun Gong.
Ms. Han was arrested and had her home ransacked on July 13, 2020 for talking to people about Falun Gong. After seven months of detention at the Hedong District Detention Center, she was tried by the Hedong District Court on February 22, 2021, and sentenced to three years in prison.
Another three practitioners were sentenced around the same time by the Hedong District Court. Ms. Liu Shuqin was sentenced to three years, Ms. Zhang Guangmin was given eighteen months, and Ms. Sun Xiuqin was given six months.
Prior to her latest sentence, Ms. Han had been arrested four times and given two labor camp terms and a prison term, for a total of nine years.
Jiangsu Woman Sentenced to One Year for Her Faith
Ms. Li Zhongye, in her 70s, of Suzhou City, Jiangsu Province, was arrested by officers from the Guanqian Street Police Station on May 14, 2020. She was later released on bail. Her case was turned over to the Wujiang City Procuratorate on August 13. She was tried in the Wujiang District Court on February 8, 2021. She was sentenced to one year in prison and fined 1,000 yuan.
After nearly two years of detention, a Lanzhou City, Gansu Province resident was sentenced to three years for his faith in Falun Gong.
Mr. Han Xu, 55, was arrested on May 29, 2019, for distributing Falun Gong informational materials. The police didn’t inform his family of his arrest. They only found out about it while reporting his disappearance.
Mr. Han appeared in the Chengguan District Court on October 15, 2020. His lawyer entered a not-guilty plea for him, and he also testified in his defense. The judge recently announced his verdict. He has appealed the verdict.
Mr. Han used to work at the commercial department of Gansu Province Carpet Import and Export Corporation. He was also a translator for the provincial Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation.
After the persecution of Falun Gong started, his workplace fired him and his wife divorced him. He was arrested multiple times and sentenced to ten years in prison. While imprisoned, he was beaten multiple times, handcuffed behind his back for long hours, shocked with electric batons, and locked in solitary confinement for six years for holding firm to his faith.
When a married 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 practicing Falun Gong.
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.
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.
After 11 Years Of Incarceration, Shandong Man Sentenced Again to 8 Years for His Faith
Having gone through repeated arrests, harassment and eleven years of incarceration for his faith in Falun Gong, a Weifang City, Shandong Province resident has been sentenced again on February 9, 2021, to eight years for his belief. He has since been released as he was extremely ill while imprisoned.
Mr. Chu Liwen, 64, was arrested with his son, Mr. Chu Qinghua, on September 22, 2019. The police ransacked their home and confiscated personal items valued at 20,000 yuan. His son was released on bail on September 23, after he was denied admission due to a medical condition. However, the police summoned his son again on February 23. His son was forced to leave home to avoid further persecution.
Since the persecution of Falun Gong was launched on July 20, 1999, Mr. Chu Liwen has been subjected to multiple arrests and detentions, as well as several labor camp and prison terms, during which he suffered inhuman treatment and torture.
Mr. Chu went to Beijing to speak out for Falun Gong on October 14, 1999. As he returned to his hometown, he was arrested by the local police on October 17. He was handcuffed to a chair with his arms behind his back for eleven days at the police station. He was also slapped in the face repeatedly.
The police paraded Mr. Chu through the streets around town to publicly humiliate him. Then he was locked up at the local detention center for a month, after which the police took him back to the police station for another month's detention.
Mr. Chu was arrested on February 2, 2000, and taken to the local detention center, where he was handcuffed to a tree in the cold, handcuffed with his arms behind his back to a chair, and shackled. He was also forced to do hard labor, including construction.
Other tortures that Mr. Chu suffered included being stripped of his clothes and subjected to the freezing cold, pricked with steel needles on the soles of his feet, tied up for several days, struck on his shins with a wooden chair, and having one arm handcuffed to the top of a bunk bed and the other arm to the bottom bunk of another bed.
Mr. Chu was arrested again on August 18, 2003 and locked up in a metal cage at the Taibaozhuang Police Station. Then he was handcuffed to a metal chair during an interrogation before being transferred to the detention center. He was also beaten with a leather rod, had his limbs handcuffed and shackled together, and shocked with electric batons all over his body.
After Mr. Chu was released on August 17, 2008, he was taken to a brainwashing center in Weifang City that same day, where he was handcuffed to a radiator and beaten. That night he was taken to the local police station and handcuffed to a chair. The next day he was taken to the local middle school and ordered to give up his practice of Falun Gong. Later he was transferred to the village committee office. He was tied up with ropes that cut into his flesh. Then he was handcuffed to a chair at the local police station. A hood was placed over his head, and he was beaten by a group of people.
After having served ten years in prison, a Beijing resident was recently sentenced again to 2.5 years for his faith in Falun Gong.
Mr. Bao Zhouzhi, 65, was arrested on July 16, 2019. His arrest was approved on August 21. The prosecutor indicted him on October 8 and forwarded his case to the Dongcheng District Court. After returning his case once for additional evidence, the Dongcheng District Court held an online hearing of his case on September 8, 2020.
The judge held another hearing before sentencing Mr. Bao to 2.5 years and fining him 5,000 yuan. Mr. Bao has appealed the verdict. In addition to the prison sentence, the authorities have begun to withhold his pension as of August 2019.
Prior to his latest experience of persecution, Mr. Bao was arrested in November 2000 for displaying a Falun Gong banner on Tiananmen Square. He was detained at the Beijing Detention Center for a month.
Mr. Bao was arrested again in 2002. The police ransacked his home and confiscated 25,000 yuan in cash and an audio recorder worth 400 yuan. He was later sentenced to ten years in Qianjin Prison.
Nine Fuyang City, Anhui Province residents were sentenced to prison by the Linquan County Court for their faith in Falun Gong on February 3, 2021.
Four practitioners were tried and sentenced in the Linquan County Court:
Ms. Wang Cuilan was sentenced to 12 years and fined 30,000 yuan.Ms. Wang Lanying was sentenced to 4.5 years and fined 20,000 yuan.Ms. Wang Cuiping was sentenced to 3 years and fined 10,000 yuan.Ms. Wang Mingzhi was sentenced to 2 years and fined 10,000 yuan.
The remaining five practitioners were tried and sentenced at a makeshift courtroom at the Linquan County Detention Center:
Mr. Yu Zuzhi was sentenced to 4.5 years and fined 10,000 yuan.Mr. Li Haitao was sentenced to 3 years and fined 10,000 yuan.Mr. Li Chunmin was sentenced to 2.5 years and fined 10,000 yuan.Mr. Sun Chuanfu was sentenced to 1 year and fined 10,000 yuan.Mr. Sun Yuhe was sentenced to 8 months and fined 10,000 yuan.
Prior to both court sessions, the court forced the practitioners’ lawyers to leave and arranged the judge-appointed lawyers to enter guilty pleas for the practitioners. The practitioners’ family members weren’t allowed to attend the sessions in person and had to watch the live sessions online.
Ms. Wang Cuilan, Ms. Wang Lanying, Ms. Wang Cuiping and Mr. Li Haitao were arrested at Ms. Wang Lanying’s home at around 6 p.m. on June 12, 2020. The police ransacked the place and confiscated Ms. Wang Lanying’s computer, printer, Falun Gong materials and large quantities of office supplies that she had used to print Falun Gong information materials for distribution.
Another three practitioners, Ms. Dai Min, Ms. Zhou Guizhi and Ms. Liu Yueying, were also arrested on the same day and had their homes ransacked. Ms. Liu and Ms. Zhou, both in their 80s, had been recorded by surveillance camera distributing Falun Gong materials earlier on.
Prior to Ms. Wang Cuilan’s latest lengthy term, the retired nurse had been arrested seven times. She was given two labor camp terms and sentenced to three years in prison. She was tortured at the Suzhou Women’s Prison and became emaciated and had bruises on her body.
Five of the Yingtan City, Jiangxi Province residents arrested in a police sweep last year were sentenced to two to eight years in early February 2021 for their faith in Falun Gong.
At least eight practitioners were arrested between mid- and late-March 2020. Two officers forced Ms. Lu Jinrong to kneel on the ground and took pictures of her. A ninth practitioner, Ms. Tang Xiaobao, in her 70s, passed away in early April 2020 after being harassed by the police in the sweep.
In addition to monitoring and following the practitioners, the police also installed 5G surveillance devices at their doors. Whenever the practitioners opened their door, staff members from the residential committee would be notified on their cell phones. Similar surveillance tools have also been used in nearby cities, including Nanchang and Jiujiang.
The 610 Office and Political and Legal Affairs Committee mobilized local police, traffic police, urban management personnel, sanitation workers, and residential committee staff members to conduct the arrests.
Five of the practitioners, including Ms. Li Meilian, Ms. Xu Huihua, Ms. Lu, Ms. Zhang Jinrong, and Ms. Wang Yumei, had their arrests approved on April 22, 2020. The police later submitted their cases to the Guixi City Procuratorate on charges of “undermining law enforcement with a cult organization,” a standard pretext used to sentence Falun Gong practitioners.
Ms. Li was transferred to a hospital on May 6, 2020. The other practitioners remain detained at the Yingtan City Detention Center.
It was confirmed by Minghui.org on February 5, 2021 that Ms. Li had been sentenced to eight years, Ms. Xu to five years and two months, Ms. Zhang to two years and eight months, Ms. Wang to two years and three months, and Ms. Lu to two years.
The status of three other practitioners targeted in the same police sweep, including Ms. Wei Qinglan, Ms. Wang Yumei and Mr. Ai Guoxiang, remain to be investigated.