(Minghui.org) The former director of the Yi County Bureau of Industry in Baoding City, Hebei Province, who was serving a probation term at home for practicing Falun Gong, was forced to denounce his faith in a video. The authorities recently aired the video on the Yi County Television Station, trying to further shift public opinion against this spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime in the past 22 years.

Illegal Sentenced

Mr. Zhuo, 73, was arrested at a bus station on September 26, 2017. The police monitored his cellphone for months before making the arrest. He was interrogated for several hours before being taken to Yi County Detention Center.

Mr. Zhuo went on a hunger strike to protest the arbitrary detention and was force-fed. About 20 days later, his right leg and hand began to show symptoms of blood clots. His blood pressure was very high. He couldn't walk or hold anything. The police then released him on bail.

At the same time, the police submitted Mr. Zhuo’s case to the Yi County Procuratorate, which then indicted him and forwarded his case to the Yi County Court.

Mr. Zhuo was wheeled into the courtroom for a hearing on December 22, 2017. As he already had trouble talking, he shook his head to deny the charges against him and said with difficulty that “It’s my legal right to have freedom of religion.”

The court later held another hearing, but only his family attended.

The judge put him under house arrest and kept delaying announcing his verdict.

One month after the judge submitted a preliminary ruling to the Baoding City Intermediate Court for their approval, Mr. Zhuo was ordered to appear in court again on May 25, 2018. By then, Mr. Zhuo had already lived away from home to avoid being persecuted and the hearing was canceled.

Around April 2019, due to poor living conditions during the displacement, Mr. Zhuo's health further deteriorated. Five months later, he could no longer care for himself. He was taken back home and hospitalized in September. He was diagnosed with severe heart disease and was in critical condition. Believing that he would soon die, the judge decided to dismiss his case.

Mr. Zhuo miraculously recovered and returned home in October 2019. After the police and judge found out about his recovery, they targeted him in June 2020 during the “Zero-out Campaign,” a concerted effort to force every Falun Gong practitioner on the government’s blacklist to renounce their faith.

Threatening him with a prison sentence, the authorities forced him to write a statement to renounce Falun Gong. But the judge didn’t keep his promise to stop prosecuting Mr. Zhuo. Instead, he secretly sentenced him to three years with four years probation in July 2020, meaning that he would be jailed for three years should he violate the probation conditions during the 4-year probation period. He also threatened Mr. Zhuo and his family not to report the persecution to the Minghui website.

Since Mr. Zhuo started serving probation, the Yi County Justice Bureau has been monitoring his cell phone and tracking his location. They visit him at home once a month.

On December 10, 2020, Mr. Zhuo's daughter was forced to record him speaking disrespectfully of Falun Gong. The authorities have been using Zhuo's case to persuade other Falun Gong practitioners to give up their beliefs and smear Falun Gong among the general public.

Prior to his latest persecution, Mr. Zhuo has been repeatedly arrested for his faith. He was twice given forced labor camp terms for a total of six years and brutally tortured while in detention.

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Chinese version available

Category: Accounts of Persecution