(Minghui.org) A Nanjing City, Jiangsu Province resident has been taken to the Suzhou Prison to serve a five-year term for his faith in Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.

Mr. Zhang Mingyi, an employee of Jinling Petrochemical, was arrested at work on September 27, 2019. It was recently confirmed by Minghui.org that he was convicted in March 2021, but other details of his case remain unclear.

Mr. Zhang, 48, began to practice Falun Gong in May 1997. He became more considerate and more respectful of his parents afterward. 

For upholding his faith in the past two decades, he was held in a brainwashing center three times and a mental hospital twice. His wife was forced to divorce him due to enormous pressure from the persecution.

Arrested for Appealing for Falun Gong

Mr. Zhang twice went to Beijing to appeal for the right to practice Falun Gong, in July and October 1999, respectively. He was arrested in Beijing the second time he went there and taken back to Nanjing by personnel from his workplace. His supervisor held him in a hotel owned by the company, where a brainwashing session was being held and propaganda videos demonizing Falun Gong were played around the clock.

As Mr. Zhang refused to write the statement to renounce Falun Gong, the police took him to the Nanjing Mental Hospital and forced him to take drugs that damaged his nervous system. He was released six months later.

Family Devastated by Persecution

Mr. Zhang was arrested again on February 15, 2006, while at work. He was first taken to the Bancang Police Station and then to the Xuanwu District Detention Center in the evening. In late February, he was transferred to the Nanjing City Detention Center.

After he held a hunger strike to protest the persecution, the police brought his wife to the police station and threatened to sentence him to seven or eight years if he remained so “stubborn” in his faith. They also ordered his wife to testify against him, or she might be implicated as well. She refused to comply and said if he was sentenced, she would just wait for him to come back home.

When Mr. Zhang’s father-in-law went to the police station to look for his daughter, the police asked him what he thought of Mr. Zhang. The elderly man said that “Mingyi is a good lad!” Because of his positive comment, the police looked into his profile to see if he practiced Falun Gong himself.

Two months later, in April 2006, Mr. Zhang was transferred to a brainwashing center in a hotel organized by the Nanjing City 610 Office, an extralegal agency created specifically to persecute Falun Gong. 

Mr. Zhang continued his hunger strike and was force-fed. The longest hunger strike was nearly 30 days and he became almost beyond recognition. As Mr. Zhang still remained steadfast in Falun Gong, the 610 Office agents brought his father and wife to see him, attempting to use family emotions to weaken his willpower. 

His father was devastated to see him. His wife burst into tears. She knelt in front of him for nearly two hours and begged him to eat. 

Two-year Labor Camp Term and Forced to Divorce

After holding him at the brainwashing center for two months, the authorities took Mr. Zhang to the mental hospital again and kept him there for 30 days. 

In July, the authorities took him back to the brainwashing center and Mr. Zhang continued the hunger strike.

Deceived by the authorities, Mr. Zhang’s wife believed that he’d be released as soon as he gave up practicing Falun Gong. She quit her job and came to the brainwashing center to help transform him. He still didn’t give in. Desperate, his wife slapped him in the face and threatened to divorce him.

In the face of the intensive conflict and weak physical condition, Mr. Zhang broke down and was forced to sign a statement to renounce Falun Gong. 

But the authorities didn’t keep their promise to free him. Instead, they gave him two years of forced labor. Although he was allowed to serve time at home, the police forced him to write a thought report every month, or they would arrest him and send him to the labor camp.

The 610 Office also ordered Mr. Zhang’s workplace to cover all the costs of the brainwashing session, including the living expenses of all staff members. They also pressured Mr. Zhang’s workplace to intensify the surveillance of him, in order to prevent him from going to Beijing to appeal again or promote Falun Gong locally. 

Unable to bear the enormous mental pressure, Mr. Zhang’s wife was forced to divorce him.

Continued Persecution

During his two-year labor camp term, Mr. Zhang’s workplace only paid him 1,300 yuan each month, and yet his workload kept increasing. 

Mr. Zhang refused to write the thought report required by the police. His workplace punished him by excluding him from all promotions or pay raises.

Mr. Zhang was seized by the police on his way to work on November 1, 2011, and had his fingerprint and blood sample forcibly collected. The police not only ransacked his home and took away his father’s computer (which was later returned at his father’s strong protest), but also searched his workplace. One photo of Falun Gong’s founder that he saved on his work computer was deleted by the police. In the afternoon, he was released.

During the 18th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party in November 2012, the 610 Office didn’t allow Mr. Zhang to work and pressured his workplace to closely monitor his daily activities.

Chinese version available

Category: Accounts of Persecution