(Minghui.org) A married couple and their son from Ningxiang City, Hunan Province, were secretly tried and sentenced in September 2021 for practicing Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.
Mr. Wang Gang, 63, and his wife Ms. Yang Junying, also 63, were sentenced to 7.5 and 7 years, respectively, and each was fined 20,000 yuan. Their son, Mr. Wang Zhuo, 38, was sentenced to 3 years with a 5,000-yuan fine and allowed to serve time outside of prison.
On July 24, 2020, more than 20 officers broke into the Wang family’s three-story home and ransacked it. The elderly couple’s computers, printers, tens of thousands of yuan in cash, informational materials about Falun Gong, and a photo of Falun Gong’s founder were confiscated. Their son’s camera and computer, which he used for the family’s photo studio business on the first floor of their residence, were also taken. The whole family was arrested.
The younger Mr. Wang was released the next afternoon. However, the police arrested him and put him in criminal detention when he returned on July 26 to ask for the return of his computer, which contained many of his customers’ photos. He was released on bail on October 11, but taken back into custody and held in the Xiangxiang City Detention Center on January 13, 2021.
His father was secretly tried in the Xiangxiang City Court on April 14, 2021, and he and his mother was tried the next day.
After the verdict was announced, Mr. Wang Gang appealed the sentence but he appeal was denied.
Couple Arrested Multiple Times and Tortured
Mr. Wang Gang has his own photo studio, while Ms. Yang previously worked as a pharmacist in the Ningxiang country medical bureau. The couple and their son started practicing Falun Gong in 1996 and Mr. Wang recovered from many illnesses within two months.
On July 22, 1999, the couple were arrested after a dozen officers from Baimaqiao Police Station broke into their home. They were released more than five hours later. Ms. Yang later went to their local government to appeal and was arrested. She was released the same day.
The couple went to Beijing to appeal on February 23, 2000, and was arrested again. They were first taken to Hunan Liaison Office in Beijing before being sent back. As Mr. Wang refused to renounce Falun Gong, he was detained for more than 20 days at the Ningxiang Detention Center. On March 28, 2000, the family was told to pay over 10,000 yuan for the food and travel expenses to take the couple back from Beijing.
Mr. Wang and Ms. Yang were running their business at home on July 20, 2000 when they were arrested. Mr. Wang was held for 15 days while Ms. Yang was detained for 10 days. They were forced to pay 415 yuan in food expenses.
On February 20, 2001, the couple were taken to the local brainwashing center. As they refused to be "transformed," they were detained again after the brainwashing session ended 25 days later. On April 30 that year, while in custody, Ms. Yang was taken to Changsha brainwashing session for a month. The couple were taken to the fourth brainwashing session on June 19.
Mr. Wang was arrested on September 27, 2001, and detained for 10 days. Ms. Yang was arrested in November 2001 and detained for 7 days. Both were forced to pay 170 yuan each for food expenses.
On September 25, 2001, the couple were arrested again. Mr. Wang was released that day while Ms. Yang was interrogated and held for 33 days. She was released after paying 5,000 yuan bail and 510 yuan for food expenses.
Mr. Wang was arrested at home on March 8, 2002. When being interrogated at the Domestic Security Bureau, he was forced to kneel with his hands handcuffed behind his back. After an hour of interrogation, he was taken to the local detention center.
A month later, three police officers came and interrogated Mr. Wang for a few hours. They came back the next morning. Upon entering the room, they kicked Mr. Wang until he fell to the ground, kneeling. They then handcuffed his hands behind his back and inserted a thick rope through the handcuffs, intending to hang him up. They gave up when they couldn’t find the hook to hang the rope. Later, they found a thick wooden club that was more than two feet long and started beating Mr. Wang. They also inserted the club between the hands and shook the handcuffs, while interrogating Mr. Wang. The handcuffs cut into the wrist as it tightened, causing Mr. Wang to sweat profusely. When he spat out a thick phlegm, one officer covered the phlegm with newspapers and stomped on it before stuffing the papers into Mr. Wang’s mouth.
One officer said to him, “The three of us have spent over a month investigating you.” They were infuriated and tortured Mr. Wang for several hours when he refused to answer any of their questions. Mr. Wang was detained for 53 days and forced to pay 900 yuan in food expenses.
Torture re-enactment: Handcuffed behind the back
On July 22, 2002, Mr. Wang went to Baimaqiao police station after the newly appointed police chief lied that he wanted to know more about Falun Gong. Mr. Wang was arrested and detained for 15 days. Ms. Yang was detained for 38 days and forced to pay 646 yuan in food expenses and 5,000 yuan bail bond.
The couple were arrested and their house was ransacked on October 28, 2002. Mr. Wang was detained in a small dark room for four days and beaten. A lot of his hair was pulled out. Ms. Yang was detained in a separate location. Both were later taken to the detention center and held for 21 days. When Mr. Wang was released, the police confiscated 120 yuan found in his pocket as food expenses.
Ms. Yang was detained for five days in December 2002.
Whole Family Arrested and Force-fed
The whole family was at home on April 25, 2005 when a group of police arrested them and ransacked their home. They were detained at Ningxiang Detention Center.
When the three of them went on a hunger strike, they were dragged out of the cell one by one, force-fed and beaten.
When force-feeding him, two officers grabbed Mr. Wang while a third officer grabbed his hair and pulled it backwards. A fourth officer grabbed his cheeks until his mouth was forced open, and a fifth officer poured saline water into his mouth. The force-feeding caused Mr. Wang to have difficulties breathing. He felt his throat and trachea were on fire. The saline water was all over his body. An officer also slapped him in the face. After 18 days of force-feeding, Mr. Wang lost 10 kg of weight.
Torture illustration: Force-feeding
Couple Given Two Years of Forced Labor
The couple was later given two years of forced labor. Mr. Wang was taken to Xinkaipu Forced Labor Camp, while Ms. Yang was sent to Baimalong Women’s Forced Labor Camp.
Below is Mr. Wang’s personal account of the persecution:
“I was exhausted and weak when I arrived at the forced labor camp. As my belt and shoes were confiscated by the detention center, I could only walk barefoot and hold on to my pants as they became too loose due to the rapid weight loss. Then, two inmates came and dragged me upstairs. I was strip-searched. As I wasn’t allowed to shower since the arrest, my body stank. The inmates humiliated and swore at me. I was ordered to write the guarantee statement. As I refused to renounce my faith, I was forced to stand facing the wall. For four days, I was kicked and punched, slapped, seized by the throat, and threatened by three inmates. My body became bruised and swollen. My fingernails and toenails turned black.
Torture re-enactment: Beatings
“As I refused to be transformed, I was sent to Room 218 and later Room 219, where Falun Gong practitioners were persecuted the most severely. I was subjected to various forms of torture every day, including being beaten and threatened, and forced to sit on a small stool or stand facing the wall. This lasted 49 days. During the torture period, my body became cold and I vomited. I couldn’t defecate.
“During the two years of forced labor, I was monitored around the clock by several inmates, even when I was eating and sleeping. Falun Gong practitioners were not allowed to speak to one another or risked being beaten. We were forced to sit on the small stool until our buttocks festered. During the summer time, we weren’t allowed to use the fan and could only wash ourselves once every few days and for a few minutes each time. We were stung by mosquitoes as we didn’t have a mosquito net, and slept in the winter with the cold wind blowing from the open windows and doors. We were also threatened and forced to watch videos and read materials that slandered Falun Gong every day. After sitting on the small stool for a period of time, I had difficulty walking.
“My wife was persecuted more severely. After she was taken to the forced labor camp, she was put on strict control for a month and restricted from using the restroom, bathing, or sleeping. She was forced to watch videos and read materials that slandered Falun Gong. As she refused to renounce her faith, she was forced to stand and squat. She was also punched and kicked, and forced to sit on a small stool from 6 a.m. to 12 midnight. She was forced to do unpaid labor for over 10 hours a day. Once, she was beaten until she became injured and had difficulty walking, because the inmates accused her of trying to run away on their way to the workshop.
“During those two years, my wife was humiliated and beaten. Both her feet became numb and her blood pressure increased. She was later released on medical parole and released home four months earlier.
“In 2006 when nearing the Chinese New Year, my mother and sister-in-law came to visit me. They also brought ‘my wife’s sister’ with them as well. It took me nearly half an hour to finally recognize that the person sitting in front of me who looked old and emaciated was actually my wife. As the labor camp refused to allow my wife (a Falun Gong practitioner) to visit me, my mother brought her under the name of “my wife’s sister.”
“My son had always been very obedient since he was young and had never lived on his own. After we were taken to forced labor camps, he had to take care of our business. Business was not good and he couldn’t make a profit. He was under tremendous pressure, and our relatives cursed him. He had to assure himself repeatedly that his parents didn’t do anything wrong.
“After my wife returned home, mold had grown on our son’s bed. The mice made a nest under the bed, and all the clothes in the wardrobe were moldy and had worms. She had to throw away several bags of rotten clothes.”
Parties involved in the persecution:
Liu Jianjun (刘建军), prosecutor at Xiangtan City Procuratorate: +86-136-57326628, +86-731-58514600Chen Jianjun (陈建军), deputy prosecutor at Xiangtan City Procuratorate: +86-138-07328585, +86-731-58514603Liao Diwen (廖迪文), president of Xiangtan City Intermediate Court: +86-139-73231188He Weiping (贺卫平), vice-president of Xiangtan City Intermediate Court: +86-158-07323456
(More participants in the persecution contact information is available in the original Chinese article.)
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