(Minghui.org) A Shenyang City, Liaoning Province, resident was admitted to the Shenyang City First Prison on August 1, 2023, to serve a four-year term for his faith in Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party since 1999.

Mr. Ma Jiang, a former employee of Dawn Aerospace Engine company, took up Falun Gong in 1996 at the recommendation of his father-in-law, Mr. Wu Yu. His wife, Ms. Wu Shuyan, her brother, Mr. Wu Shuming, her daughter Ms. Ma Hongyang and son-in-law Mr. Zhao Wei soon joined in the practice as well.

In the past 24 years of persecution, the extended family were repeatedly targeted for upholding their faith. Ms. Wu died at 47 in 2013, after being tortured in prison, and her father passed away on May 19, 2015, after enduring years of persecution. Mr. Ma was previously given three years in prison in 2015, five months after his brother-in-law Mr. Wu was also sentenced to three years. Mr. Ma’s daughter and son-in-law were both sentenced to one year and four months in 2022.

Mr. Ma’s Latest Sentencing

Mr. Ma was returning from grocery shopping on July 20, 2022, when he was stopped by the agents of Shenhe District Police Department at the entrance of his apartment unit. The police said they needed to talk to him outside, only to arrest him when he stepped out of the building. His home was also ransacked.

The Shenhe Economic Development Zone Court later sentenced Mr. Ma to four years for “undermining law enforcement with a cult organization,” the standard pretext used to criminalize Falun Gong. Details about his indictment and court trial aren’t clear.

Mr. Ma was first taken to the Panjin Prison for a brainwashing session on July 14, 2023, and then transferred to the Shenyang City First Prison on August 1.

Sentencing of Daughter and Son-in-Law

On May 27, 2022, two months before Mr. Ma’s arrest, his daughter Ms. Ma and son-in-law Mr. Zhao, of Hohhot City, Inner Mongolia, were reported for distributing Falun Gong materials in a residential area. Officers of the Saihan District Police Department arrested them and raided their home.

Ms. Ma refused to reveal her name or answer any other questions by officer Wang Dong. Wang slapped her in the face and stomped on her knees.

The police identified the couple through facial recognition technology and took Ms. Ma to the Hohhot City First Detention Center. It’s not clear where Mr. Zhao was taken.

As Ms. Ma refused to admit that she was guilty in practicing Falun Gong or recite detention center rules, she was slapped in the face and forced to wear heavy handcuffs and shackles meant for felons for nine days. In protest, she shouted for the guards to stop torturing her and to make people aware of how the communist regime slandered Falun Gong. The guards ordered the inmates to gag her, but no one responded.

Guard Cui Ying later tried to persuade Ms. Ma to write a statement to renounce Falun Gong in exchange for her release. She refused to comply.

Both Ms. Ma and Mr. Zhao were later sentenced to sixteen months on charges of “undermining law enforcement with a cult organization.” They have been released on September 27, 2023.

Wife’s Death

Ms. Wu was arrested on May 23, 2006 for talking to people about Falun Gong. She was secretly sentenced to seven years in September 2006. She appealed to the Shenyang City Intermediate Court, which ruled to uphold her original verdict in early December 2006. After eight months at the Shenyang City Detention Center, she was transferred to the Liaoning Province Women’s Prison.

As Ms. Wu refused to renounce Falun Gong, she was held in isolation for three years and forced to work at least 12 hours every day without pay. Due to the physical exhaustion and mental pressure from the persecution, she began to have difficulty eating and struggled with a bloated abdomen.

After Ms. Wu was released in June 2012, Wang Daxing from the local street committee called her every week to check whether she was home. Wang and six police officers harassed her at home in late 2012. Upon finding out that she wasn’t home, Wang threatened Mr. Ma to jail both of them.

Ms. Wu’s condition kept deteriorating. She was unable to lie down to sleep and could only sit in the chair. Yet the authorities kept harassing her at home and intimidating her. She passed away on June 2, 2013. She was 47.

Ms. Wu before the persecution

Ms. Wu after the persecution, suffering from severe liver ascites

Mr. Ma’s First Prison Sentence

Only six months following Ms. Wu’s death, Mr. Ma and his daughter were arrested on January 7, 2014, by officers of the Chang’an Police Station. Their computer and printer were confiscated. While Ms. Ma was released at midnight, Mr. Ma was kept in custody and had his arrest approved by the Dadong District Procuratorate.

Upon finding out that Mr. Ma’s brother-in-law, Mr. Wu Shuming, was providing financial support for Ms. Ma, the police arrested Mr. Wu on August 5, 2014, and held him in custody.

Mr. Ma was sentenced to three years in Benxi Prison by Dadong District Court on December 4, 2014. He was charged with “having another practitioner print Falun Gong informational materials at his home.” He was released on September 7, 2016.

Mr. Wu Shuming’s Prison Sentence

Mr. Wu was kept in the Dadong District Detention Center following his arrest in August 2014. He was sentenced to three years in Benxi Prison in May 2015, also on a charge of “having another practitioner print Falun Gong informational materials at his home.”

Between late October and December 2015, the prison ran a campaign to improve the “transformation rate” of Falun Gong practitioners (rate of success in forcing them to renounce their faith). In October 2015, the guards ordered eight inmates to take Mr. Wu to the bathroom, where there were no surveillance cameras. The inmates took turns torturing him and deprived him of sleep for seven days. Then they transferred him to another room without surveillance cameras, where inmate Ma Yuexiang stripped off his clothes before beating and verbally abusing him for two days.

Related reports:

With Mother Dead and Father in Prison, a Daughter Seeks Justice (Photos)

Ms. Wu Shuyan Dies After Persecution in Liaoning Women’s Prison