(Minghui.org) Mr. Yang Xinqiu, 55, from Jiamusi City, Heilongjiang Province was sentenced to four years following his arrest in June 2014 for practicing Falun Gong, a mind-body practice that has been persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party since July 1999.

Mr. Yang Xinqiu was incarcerated in three different facilities and was subjected to various forms of abuse everywhere he was detained. Below is his story of how he took up Falun Gong and how he was persecuted for upholding his faith.

Mr. Yang Xinqiu

A Good Teacher Seldom Seen in Today’s Society

Mr. Yang began practicing Falun Gong in 2001 amid the ongoing persecution. He was drawn to Falun Gong’s principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance and strove to be a better person at work and at home.

As a chemistry teacher at the Lili Middle School in Jiamusi City, he won multiple awards, including the “2011 Jiamusi Outstanding Middle School Chemistry Instructor” award and the “2012 Outstanding Public Sector Employee” award:

Mr. Yang won the “2011 Jiamusi Outstanding Middle School Chemistry Instructor” award.

Mr. Yang won the “2012 Outstanding Public Sector Employee” award.

Mr. Yang treated his students as if they were his own children and taught them to be good people. The students’ parents praised him and said that such a good teacher was rarely seen in today’s society.

Mr. Yang also never hesitated to help his colleagues, and he was praised by them and the school administrators.

As the sole breadwinner, Mr. Yang not only provided for his family but also took great care of them. His mother-in-law often praised him in front of others and said, “He is a better son to me than my own son.”

Arrested At Work

Four officers showed up at Lili Middle School at around 4:00 p.m. on June 19, 2014. The school security tried to stop them at the door but they barged in, saying, “There’s a Falun Gong practitioner at your school.”

Two officers went to Mr. Yang’s laboratory and arrested him. They also confiscated his four cell phones. Another officer broke into his office and seized the Falun Gong books and informational materials he had there.

Mr. Yang was dragged into a police vehicle. The school principal wanted to ensure his safety and asked another teacher to sit in the other police vehicle. An officer told the teacher, “We have been monitoring him [Mr. Yang] for quite a while.”

Mr. Yang later learned that the arresting officers were from the Dongfeng District Domestic Security Office and the Jianguo Road Police Station. They targeted him for using cell phones to send out texts to people and inform them of the Chinese Communist Party’s illegal persecution of Falun Gong.

Home Raided

More than 10 officers raided Mr. Yang’s home the day he was arrested. His wife and their two children were terrified when the police broke in.

The police spent two hours searching the home and confiscated Mr. Yang’s Falun Gong books, seven cell phones, three printers, two desktop computers, two computer display monitors, two staplers and several hundred yuan in cash.

The police also attempted to arrest Mr. Yang’s wife. One officer said, “You must go with us.” His wife replied, “I cannot go with you, as I must take care of my children.” The officer said, “Ask your neighbors to watch them!” She said, “We just moved here, and I don’t know the neighbors. My parents [who live with us] are in their 80s. Please don’t scare them.”

Family Harassed and Threatened

The police did not arrest Mr. Yang’s wife that day but returned many times to harass her. They even went to her children’s school to harass the youngsters. Both children were traumatized and struggled to focus on their studies.

Mr. Yang’s arrest dealt a heavy blow to his father, whose health quickly deteriorated and he required IV infusions. His mother-in-law missed him so much that she cried every day. His wife couldn’t stand the relentless police harassment and moved away from home. She entrusted some friends to take care of her two children.

Sentenced to 4 Years

Officer Yang Haitao of the Dongfeng District Domestic Security Office and Geng Yue of the Jianguo Road Police Station, who were in charge of Mr. Yang’s case, gave him 15 days of detention after his arrest. They interrogated him three times while he was in their custody. They moved him to the Jiamusi City Detention Center on the fifteenth day and submitted his case to the Dongfeng District Procuratorate on November 13, 2014.

When Mr. Yang’s lawyer met with prosecutor Hong He to inquire about his case, Hong said they were set to return the case to the Dongfeng District Police Department on November 20, 2014. The police fabricated more evidence against Mr. Yang and resubmitted the case.

Hong indicted Mr. Yang and the Dongfeng District Court sentenced him to four years on May 18, 2015.

Abused Throughout His Prison Term

While he was held in the Jiamusi City Detention Center, Mr. Yang was forced to work without pay. His tasks included putting disposable chopsticks into paper bags. The guards also forced him to purchase vegetables grown by inmates at marked-up prices.

Mr. Yang was transferred to the Jiamusi City Prison in October 2015, five months after he was sentenced. The prison guards held him in an intensive training team, where he was repeatedly ordered to renounce his faith. He refused to comply.

In January 2016, Mr. Yang was transferred to the Tailai Prison to serve the remainder of his term. The guards assigned four inmates to take turns abusing him around the clock in two shifts. For three days they didn’t allow him to sleep. As soon as he closed his eyes, they punched him awake. While he was disoriented from the lack of sleep, guard Kong ordered two inmates to grab his hand and press his fingerprints on pre-drafted statements to renounce Falun Gong. When he came to his senses, he asked the inmates why they did that to him, they admitted that Kong ordered them to.

Mr. Yang was also forced to make clothes without pay. There was a lot of dust in the workshop but not enough protection for Mr. Yang and other inmates.

During a routine search of Mr. Yang’s bed, the guards discovered an article written by Falun Gong’s founder. They then held him in solitary confinement for half a day.

Another time guard Li Shilong pepper sprayed Mr. Yang’s face after finding out that he passed Falun Gong’s founder’s articles to other jailed practitioners. Mr. Yang’s eyes were burned by the spray but he did not receive any medical attention. Li had two inmates rinse his eyes with cold water for more than one hour until the pain subsided.

Despite the abuse, Mr. Yang never wavered in his faith and he seized every possible opportunity to tell the inmates why the persecution of Falun Gong had no legal basis and how by practicing Falun Gong he understood how to be a better person. As he was always considerate of, and kind to others, many inmates entrusted him with their debit cards to purchase daily necessities for them. They knew he would never misuse their funds.

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