(Minghui.org) A resident of Anshan City, Liaoning Province, was sentenced to 3.5 years for his faith in Falun Gong, a mind-body practice that has been persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party since July 1999. Mr. Bai Xuesong has been denied family visits since May 2023 because he remains firm in his faith.
Mr. Bai was arrested on January 20, 2021, while visiting a local Falun Gong practitioner. He was convicted on September 29, 2022, after making four court appearances, on December 27, 2021, and January 7, August 19, and September 16, 2022.
Mr. Bai was transferred from Anshan City Second Detention Center to Nanguanling Prison in Dalian City, Liaoning Province on April 10, 2023. Fifteen days later, he was moved again, to Dalian City Prison. He was assigned to Division 2, and the guard in charge of monitoring him was Yang Deqiang (whose phone number is +86-411-39039122).
Mr. Bai’s family traveled more than 160 miles from Anshan to Dalian on May 8 but was denied a visit with him by the visitors’ center at the Dalian City Prison. A staffer said regular inmates were allowed to have family visits that day after their education sessions, but not Falun Gong practitioners.
Mr. Bai’s family called the prison’s inmates’ affairs section (+86-411-39039038) and requested a visit with him. The female staff member who answered the call said the provincial level authorities said, “no transformation, no family visits.” The family asked to know which law dictated that Falun Gong practitioners must “transform” (meaning to give up their faith) before being granted family visits. The staffer replied that they should search for relevant laws themselves.
On May 10, Mr. Bai was reassigned to Division Five and placed under strict management aimed at forcing Falun Gong practitioners to renounce their faith.
On May 22, his family called the inmates’ affairs section again and asked to visit him and deposit money into his commissary account. A staff member said that the prison had received the letter they wrote him and forwarded it to Division Five. She agreed for them to deposit money. With regard to the visit request, she referred them to the visitors’ center.
Mr. Bai’s family called the center, and a staff member surnamed Liu said that the following day (Tuesday) was a scheduled visitation day for inmates in Division Five.
Mr. Bai’s family went to the prison the next day (May 23). After checking in at the visitors’ center, they were allowed inside the waiting room, where they saw many other families. After a long wait, the family saw guard Liu Jinzhi (badge number 2121238), who was in charge of arranging family visits, answering a call. After the call, he said that Mr. Bai’s circumstance was very special and that the prison could only allow them to see him but not talk to him.
Another person later came in and told Mr. Bai’s family that the head guard in Division Five said that Mr. Bai was not transformed and thus was not allowed any family visits.
With all other families allowed to see their loved ones, Mr. Bai’s family refused to leave the waiting room as ordered. A young guard (badge number 2121263) began to drag them outside.
The family returned to the visitors’ center, and the staff reiterated that it was Division Five’s decision to deny them visits.
On May 24, the family called Dalian City Judicial Bureau (+86-411-8366687), which oversees all local prisons, to complain about the prison’s deprivation of their family visits. The person answering the call was rude and used various excuses to not deal with the matter.
The family called the prison’s visitors’ center (+86-411-39039115) the next day. The center director picked up the phone. He said that Mr. Bai was being strictly managed, so he was not allowed visits whatsoever. He dared Mr. Bai’s family to file complaints with provincial-level authorities.
Mr. Bai’s family called the complaints hotline (+86-024-31967226) of the Liaoning Province Prison Administration Bureau, and the person answering the phone promised to pass their complaints to the relevant parties.
According to insiders, at the time of writing, there are more than 20 Falun Gong practitioners held in various divisions at the prison. They were gathered every morning to attend brainwashing sessions. Only after they agreed to renounce their faith would they be allowed to purchase daily necessities and receive family visits. Inmates in Division Five were also forced to sort and pack frozen food, and the workshop was very damp and cold.