(Minghui.org) After living away from home for ten years to avoid being persecuted for practicing Falun Gong, Mr. Wang Huayang was arrested and sentenced to seven years. The prison authorities barred his family from visiting him, with the excuse that he refused to renounce Falun Gong, a mind-body discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.

Mr. Wang, 60, lives in Zhaoyuan City, Shandong Province. His ordeal began on March 23, 2012, when his home was raided by the Zhaoyuan City Domestic Security Office. His wife and daughter were also seized by the police and held in a brainwashing center. While Mr. Wang escaped being arrested, he had to live away from home to hide from the police. In order to find him, the police closely monitored his wife and daughter’s daily lives and frequently harassed them, putting them under tremendous mental pressure. Mr. Wang’s daughter was sentenced to three years in 2016 for practicing Falun Gong.

After spending ten years on the run, Mr. Wang was arrested on July 27, 2022 at a breeding farm in Shewopo Town, Qixia City, Shandong Province, after he was reported by someone. Both the police in Zhaoyuan and Qixia participated in his arrest. He was held at a detention facility in Laishan District, Yantai City until August 18 (Yantai has jurisdiction over Qixia). He was put on criminal detention on August 19 and transferred to the Qixia City Detention Center. He was taken to the Zhaoyuan City Detention Center after his arrest was approved on September 23, 2022.

Five days after the police submitted Mr. Wang’s case to the Zhaoyuan City Procuratorate on November 23, 2022, prosecutor Huang Yangguang indicted him for “undermining law enforcement with a cult organization,” the standard pretext used to frame Falun Gong practitioners.

Yang Yimei of the Zhaoyuan City Court accepted Mr. Wang’s case in early 2023 and assigned it to presiding judge Shao Axia, who has been handling Falun Gong cases in the past few years and also previously sentenced Mr. Wang’s daughter in May 2016.

The judge held a hearing of Mr. Wang’s case at the Zhaoyuan City Detention Center on July 21, 2023. A lawyer from Beijing entered a not guilty plea for him. The lawyer argued that no enacted law has ever criminalized Falun Gong in China. Neither the judge nor the prosecutor were able to refute him.

Without informing Mr. Wang’s family, the judge sentenced him to seven years. He was admitted to the Shandong Province Prison in Jinan, the province capital, on December 21, 2023. His family demanded to visit him, but their request was denied by the prison. A guard said Mr. Wang didn’t have a good attitude and that they would decide whether to grant him visitation the following month.

Family Subjected to Frequent Harassment During Mr. Wang’s Ten Years on the Run

Officers of the Zhaoyuan City Domestic Security Office and Biguo Town Police Station arrived at Mr. Wang’s home in five police cruisers on March 23, 2012. Without presenting a search warrant or an arrest warrant, they searched his home and seized over 5,000 yuan in cash, including 3,000 yuan from Mr. Wang and another 2,000 yuan from his mother-in-law in her 80s, who was temporarily staying with the family. When Mr. Wang’s family demanded the money be returned, the police denied they took it.

Officer Wang Yucheng took Mr. Wang’s wife, Ms. Chi Ruimei, and daughter, Ms. Wang Longna, to the township police station, with the excuse of verifying confiscated items. They kept the mother and daughter in custody for 15 days for “disrupting social order.”

As Mr. Wang wasn’t home during the raid, the village secretary, Xue Jianji, led the police to look for him everywhere in the village. They also installed surveillance cameras outside his home and arranged people to monitor his home, waiting to arrest him when he came back. Mr. Wang was forced to live away from home to avoid the persecution.

Local Falun Gong practitioners went to the government to seek the release of Mr. Wang’s wife and daughter. Eight of them were arrested outside of the city government on April 5, 2012. Another ten practitioners were also arrested shortly after. The 18 practitioners, together with Ms. Chi and Ms. Wang, were taken to the Jinkuang Brainwashing Center and held there for an unknown amount of time.

After the mother and daughter were released, they continued being harassed and monitored by the authorities. They were also frequently summoned to the police station. Unable to bear the harassment, Ms. Wang was also forced to live away from home, only to be arrested by the Zhaoyuan City 610 Office on August 28, 2015 and sentenced to three years in prison nine months later.

During the time Mr. Wang was on the run, the local police, 610 Office and Political and Legal Affairs Committee, both extra-judicial agencies tasked with overseeing the persecution, frequently harassed his wife, especially during major holidays, anniversaries related to Falun Gong or the communist regime’s major political meetings. After 2017, the authorities began to harass Ms. Chi’s parents and siblings as well, sometimes knocking on their doors at night. In October 2019, the authorities installed a special surveillance camera and a search light on the utility pole outside of Ms. Chi’s home, directly facing her front door.

According to Ms. Chi and her family whose cellphones were monitored by the police, they often heard noise when they talked on the phone and the volume of their calls would change. They also noticed that their phone’s batteries drained quickly and their phones frequently went dead.

The persecution of Mr. Wang’s family also left his elderly parents living in distress. Their health quickly declined. Mr. Wang’s father suffered a stroke in 2014 and became incapacitated. His condition deteriorated in 2018 and he passed away in 2022.

Transformed by Falun Gong

Mr. Wang took up Falun Gong in 1999. Prior to that, he studied I Ching and was good at fortune-telling and Feng Shui. After he studied Zhuan Falun, the main book of Falun Gong, he understood that fortune-telling and Feng Shui could only perceive things at limited levels, while practicing Falun Gong helped one assimilate to the higher truths of the universe. He stopped studying I Ching and focused on practicing Falun Gong.

Mr. Wang used to suffer cholecystitis, which often left him in excruciating pain. Practicing Falun Gong restored his health and helped him quit many bad habits, including smoking, drinking and gambling. He took on more household chores, stopped fighting with his wife and became a more upbeat and considerate person.

In the following years, he experienced several dangerous accidents, including falling into a 66-foot-deep mine shaft, crashing into a ditch in a car accident, and catching on fire. But blessed by Falun Gong, he survived the accidents and recovered quickly each time.

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