(Minghui.org) Mr. Yuan Jinming, 59, from Houma City, Shanxi Province, was sentenced to 3.5 years and fined 5,000-yuan on November 20, 2023 for practicing Falun Gong, a mind-body practice that has been persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party since July 1999. Mr. Yuan was sent to the Jinzhong Prison in Shanxi Province on December 12, 2023.

Mr. Yuan’s sentencing stemmed from his arrest on May 6, 2023, after a surveillance camera recorded him distributing Falun Gong informational materials in neighboring Quwo County. The arresting officers from the Quwo County Police Department took him to the Quwo County Detention Center and raided his home hours later. Captain Sun Jianjun of the police department later submitted his case to the Quwo County Procuratorate, which issued a formal arrest warrant against Mr. Yuan in June 2023.

The Quwo County Court tried Mr. Yuan at an unknown date without his family’s knowledge. His court-appointed lawyer was instructed to enter a guilty plea for him and to not tell his family about the hearing beforehand.

Mr. Yuan’s loved ones eventually found out about his trial through another source, but they still know nothing about the details of his hearing.

Mr. Yuan was sentenced to three and a half years with a 5,000-yuan fine on November 20, 2023. His loved ones are saddened that, although Falun Gong transformed Mr. Yuan’s life, he has been repeatedly targeted for upholding his faith.

Past Persecution: Two Prison Sentences Totaling Eight Years

Before taking up Falun Gong in March 1999, Mr. Yuan was known among locals as an uncaring and unforgiving man with a very bad temper. He often gathered a group of friends to drink until they were all drunk. He quit drinking after he began practicing Falun Gong, and became a loving, kind, and responsible man. He held firm to his faith after the persecution began in July 1999 and was brutally persecuted over the years.

Forced Into Hiding for Months

Three officers from the Houma City Police Department, including Wang Jixian and Niu Yi, arrested Mr. Yuan one day in February 2000. They interrogated him at the police department for an entire night. He managed to escape at 5 a.m. the next morning by jumping out of a third-floor window. He went into hiding and returned home about eight months later. The police seized him but soon released him after 1,000 yuan in bail was paid. It was unclear whether they intended to prosecute him.

Sentenced to Three Years Following Arrest in 2002

On September 30, 2002, officer Wang and a few others, all in plainclothes, arrested Mr. Yuan and took him to a local detention center. He went on a hunger strike in protest and the guards directed five inmates, including Li Ermin and Xu Yunhu, to force-feed him cold water on the sixth day. He was later sentenced to a three-year prison term and transferred to the Jinzhong Prison in Qi County, Shanxi Province on November 27, 2003.

Mr. Yuan was initially held at the strict management team in the prison. Team lead Guo Peng forced him to remove all his clothes when he slept and only gave him a very thin blanket. He shivered and couldn’t fall asleep. He was forced to stand for long periods of time during the day. His legs soon became so swollen that he had trouble bending them. The swelling later receded but his muscles atrophied.

The food provided to the strict management team was also extremely poor and Mr. Yuan became malnourished and emaciated.

Mr. Yuan could no longer walk after more than four months of being tortured in the strict management team. When he had to relieve himself, the guards ordered two inmates to drag him to the restroom. Given his condition, the guards finally moved him out of the strict management team around March 2004. He was assigned to Team Six one month later.

Instructor Kong Xiangjing of Team Six instructed inmates Hou Senbiao, Wang Jindong, and Hu Wenxue to beat steadfast practitioners, including Mr. Yuan, Mr. Hou Shengzu, Mr. Wang Baojun, and Mr. Kang Zhiguo (who was later tortured to death in prison on May 20, 2005).

Inmate Hou beat Mr. Yuan again right before he was released on March 29, 2005 (six months prior to the end of his prison term).

Five-Year Prison Term (2007-2012)

Officers Wang Jixian, Niu Yi, and Zhao Jianlin from the Houma City Police Department broke into Mr. Yuan’s home on July 26, 2007 and arrested him while he was cooking. They were all in plainclothes and did not show their IDs or a search warrant.

Mr. Yuan’s wife and their 16-year-old son went to the police department the next day to inquire about his case status. Officer Wang slammed his hand on the desk and yelled at the teenager, “If you keep asking about your father, I’ll arrest you as well!”

The local procuratorate later issued a formal arrest warrant for Mr. Yuan and delivered a copy to his wife. She noted that her husband was accused of “using a cult organization to undermine law enforcement,” a standard pretext used by the communist regime to frame Falun Gong practitioners. She went to the procuratorate to inquire about the legal basis for such an accusation, and the receptionist replied that the higher-ups ordered them to use this accusation in all cases related to Falun Gong.

Prosecutor Guo Caixia indicted Mr. Yuan and he was later sentenced to a five-year prison term. He served time at the same Jinzhong Prison in Qi County. He was held in the strict management team for one year before being assigned to a team for the elderly and infirm. His legs had become disabled by the time he was released on July 25, 2012.

Related report:

After Two Prior Prison Terms Totaling Eight Years, 59-Year-Old Shanxi Man Stands Trial Again for His Faith in Falun Gong