12 Falun Gong Practitioners Arrested, Husband’s Heartfelt Letter Asks for Justice
Twelve Falun Gong practitioners in Zunhua City, Hebei Province were secretly sentenced on November 27, 2020 for their faith in Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.
These practitioners received sentences ranging from two to eight years, and were each fined between 2,000 and 10,000 yuan. Many of these practitioners were 60 years of age or older.
More than three hundred police officers were mobilized to round up the practitioners on July 6, 2019. A police chief revealed that they had monitored the practitioners’ cellphones for two months before making the move. A total of nineteen practitioners were arrested that day.
Four of these twelve practitioners were arrested early in the morning, between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m. The police broke into their homes, ransacked the houses, and confiscated many of their personal belongings before arresting them.
One of the twelve sentenced practitioners, Zhang Yuming, was arrested on July 2 for talking to people in a market about Falun Gong. Eight officers ransacked his home and confiscated his several of his personal belongings.
The twelve practitioners were tried by the Zunhua City Court on the 17th, 19th, and 23rd of December 2019, before being secretly sentenced.
The husband of one of these practitioners commented on his letter to the procuratorate, where he demanded the prosecutor drop her case, that “When I saw my wife being carried into the courtroom by two bailiffs and when she fainted during the hearing and was sent to the hospital for resuscitation, my heart trembled. Today, I’m writing to you and asking you to withdraw the indictment against her. Please allow the two of us, who are lonely and rely on each other’s company, to spend the rest of our lives together, and I will appreciate it forever.”
He also mentioned that his wife “would have died 22 years ago if she didn’t practice Falun Gong”. At that time, their ten-year-old child had been hit by a truck and died, while the driver managed to escape justice by bribing the authorities. The husband stated that her wife then “became insane and couldn’t live a normal life anymore”, often smashing things in the house and crying every day.
The husband then went on to mention how a villager recommended Falun Gong to his wife after hearing their situation, which helped her to “gradually step out from her devastating pain and rekindled her hope for life … It has brought so much support to her”.
The husband’s wife stated that people in their village were amazed at his wife’s change after practicing Falun Gong, and that “Her changes aren’t something that can be bought by money. Falun Gong gave her a second life. I’m grateful from the bottom of my heart. Following Falun Gong’s principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance, my wife became a better person and treats everyone around her nicely”.
When he saw her wife in court, the husband’s heart pained. He asked “For an elderly woman, what harm can she do to others? Does she violate the law just for having a few books at home that teach people to be good? Or did she violate the law just for sharing with people how she has benefitted from practicing Falun Gong?”
He said that having to stay at home by himself during his wife’s detention caused him “enormous grief, distress and fear, which has taken a toll on my health”. The husband also suffers from severe diabetes and high blood pressure, struggling to take care of himself or see a doctor, and having to rely on his neighbors to bring him food.
The husband thus requested the prosecutor to withdraw the indictment against his wife, while also bringing up that there is no law that criminalizes Falun Gong in China. He said that “I am desperate and have no other support to rely on”, asking the prosecutor to “Give us, a family on the verge of collapsing, some hope and warmth and we will forever remember your kind act.”