A Jilin Family Suffers Long Years of Persecution, Torture, and Separation

Mother becomes paralyzed and father left in critical condition after many years of repeated arrests and severe torture, while also being forced to leave their son to fend for himself and face constant discrimination.

Guo Yunqing, his wife Du Hongfang, and their son Guo Fengqing of Jilin City, Jilin Province, used to be a happy family. But since the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) began the persecution of the couple’s faith in Falun Gong in 1999, the husband was arrested multiple times and sentenced to 14 years following his latest arrest in 2007, his wife became paralyzed after being jailed and tortured for eight years, and their son was forced out of school and faced discrimination everywhere he went.

Ms. Du Hongfang and her 12-year-old son.

In a latest blow, in June or July 2020the couple was informed by the Jilin City Human Resources and Security Bureau that their pensions were suspended. The authorities said that for those who serve time in prison, their years of employment before 1987 wouldn’t be counted into their pension, and for their employment after 1987, the years they spent in prison would be deducted. 

Guo started to work in 1976 and Du in 1986. They served 11 years and eight years in prison, respectively, thus Guo got credit for working only 25 years and  Du for only 9 years by the new calculation. With so little left after the deductions, the authorities simply suspended their pension payments.

Guo’s earliest arrests came from after going to Beijing numerous times to protest for Falun Gong in 1999 and 2000, where he was at one time assaulted by dozens of police officers. He would later be arrested and tortured for trying to distribute Falun Gong informational material.

Mr. Guo Yunqing in Guam in 1998.

Guo was also sentenced to numerous labor camps over the next few years and contracted heart disease, fractured ribs, and other ailments from his torture. In July 2003 the police released him to “serve time at home”.

Guo’s latest arrest occurred on March 14, 2007, when his wife and son were also arrested. He was then sentenced to 14 years in prison without the knowledge of his family. He was tortured repeatedly, injected with unknown drugs multiple times, and put in an intensive training team to be “transformed”.

After 11 years of persecution, Guo was a physical and mental wreck. He was in critical condition and had to have bile duct surgery at the Changchun City Medical University hospital. He was released on April 24, 2019.

Guo Yunqing’s wife, Du Hongfang, was also arrested numerous times in 1999 for going to Beijing to protest. After being released, the police continued to harass her, forcing her to live away from home to avoid the police.

Du was then sent to two labor camps during the early 2000s. At the labor camps Du was beaten by inmates, verbally abused, and repeatedly shocked with an electric baton, in addition to being forced to do heavy work for more than 14 hours. To force Du to “transform”, she was also forced to watch various videos and read books that slandered Falun Gong day and night.

Du was arrested again in 2008 and sentenced to eight years in prison. In prison guards employed various means of torture, including isolation, hanging her up, long hours of standing, and sleep deprivation, all to try to force Ms. Du to give up her belief. On one occasion, after having stood for 13 hours, inmates tried to insert a book with a photo of Falun Gong’s founder into her crotch and afterwards slammed her head against a wall. The blow caused her to lose control of her bladder

After suffering such inhuman treatment and torture, Du, who was originally kind and healthy, almost collapsed mentally and had symptoms of a stroke. Even when she was in this condition, the prison still did not release her and sent her to the hospital for “treatment.” When Du finished serving her term and was released on July 3, 2016, she was incapacitated.

Now, Du has lost feeling in her hands, feet, and legs. She drools and cannot talk. She is incontinent and has to wear a diaper. She and her family were harassed frequently by the police and residential committee staff.

Du fell and caused strains in her thighs in August 2020. She was unable to straighten her legs and it’s becoming increasingly difficult for Guo to help her turn over in bed.

The couple’s son, Guo Fengqing, was just 9 at the time when his parents were detained, and there was no one left to take care of him. He lived like a vagabond and was no longer allowed to attend school. Constantly bullied and humiliated in the community, the boy was severely traumatized. 

His family was torn apart when all three of them were arrested on March 4, 2007. His father, Guo Yunqin, was sentenced to 14 years in prison on July 10. He and his mother Ms. Du were detained and then released on bail. They went hiding to avoid arrest again. 

Because his parents were persecuted for so long, Mr. Guo Fengqing gave up the practice for fear of being arrested again. Now, at the age of 30, he does odd jobs for a living.