Former Teacher Sentenced to 5.5 Years in Beijing Prison for Talking about Falun Gong
A Beijing award-winning elementary teacher Ms. Gong Ruiping (45) was sentenced to 5.5 years in prison and fined 11,000 yuan (~1,700 USD) on February 21, 2022, for talking to a young man about Falun Gong. That young man, Qu Yili, reported Ms. Gong to Chinese communist officials on July 3, 2021.
Police tracked Ms. Gong’s location through her cellphone and arrested her on July 20, 2021. They ransacked both of her residences and confiscated her Falun Gong items—including books, leaflets, and banknotes on which she had written information about Falun Gong. There are many Falun Gong practitioners who, like Ms. Gong, use creative ways to circumvent the severe censorship in China, such as printing messages on banknotes, to raise awareness about the Chinese Communist Party’s persecution of Falun Gong.
Ms. Gong was held in the Shunyi Detention Center. The police submitted her case to the Pinggu District Procuratorate on October 22, 2021. Prosecutor Qi Yuheng indicted her in late November and moved her case to the Pinggu District Court.
Ms. Gong stood trial on December 15, 2021. Her family was not present because court officials told them they were not allowed to attend the session during the pandemic.
Ms. Gong’s lawyer submitted a not guilty plea for her. He pointed out that no law has ever criminalized Falun Gong in China and that the prosecutor failed to provide evidence of “undermining law enforcement,” as alleged in the indictment. (The persecution of Falun Gong started with an extra judicial order by the Chinese Communist Party, which violates the Chinese government’s constitution).
The lawyer added that the police failed to provide a list of confiscated items after raiding her homes and they “declared” the items “illegal” when, by law, only independent forensic service companies can authenticate prosecution evidence. Neither the judge nor the prosecutor responded to the lawyer’s remarks, nor did they interrupt him.
The judge announced the verdict on February 21, 2022. Ms. Gong has since appealed the sentence.
Since the persecution began in 1999, Ms. Gong was forcibly removed from her position as a teacher at Chenguan Elementary School. She has been incarcerated for more than 9 years as of 2022, including 4 years in prison and more than 5 years in detention centers, forced labor camps, and brainwashing centers. While she was detained previously, a police officer sexually assaulted her. She was tortured in various ways, including force-feeding, shocked with electric batons, injected with toxic drugs, and forced to drink urine.
In 2001, Gong was detained in a brainwashing center, where the guards forbade Ms. Gong from using the bathroom and forced her to relieve herself in her pants. They forced her to drink her urine and also instructed a criminal inmate named Wu Yaxian and others to strip her clothes. Another time, the inmates tied Ms. Gong in a chair and force-fed her alcohol, knowing that Falun Gong practitioners do not drink. Inmate Wu Yaxian said, “If you refuse to be transformed, we’ll make you go crazy until you die.”
Perpetrators involved in the case:
- Tang Lijun (唐丽珺), judge
- Pinggu District Court: +86-18600311217
- Liu Guanghui (刘光辉), court clerk: +86-18600311169
- Qi Yuheng (戚煜珩), prosecutor
- Pinggu District Procuratorate: +86-13911275187
- More perpetrators’ contact information is available in the source article in Chinese