October 2021: 108 Falun Gong Practitioners Sentenced for Faith
108 Falun Gong practitioners were confirmed sentenced to prison for their faith in October 2021. This brings the year-to-date sentencing cases in 2021 to 1,036.
The sentenced practitioners came from all walks of life, including a librarian, a salon owner, teachers and engineers.
Three of the newly confirmed cases took place in 2020; 23 were between January and August 2021, 24 cases in September, and 58 in October 2021. Due to strict censorship in China, the persecution cannot always be reported in a timely manner, nor is all the information readily available.
Sichuan Province had the most cases, with 12 newly reported sentencing cases. Liaoning, Jilin, Heilongjiang and Guangdong each had 11 cases. The remaining 14 provinces and municipalities had cases numbering between 1 and 8.
The practitioners’ prison terms ranged from 6 months to 10 years, with an average of 3 years and 5 months. Sixteen practitioners were given prison terms of seven years or longer.
In addition to the prison terms, 39 practitioners were fined a total of half a million yuan by the courts, with an average of 12,974 yuan per person.
Below are snapshots of the cases.
The husband of New York resident, Ms. Wang Jing, was recently sentenced to ten years for his faith, following 7.5 years of previous incarceration.
Wang is extremely worried about her husband, Mr. Ren Haifei, as he was beaten to the point of heart and kidney failure while detained after his arrest a year ago; due to the poor conditions in detention, his health has continued to deteriorate.
Wang and Ren are both practitioners of Falun Gong. They met in their 20s in China while going to morning exercise sites in Dalian to practice Falun Gong. Life was peaceful until the persecution of Falun Gong began in July of 1999.
Ren, as with many other Falun Gong practitioners at the time, went to petition the right to practice at the Dalian City Hall. Practitioners who went, however, would be beaten and videotaped by the police. They were later harassed one by one.
Ren would face his first arrest in 2001 and be sentenced to 7.5 years for talking to people about his faith. Wang, who was a nurse at a local hospital, would be demoted to a janitor due to pressure from authorities on her workplace.
During the 7.5 years of incarceration, Ren would be severely tortured. He was locked in solitary confinement in a three-by-three foot room for days on end while wearing shackles and handcuffs.
By the time Ren was released, Wang recounted the lively young man she had remembered was gone. Ren, only 33, was weak and emancipated. He also often wept as he recounted the brutal killings of practitioners inside the prison.
After a few years, Wang and Ren were married. They lived together until 2018, when they planned to escape together out of the country. At the last minute, however, Ren’s elderly parents fell ill and he chose to stay in China to take care of them.
Sadly, Ren and another Falun Gong practitioner from Dalian City, Ms. Sun Zhongli were arrested on June 26, 2020. The police confiscated 750,000 yuan of personal assets from Ren’s apartment and car.
While Sun was released the next day due to poor health, Ren was hospitalized for 19 days, after he suffered heart and kidney failure due to savage beatings by the police.
Ren was later transferred to the Yaojia Detention Center. The once healthy man developed severe diabetes and was forced to take unknown medicines.
Both Ren and Sun were tried in September of this year. They were sentenced on October 14 to ten and seven years with 100,000- and 700,000-yuan fines, respectively, for practicing Falun Gong.
Violation of Legal Procedures
On September 26, 2021, Ms. Li Guiling, a 55-year-old resident of Changchun City, Jilin Province, was sentenced to 2.5 years in prison for practicing Falun Gong.
Li was arrested at home on January 6, 2021. None of the police officers showed their IDs and they forced Li to fingerprint the list of confiscated items after ransacking her home.
Li was then taken to the hospital for a physical examination. The police slammed her head on the door. When she protested the brutality, the officers held her arms, covered her mouth and pinched her face and neck, leaving bruises all over her arms and face.
Li was then held at the Weizigou Lockup for ten days before being transferred to the Changchun City No. 4 Detention Center. She has been held there since.
The police later submitted her case to the Chaoyang District Procuratorate, which indicted her and moved her case to the Chaoyang District Court.
Li was tried through a virtual hearing on May 24, 2021. Judge Wang Yanan forbade Li from defending herself and wrapped up the hearing in less than five minutes.
Targeted for Speaking Out
On May 19, 2021, Ms. Wu Chaokun, a 41-year-old resident in Kunming City, Yunnan Province, was sentenced to one year for her faith in Falun Gong. She was then taken to the Yunnan Province No.2 Women’s Prison.
Officers from the Xincun Police Station and local fire department went to Wu’s clothing store on December 7, 2020 and asked her to join a WeChat group of local business owners.
As she was talking to them, the officers saw the words “Falun Dafa is good; Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance is good” in her store. They reported her to the Domestic Security Office and Director Li Hongyi soon came and arrested her. The police also searched her store without a warrant and confiscated her three Falun Gong books.
Wu’s family went to the police station in the evening to demand her release but to no avail. Wu’s family sought justice for her at the procuratorate and court. However, the authorities ignored their complaints and rushed through the prosecution process.
When her family talked to prosecutor Shu Chaoqun of Xundian County Procuratorate in mid-March 2021, Shu said that she had forwarded Wu’s case to the court. She also ordered the family to stop filing complaints against them.
Wu was tried through a video conference by the Xundian County Court on March 20. She was sentenced on May 19, 2021.
Ms. Yao Guihua, 55, a salon owner in Zibo City, Shandong Province, was arrested on May 14, 2021 for distributing materials exposing the persecution of Falun Gong. She was later sentenced to three years.
Since the onset of the persecution, Yao has been repeatedly targeted for upholding her faith.
When her son was only seven months old, the authorities ordered her arrest on October 9, 2000, even though she was still breastfeeding her baby. While in detention, she was not allowed to use the restroom and she was deprived of sleep. Yao was released five days later after her family was extorted for 9,000 yuan.
Yao was arrested again on September 3, 2006 for talking to people about Falun Gong. The Zichuan District Court tried Yao, and sentenced her to four years in prison on January 23, 2007. As her husband worked out-of-town, her daughter in middle school and her six-year-old son were left with their grandparents, struggling to get by every day.
At Shandong Province Women’s Prison, the inmates tortured her until she was on the verge of death. Then she was thrown into a solitary confinement cell. She went on a hunger strike to protest the brutal treatment. The guards instructed the inmates to force-feed her and inject her with unknown drugs.
After years of torture, Yao suffered scoliosis and lumbar degenerative lesions. Her torso became asymmetrical, with the left side protruding outward and the right side becoming concave.
Based on an original report from Minghui.org: