Over 100 Teachers Sentenced for Faith Since 2018
Based on an original report from Minghui.org
Between January 2018 and August 2021, 101 teachers were sentenced to prison for practicing Falun Gong, according to available information collected by Minghui.org.
“While the persecution of Falun Gong has destroyed the lives of millions of people from all walks of life, the arbitrary arrest and wrongful imprisonment of college professors and school teachers for their Falun Gong faith is particularly striking because it shows that even among the well-educated and those teachers that are cherished by their schools are not spared,” says Falun Dafa Information Center executive director, Levi Browde.
“In this violent campaign that relies on CCP propaganda delivered to young people through their school curriculum,” Browde continued, “persecuting teachers is a vital tactic of the CCP to ensure that the propaganda reaches young people… and those teachers that refuse to brainwash China’s youth at the behest of the CCP face dire consequences, losing their livelihoods, their freedoms, and sometimes even their lives.”
The documented teachers are of all education levels, from elementary school teachers to college professors with specializations such as engineering, economics, art, and physical education.
The oldest to be arrested include a retired teacher in his 80s from Shenzhou, Hebei Province, who was sentenced to 10 years after being arrested in January 2021. A teacher in Dalian City, Liaoning Province, who had been in a coma for a month due to prior persecution, was also sentenced to two years in prison in February 2021.
The reasons of their arrest range from writing letters to appeal against the persecution of Falun Gong to arbitrary arrests to meet arrest quotas.
Below is a curated selection of teachers who have been sentenced in the past three years.
Teachers Sentenced in 2018
Ms. Che Pingping Given Three years after Serving Four Years in Prison
Ms. Che Pingping holds a Master’s degree from the Northeast Normal University and formerly taught at the Jilin Institute of Physical Education in Changchun, Jilin Province.
She was arrested for talking to people about Falun Gong on January 26, 2018. Without informing her family or lawyer, the Chaoyang District Court judge in Changchun tried and sentenced her to three years and two months on November 30, 2018.
Che previously served four years in Jilin Women’s Prison, where she was beaten, force-fed, and sprayed in the eyes with chili water. As a result of the torture, she suffered a detached retina. She did not receive proper medical care and is now near blind in that eye.
High School Teacher Arrested to Meet “Gang Arrest” Quota, Later Sentenced Three and a Half Years
Mr. Wang Hongzhu, a 43-year-old high school teacher in Haicheng City, Liaoning Province, was caught in the mass arrest that took place on August 22 and 23, 2018. The police arrested him in order to meet their quota in a campaign to crack down on gang members. Instead of arresting real gang members, however, authorities have targeted Falun Gong practitioners.
Wang was tried in the Lishan District Court on May 20, 2019. He was notified on July 23, 2019, that he had been sentenced to three and a half years in prison and fined 5,000 yuan.
Prior to his latest arrest, Wang was sent to a forced labor camp for two years in 2001 and fired from his job for telling people about Falun Gong.
Teachers Sentenced in 2019
Business Professor Imprisoned for Posting About Persecution of His Faith on Social Media
Mr. Zeng Hao, a 45-year-old business professor at Tianhe College of Guangdong Polytechnical Normal University, was arrested on August 10, 2017, after the police found that he had shared information about the persecution of Falun Gong on QQ, a Chinese social media platform, between October 2014 and January 2017.
Zeng appeared in court on July 27, 2018. The court took the prosecutor’s suggestion of a heavy sentence and handed Zeng three and a half years six months after the hearing.
Zeng appealed but the Guangzhou City Intermediate Court upheld the original sentence on June 26, 2019.
Mother of Canadian Resident Sentenced Four Years for Speaking Up for Her Faith
Ms. Chen Yan, 51, a chemistry teacher at Beijing No. 9 Middle School, was arrested on December 3, 2018, after being reported for passing out calendars with information about Falun Gong. The award-winning teacher in Beijing was sentenced to a four-year prison term for not renouncing her faith in Falun Gong
Hearing about her arrest, many of her former students called the Shijingshan District Procuratorate and demanded her release.
Chen appeared in the Shijingshan District Court on August 16, 2019. She was charged with “undermining law enforcement.” She was not represented by a lawyer and testified in her own defense.
Lu Linyan, the presiding judge in charge, falsified the evidence against her by counting the materials she didn’t distribute as having been distributed and counting the booklets with only a few pages as books to compound the evidence.
Lu announced Chen’s four-year verdict one week later. She was taken to Beijing Women’s Prison.
Teachers Sentenced in 2020
Elementary School Teacher Sentenced to Prison, Husband Arrested and Daughter Fired for Seeking Her Release
Ms. Zhu Surong , a 45-year-old elementary school teacher in Baoding City, Hebei Province, was sentenced to three years and ten months with a 50,000-yuan fine on September 24, 2020, for her faith in Falun Gong. For seeking justice for her, Zhu’s husband was arrested and their older daughter was fired from her job.
Zhu was teaching a class on October 11, 2019, when police officers showed up to harass her. She was arrested at home later that day and taken to the Baoding City Detention Center.
It turned out that a thief in her village who had stolen her electric bike reported her to the police after finding Falun Gong materials in the bike’s basket. Instead of arresting the thief, the police arrested Zhu.
More than 300 local villagers signed a petition within a few days following Ms. Zhu’s arrest, demanding the release of the beloved teacher. The police continued to hold her in custody and submitted her case to the procuratorate.
Tortured to Near Death, Former Teacher Sentenced Again for Writing Letters to China’s Premier
Ms. Song Yanqun , a 50-year-old former teacher in Shulan City, Jilin Province, was sentenced to three and a half years in late December 2020 for writing letters to Li Keqiang, the Chinese Communist Party’s Premier, to call for justice for Falun Gong.
Song was arrested on March 26, 2020. The police said her letters had been returned to them by [the central government in] Beijing and that the National Appeals Office had ordered them to arrest Ms. Song.
Ms. Song was tried by the Shulan City Court through a video conference on November 10, 2020. Her lawyer entered a not guilty plea for her and she also testified in her own defense. Her family was informed in late December that she she had been sentenced to three and a half years.
Prior to her latest sentence, Ms. Song served 12 years in prison between 2003 and 2014. She was in serious condition and had been reduced to skin and bones when she was released.
Teachers Sentenced in 2021
Former Art Teacher Sentenced to Six and a Half Years for His Faith
Mr. Sun Shiwei, 68, is from Muleng City, Heilongjiang Province. He was once held in the Lianjiangkou Prison in Jiamusi City for eight years for singing a song expressing Falun Gong practitioners’ gratitude to the founder of Falun Gong. He lost his job as an art teacher after he was released in 2013.
Sun was sentenced in July 2021 to six and a half years in prison following his latest arrest in April 2020 after helping an elderly woman, also a Falun Gong practitioner, install a window.
Original Article: https://en.minghui.org/html/articles/2021/9/10/195012.html