Authorities Refuse to Provide Information about Ms. Wang Guozhen

January 29, 2016 | By a Minghui correspondent from Jilin Province, China

(Minghui.org) Since her illegal arrest in May 2015, Falun Gong practitioner Ms. Wang Guozhen, 66, has remained in detention. The authorities refuse family visits and have not answered any questions about Ms. Wang, including questions about her whereabouts or her state of health.

Four police officers from the Songyuan Domestic Security Division arrested Ms. Wang at her house at 6:00 a.m. on May 23, 2015. They ransacked her home and confiscated a number of items.

Ms. Wang’s sisters went to Songyuan on three separate occasions to see her. After visiting several government agencies, all they heard was: “Since she is an important person among Falun Gong practitioners, you are not allowed to see her unless you have approval from the Minister of Public Security of China.”

The police accepted clothes on Ms. Wang’s behalf. They also provided a debit card number and told the family that they could transfer money into this account. But, family members have no idea whether Ms. Wang has access to the money.

The family hired several lawyers in Beijing, but the lawyers were not allowed to represent Ms. Wang, nor were they allowed to visit their client.

Based on a lawyer’s information, Ms. Wang was detained in the Songyuan Detention Center after her arrest. She was transferred to the Changchun Forced Labor Camp Hospital a month ago.

Ms. Wang’s family is very concerned about her situation. They are worried that she may become a victim of forced organ harvesting by the police. They are anxious to hear more about Ms. Wang’s situation.

Before her retirement, Ms. Wang worked in the office of the Honggang Oil Drilling Machinery Plant in Songyuan City, Jilin Province. She began to practice Falun Gong in 1994.

Chinese version available

Category: Accounts of Persecution

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Czech Republic: Students Learn about Ride to Freedom at School Presentation

January 24, 2016

(Minghui.org) In late 2015, students at an elementary school in Sumperk, Czech Republic watched an inspiring presentation about the journey of 25 teenagers from around the world who spent the summer riding bicycles across the United States.

The cyclists made the 3,000-mile journey to let the world know about the atrocities committed by the Chinese communist regime in the persecution of the meditation practice of Falun Gong. The persecution has caused tens of thousands of children to become orphaned due their parents courageously upholding their belief.

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Students could see the cyclists’ dedication to their cause, as the families of four of the young riders had been directly affected by the persecution in China.

In total, 130 students and their teachers learned about the team’s mission and listened to many stories and experiences from the ride. The presentation inspired the children, who saw how the Ride to Freedom team relied upon their strong will and faith to overcome the many obstacles they encountered during their journey. Their story brings motivation into the students’ lives and teaches them that if one stands for good things, one will find blessings on the journey toward success.

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The teachers and students offered to pose for a photo as a way to express their support for Ride to Freedom.

Category: Other Community Events

A Year in Beijing: 609 Arrested, 39 Sentenced to Prison for Their Faith in 2015

January 23, 2016 | By a Minghui correspondent in Beijing, China

(Minghui.org) Police in Beijing arrested 609 Falun Gong practitioners and sent another 47 to brainwashing centers in 2015 for refusing to renounce their faith.

Most of the practitioners arrested have been released, but some still remain in detention. The authorities have formally approved 28 of the arrests; among this group, 8 practitioners were sentenced to prison, while the rest are either facing trial or awaiting verdicts.

The number of arrests increased significantly in the second half of the year, which accounted for 417 cases, compared to 192 in the first half.

This increase in arrests coincided with practitioners’ filing of criminal complaints against Jiang Zemin beginning in May, calling for China’s highest court to prosecute the former Chinese Communist Party leader, who initiated the persecution of Falun Gong.

Between June and December, there were 256 arrests attributed to local officials’ retaliation for practitioners’ complaints against Jiang. These accounted for 56% of all practitioner arrests in that period.

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Figure 1: Arrests of Falun Gong practitioners in Beijing in 2015

A total of 55 practitioners were tried in 2015, including those arrested in the previous year. Among them, 32 were sentenced to prison, with terms ranging from 6 months to 8 years. In addition, 7 practitioners who were tried prior to 2015 received their prison sentences in 2015.

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Figure 2: Breakdown of prison terms

Below are the 39 practitioners who were sentenced in 2015, with their prison terms:
Ms. Wang Lei (王磊): 8 years
Mr. Wang Jianfu (王建福): 7.5 years
Ms. Wang Xiuying (王秀英): 7.5 years
Ms. Yang Xiuying (杨秋英): 7 years
Ms. Wang Xiufeng (王秀凤): 7 years

Ms. Feng Yumei (冯玉梅): 5.5 years
Mr. Zhang Yuhua (张玉华): 4 years
Ms. Meng Jiying (孟继英): 4 years
Ms. Du Wenge (杜文革): 4 years
Mr. Wang Fenglong (王凤龙): 4 years

Ms. Zhang Jiguo (张继国): 4 years
Ms. Gao Xiurong (高秀荣): 4 years
Mr. Zhang Hongwei (张宏伟): 4 years
Ms. Du Guiqin (杜桂琴): 4 years
Ms. Xu Dafang (徐大方): 3.5 years

Ms. Zhang Shuhui (张书慧): 3.5 years
Mr. Lv Shangchun (吕尚春): 3.5 years
Mr. Guan Yingshan (关应山): 3.5 years
Mr. Zhang Mintao (张敏涛): 3.5 years
Ms. Liu Guirong (刘桂荣): 3.5 years

Ms. Meng Zhanrong (孟占荣): 3 years
Ms. Wang Xiaoping (王小萍): 3 years
Mr. Li Hongshan (李洪山): 3 years
Mr. Yan Kezhong (闫科忠): 3 years
Mr. Hu Qinggui (胡庆贵): 3 years

Ms. Li Shuangli (李双丽): 3 years
Ms. Li Yan (李艳): 3 years
Ms. Zhao Jinghua (赵静华): 3 years
Ms. Guo Baohua (郭宝花): 3 years
Ms. Xu Kun (许鲲): 3 years

Mr. Wang Ping’an (王平安): 3 years
Ms. An Xiuzhi (安秀芝): 3 years
Ms. Cao Yue’e (曹月娥): 3 years
Mr. Jiang Xiandong (江显东): 2 years
Mr. Ma Zhanquan (马占全): 2 years

Ms. Jia Fengzhi (贾凤芝): 2 years
Ms. Xu Xiufen (许秀芬): 2 years
Mr. Ma Jian (马健): 6 months
Ms. Zhang Xiufen (张秀芬): term unknown

Previous Torture Victim Sentenced to 8 Years

Ms. Wang Lei, 50, was sentenced to eight years in prison on November 24, despite having been diagnosed with a mental disorder after being shocked with electric batons by labor camp guards in 2001. She later recovered after doing the Falun Gong exercises and studying its books.

In 2010, her mental state deteriorated after police arrested her and injected her with a large quantity of unknown substances. She managed to return to normal some time after her release, only to relapse following her arrest in 2015 and subsequent beatings by guards.

Related report: Woman Suffers Relapse of Torture-induced Psychosis, Still Tried and Sentenced to 8 Years

Arrested for Giving Out Calendars

Mr. Wang Jianfu was sentenced to 7 years and 6 months in prison on November 21. Including the eight years he had served from 2002 to 2009, he would spend a total of 15.5 years in prison. His latest arrest came after he distributed calendars containing information about the persecution of Falun Gong by the communist regime.

Related report: Three Falun Gong Practitioners Arrested for Giving People Calendars

Perpetrators Turning Around

As practitioners continue to explain the persecution, more agents who had been compelled by the state to arrest and abuse practitioners have chosen to stop participating. Many police officers, when going to “talk” to practitioners, said that they had been ordered to do so and no longer bothered practitioners.

For example, three officers went to a practitioner’s home in October to verify that he had submitted a criminal complaint against Jiang Zemin. The practitioner told them that it was within his rights as a citizen to file the complaint. One officer said, “We’re just following orders. Practice [Falun Gong] at home if it’s good for you.”

Two practitioners were arrested in August for putting up posters calling to prosecute Jiang Zemin. One practitioner told a policeman, “I have to practice Falun Gong. I would have died already if I hadn’t practiced it.” The officer simply said, “Go home, then.”

Background

In 1999, Jiang Zemin, as head of the Chinese Communist Party, overrode other Politburo standing committee members and launched the violent suppression of Falun Gong.

The persecution has led to the deaths of many Falun Gong practitioners in the past 16 years. More have been tortured for their belief and even killed for their organs. Jiang Zemin is directly responsible for the inception and continuation of the brutal persecution.

Under his personal direction, the Chinese Communist Party established an extralegal security organ, the “610 Office,” on June 10, 1999. The organization overrides police forces and the judicial system in carrying out Jiang’s directive regarding Falun Gong: to ruin their reputations, cut off their financial resources, and destroy them physically.

Chinese law allows for citizens to be plaintiffs in criminal cases, and many practitioners are now exercising that right to file criminal complaints against the former dictator.

Related report in Chinese: 2015年北京法轮功学员被迫害综述(下)

Chinese version available

Category: Overview of persecution

Benefits of Falun Dafa: Dentist Not Needed

January 22, 2016 | By Xiaofeng

(Minghui.org) The founder of Falun Dafa said,

“Dafa is being spread far and wide. Those who hear about it are looking for it. Those who have obtained it are delighted with it. The number of cultivators is increasing daily and becoming countless.”(“Seeking Discipleship with Teacher” from Essentials for Further Advancement)

Millions of Chinese people have practiced Falun Dafa over the past 16 years. They and their families have benefited from this cultivation practice.

Below, we recount two stories about a practitioner, and a family member of a Falun Dafa practitioner, each of whom benefited from the practice and support Falun Dafa.

Performed Good Deed: Loose Tooth Problem Resolved

Practitioners in Changchun City arranged an Arts and Painting Exhibition in early May 1997 to celebrate the fifth anniversary of Master Li Hongzhi’s (the founder of Falun Dafa) introduction of Dafa to the public.

Many practitioners prepared exquisite photographs, paintings, handmade artwork and specially framed writings to show their appreciation to Master Li.

Ms. Wang was concerned because she felt that she had no special talents. However, she knew her husband was good at ink writing. So, she asked her husband to write one of Master Li’s articles from the book Essentials for Further Advancement for display at the exhibition.

However her husband was on his way to have his loose tooth pulled, because it made it very difficult for him to eat. He had no time to spare.

Ms. Wang pleaded with him to please help her with this ink writing and then go have his tooth pulled. Her husband decided to help. He spent the next 30 minutes on producing a small yet exquisite calligraphy piece.

Together they took a look at the completed work and were very satisfied. Then, she reminded her husband that he still had plenty of time to go to the dentist. He touched his tooth and discovered it was as firm as all of his other teeth and no longer needed to be pulled.

The elderly couple was pleasantly surprised. They felt that this was extraordinary and that her husband benefited from his good deed.

No Dentist Visit: Loose Tooth Tightened Again After Correcting Behavior

Practitioner Mr. Zhao Yu had a loose tooth back in 2007. It was difficult for him to eat his meals.

Mr. Zhao Yu wondered if he had done anything wrong or bullied someone? Maybe he had lust in his heart! He remembered that for a while now he felt sleepy when he read the Falun Gong books or became absent minded. Also, he was unable to remain tranquil when practicing the exercises.

He apologized to Master in his mind and decided to get rid of those attachments and improve his behavior.

He then spent more time reading the Dafa books. He did the exercises more regularly and told more people about Dafa. He then witnessed something amazing. His loose tooth was firm again, and eating was no longer a problem.

As time passed, he slacked off in his cultivation. His behavior reflected his lack of diligence. Then his tooth became loose again, and painful as well.

This was a serious issue he needed to stop, so he corrected his behavior. Thus, that loose tooth returned to normal for a second time without any need for medical attention.

Chinese version available

Category: Health Benefits

Persevering Despite the Storm

January 21, 2016 | By a Falun Gong practitioner in Romania

(Minghui.org) Bucharest, the capital of Romania, experienced a blizzard on January 17, 2016. The temperature dropped to minus six degrees celsius. Strong wind mixed with snow buffeted pedestrians and passing vehicles.

Despite the storm, a group of Falun Gong practitioners peacefully gathered in front of the Chinese Embassy. They wished to raise awareness of the Chinese communist regime’s 16-year-long persecution of Falun Gong, a spiritual practice which follows the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.

They also expressed their support for the more than 200,000 Chinese Falun Gong practitioners and their families who have filed lawsuits against Jiang Zemin, the former Chinese dictator who initiated and directed the persecution.

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Practitioners in Romania peacefully do the Falun Gong exercises in the snow.

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Practitioners peacefully protest in front of the Chinese Embassy while holding photos of Falun Gong practitioners who died as a result of the Chinese communist regime’s persecution.

Many passersby stopped to watch, and obtained informational materials. Some asked why the practitioners were there despite the bitter cold and snow. Even people driving by stopped their cars to ask questions and take informational materials.

Every week, practitioners do the exercises and spread the Fa at the lake in Herastrau Park. The Chinese Embassy is across the lake. Over the years practitioners have persistently and peacefully protested the regime’s persecution of Falun Gong, despite all manner of hardships and bad weather.

Their steadfast efforts have helped many Romanians learn about the Chinese communist regime’s brutality in persecuting Falun Gong. Like people all around the world, Romanians condemn the regime’s atrocities and are signing the petition to support Falun Gong practitioners’ efforts to end the persecution.

Chinese version available

Category: Other Community Events

How Did a ‘Foolish Person’ Obtain Wisdom?

January 20, 2016 | By Jinyao in China

(Minghui.org) Before I even attended elementary school, I was labeled “a foolish person.”

My parents are intellectuals, so my mother couldn’t stand that people considered me a fool. She also resented me for failing to meet her expectations, and “big fool” became her nickname for me. My sisters also called me “big fool.”

To avoid coming into contact with others, I made friends with books. My father was worried about my situation. He said I was so desperate to escape people that I was trying to live in a type of social vacuum.

After starting work, I realized that I was not accustomed to society. I didn’t know how to socialize with others. I was only capable of doing my job well, while for all other things I felt like an outsider.

In the fall of 1996, I read a magical book, which allowed a magnificent world to appear before me. After reading, I realized that all of the answers to life’s questions were in that book. I looked back at my life and everything became crystal clear to me.

This book, Zhuan Falun, guides people in cultivation toward higher levels. As such, I learned how to interact with others from reading it. I now know that human beings live for fame, personal interest, and sentimentality. What’s more, I no longer avoid people who only want to gain. I know they live a bitter life, fighting for fame and personal interest. Most people who are like that have poor health and a poor disposition.

My acquaintances and family have changed their perception of me since I took up Falun Gong. They now like to share their issues with me since they discovered that I can solve many difficult problems they might have.

People now say that I am smart. Yet, I tell them, “I am not smart. I can help you because I am learning Falun Gong, which opens one’s wisdom.”

Chinese version available

Category: Improving Oneself

School Teacher Sentenced to Three Years Under Pressure from Political and Legal Affairs Committee

January 19, 2016 | By a Minghui correspondent from Yunnan Province, China

(Minghui.org) Ms. Zhao Zuli, a school teacher from Zhaotong City, Yunnan Province, was tried without legal representation and sentenced to three years in prison on December 14, 2015. The court violated numerous legal procedures and handed down the sentence under pressure from the local branch of the Political and Legal Affairs Committee (PLAC).

The PLAC and and the “610 Office” are two organizations tasked with carrying out orders from the Chinese Communist Party’s central leadership to eradicate Falun Gong in China. They direct law enforcement agencies and the judiciary to arrest and imprison Falun Gong practitioners and force them to renounce their faith, often through violence and torture.

Ms. Zhao was arrested on August 4, 2014 for distributing DVDs containing information about the persecution of Falun Gong by the communist regime.

Despite the authorities’ attempt to stop Ms. Zhao from appealing her sentence, her husband managed to mail out her appeal letter on January 2, 2016.

Ms. Zhao’s Lawyers Withdrew Her Case Under Pressure from County Bureau of Justice

After Ms. Zhao was arrested, her husband Mr. Wu Shiqi hired a lawyer. However, a guard prevented her lawyer from seeing her at the Zhenxiong County Detention Center. The chief director of the Zhenxiong County Bureau of Justice talked to the lawyer and demanded that he withdraw from the case.

When Ms. Zhao’s case arrived at the Zhaotong City Intermediate Court, which also serves as a trial court in the prosecution of local Falun Gong practitioners, her husband again hired a lawyer for her. Soon after accepting the case, however, the lawyer received a threatening phone call from the Zhaotong City Bureau of Justice, which demanded that he withdraw from the case immediately or face consequences. Under the pressure, the lawyer withdrew from Ms. Zhao’s case.

Due to the intervention from the local Political and Legal Affairs Committee and the Bureau of Justice, Ms. Zhao’s husband could not find a lawyer willing to represent her.

Threatened by Local Party Secretary

Liu Zichang, former Party Secretary of the Zhenxiong County PLAC and head of the 610 Office, went to the detention center to talk to Ms. Zhao many times. He said to Ms. Zhao that if she didn’t defend herself in court and agreed to admit guilt, she wouldn’t be sentenced and would be allowed to go back to work.

Secret Trial

Ms. Zhao was tried by Zhaotong Intermediate Court on August 25, 2015 after being detained for over a year. Her family was not informed of the trial date; her husband received news of the trial halfway through its proceedings, and he was the only one to sit in the public gallery.

The prosecutor read testimonies and showed a few pictures as evidence. No witnesses were called. Ms. Zhao was not given an opportunity to defend herself.

The judge issued a verdict on December 14, 2015. However, when Ms. Zhao’s husband asked about the case, he was told that it was pending a decision from a higher court.

Unbeknownst to her husband, Ms. Zhao was told by court officers to sign the verdict at the detention center, which she suspects was an effort to prevent her husband from lodging an appeal.

Ms. Zhao’s husband received news of the verdict on December 28, 2015. He filed an appeal to the provincial superior court on his wife’s behalf a few days later.

Family Harassed

On the day that Ms. Zhao was arrested, officer Wang Lunpu from the Zhenxiong Domestic Security Division and another dozen officers broke into her home, handcuffed her husband, and seized a number of their personal belongings. The plainclothes officers refused to show identification during the raid.

Her husband was taken to the local Domestic Security Division, where he was cuffed and shackled to an “iron chair” for one day before being bailed out.

Other Practitioners Arrested

Practitioners Mr. Wang Xianshu and Ms. Wang Jianying were also arrested at the same time as Ms. Zhao.

Mr. Wang was sentenced to five years in prison for practicing Falun Gong. He was released in critical condition due to abuse he suffered while incarcerated.

Ms. Wang Jianying managed to flee from the local Domestic Security Division, but had to leave her home to avoid further persecution.

Chinese version available

Category: Accounts of Persecution