Aug. 26, 2021 | By a Minghui correspondent in Jiangxi Province, China
Since the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) began to persecute Falun Gong, a spiritual and meditation discipline, in July 1999, an 84-year-old man in Jiujiang City, Jiangxi Province has spent 15 years of the past two decades incarcerated for upholding his faith. Mr. Sun Shilian was almost frozen to death after being tied to a tree overnight and also suffered relentless torture while serving time.
Almost Frozen to Death Because of Appealing for Falun Gong
Mr. Sun retired from the Jiujiang City Rectifier Factory. He suffered from many serious diseases such as liver cirrhosis, enlarged spleen, long-term asthma, stomach disease, and severe arthritis. In desperation, he was drawn to Falun Gong’s health benefits and took up the practice in 1992. In just two months, he was completely recovered.
When the CCP began the persecution on July 20, 1999, Mr. Sun couldn’t eat or sleep well. He couldn’t understand why the CCP would persecute such a good practice that does no harm but only benefits its learners.
As he read the reports published by Minghui.org of practitioners being arrested and imprisoned, he was in great pain. He decided to go to Beijing to appeal for Falun Gong, telling the government his own experience and how great Falun Gong is.
Mr. Sun went through a lot of difficulties and arrived in Beijing in December 2000. Before he could locate the petition office, he was seized by the police and beaten. Later, he and many other practitioners who also came to appeal for Falun Gong were thrown into a van and taken to a quiet courtyard in the suburbs. Each practitioner was asked their name and address, but no one answered [Editor’s note: Due to the CCP’s policy of implication, Dafa practitioners often refuse to give their names when they are arrested, in order to protect family members, friends, and colleagues.].
A few men in military coats beat them and stripped off their clothes, leaving then only in their underwear. Then they tied them to trees in the yard, poured cold water over each of them and shocked them with electric batons.
With the temperature below freezing, Mr. Sun and the other practitioners were covered with ice and left outdoors overnight.
After Mr. Sun was released, he walked to Tiananmen Square. He was again arrested and taken to the nearby municipality of Tianjin, where he was locked in a metal cage for 15 days. The cage was so narrow that he could only stand, not squat or sit.
When Mr. Sun was released the second time, he didn’t give up and went to Tiananmen Square again. He was arrested one more time. While he was being taken to Tianjin, a police officer gave him 5 yuan and told him to leave.
Mr. Sun still didn’t give up. He walked nearly 70 miles from Tianjin to Beijing, and appealed at Tiananmen Square again in January 2001. After being arrested for the fourth time, he was taken to a detention facility in Fangshan District in Beijing. The police hung him up by the wrists, with his arms pulled up from the back, for 14 hours.
In order to get Mr. Sun’s name and address, the police stripped him down to his underwear, kicked him, shocked him with electric batons and forced him to stand on the icy ground in his bare feet.
An officer punched him on the chest and another beat his hips with a metal stick. One of Mr. Sun’s wrists was broken as a result. His face swelled up and his body was covered with bruises. But no matter how brutally the police tortured him, he didn’t tell them his name and address. The police had no choice but to release him.
With no money left, Mr. Sun had to beg all the way home.
Imprisoned 12 Years for Upholding His Faith
During Mr. Sun’s family dinner on the eve of the 2002 Chinese New Year, Hu Guwen, from the security department of the factory Mr. Sun retired from, came over and asked him to go to the factory, telling him that the manager wanted to talk to him.
As soon as Mr. Sun arrived at the factory gate, a group of officers jumped out of two police cars, forcibly pushed Mr. Sun into a car, and drove him to the Lunan Police Station.
Mr. Sun was taken to the Jiujiang City Detention Centre in the middle of the night. Several days later, the director of the detention centre said to Mr. Sun that if he wrote a statement within a week expressing his regrets about practicing Falun Gong, they would release him. Mr. Sun firmly refused. “Even if you offer me a ton of gold, I won’t write such a statement. Falun Gong is a virtuous cultivation practice that teaches people to be good. There’s nothing wrong with it,” he said.
After being held in custody for a year, Mr. Sun was tried by the Xuyang District Court in March 2003. He was not represented by a lawyer, nor was his family informed of the trial. The judge rushed through the trial in less than 20 minutes and sentenced Mr. Sun to 12 years in prison.
A few days later, Mr. Sun was transferred to Yuzhang Prison in Jiangxi Province. In order to force practitioners to renounce their faith, the prison guards beat them during the day and forced them to stand facing a wall at night until 2 or 3 a.m.
Tortured to Near Death
The prison held a meeting at the end of 2010. The inmates were ordered to talk about how good the prison was. Mr. Sun honestly reported the torture he suffered and other problems. The guards retaliated against him by putting him in solitary confinement. He was given very little food every day.
Later Mr. Sun was transferred to a remote location, where the doors and windows were covered with black cloth. He was watched by three inmates and starved. The inmates beat him harshly and forced him to stand facing the wall for long hours after the beating.
Once, one inmate stepped on Mr. Sun’s head, the second one held his feet, and the third one hit his tibia with a thick metal bar about 1.5 feet long. Tong Xingfu, the head of the prison’s 610 Office, shouted outside the door, “Beat him to death!”
An inmate surnamed Xu secretly told Mr. Sun, “You have to be careful. Tong Xingfu planned to kill you and has arranged witnesses to give false witness accounts after your death. I am one of the arranged witnesses.”
As a result of the torture, Mr. Sun’s legs were severely swollen from his feet up to the tops of his thighs. He also suffered from severe dizziness and asthma, and had to use oxygen when he had an asthma attack.
Imprisoned Three Years for Distributing Falun Gong Information Materials
After Mr. Sun was released, he continued his efforts to raise awareness about the persecution of Falun Gong.
He was arrested again on January 25, 2016, when he went to the Pengpu Police Station to clarify the facts to the police. The police gave him five days of administrative detention in the Yujiahe Detention Centre in Jiujiang City.
Three months later, on April 20, he was arrested one more time after being reported for distributing Falun Gong information materials at a railway station. While being detained at the Jiujiang City Detention Centre, Mr. Sun developed health symptoms and was rushed to a local hospital.
The Lushan District Court held a trial against Mr. Sun in August 2016. Only three of his family members were allowed to attend the trial. The judge didn’t allow Mr. Sun or his family to defend him.
Mr. Sun was sentenced to three years and three months at the Nanchang City No. 1 Prison, at the age of 77. He took a fall and suffered broken bones. The prison denied him family visit and refused to tell his family why he fell in the first place.
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