Selected Cases of Teachers Sentenced for Practicing Falun Gong

Sept. 10, 2021 | By a Minghui correspondent in China

Between January 2018 and August 2021, 101 teachers and former teachers in China were sentenced to prison for practicing Falun Gong, according to the available information collected by

Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a meditation practice that improves mental and physical fitness and has been persecuted in China since 1999.

A retired teacher in his 80s in Shenzhou, Hebei Province, was arrested in January 2021 and given 10 years in Baoding Prison.

A teacher from Tianjin was given nine years and fined 30,000 yuan (US $4,640) in January 2020.

A teacher in Dalian City, Liaoning Province, had been in a coma for a month before he was sentenced to two years in prison in February 2021.

The police in Shulan City, Jilin Province, arrested a teacher who wrote a letter to the Chinese premier in March 2020, urging him to end the persecution. She was sentenced to three and a half years in prison.

The police in Haicheng City, Liaoning Province, arrested a high school teacher in August 2018 because they hadn’t met their arrest quota. The teacher was tried in May 2019 and given three and a half years in prison with a 5,000-yuan fine.

What follows is a selection of the teachers who were sentenced in the past three years.


Teachers Sentenced in 2018


1. Former Math Professor Sentenced to Three and a Half Years for Talking to People about Her Faith

A 54-year-old former college professor from Guangdong Province was sentenced to 3.5 years in prison on August 24, 2018, for talking to people about her faith in Falun Gong. Ms. Wang Jiafang’s latest sentencing took place less than two years after she was released from a nine-year prison term, also for her faith.

Ms. Wang was arrested on October 27, 2017, at the entrance to Liuhuahu Park in Guangzhou City.

The police took her to the Yuexiu District Detention Centre, where a guard kicked her. She suffered from acute pain in her liver as a result. After several months of detention, all of her hair turned gray.

The Liwan District Court tried her on April 9, 2018. She was charged with “undermining law enforcement,” a standard pretext used to charge Falun Gong practitioners.

She was taken back to the Liwan District Court on August 24, 2018, and told she would have to serve three and a half years in prison. She protested and vowed to appeal the sentence.

Ms. Wang Jiafang


2. Ms. Che Pingping Given Three years after Serving Four Years in Prison

Ms. Che Pingping has a Master’s degree and 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.

Ms. 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 almost blind in that eye.

Ms. Che Pingping


3. “Fugitive” University Lecturer Arrested

Ms. Wei Xiujuan, a lecturer at the Teacher’s College of Beihua University in Jilin City, Jilin Province, was tried in Gaoxin Court on July 13, 2018, because she refused to give up her practice. She argued that it was legal to practice Falun Gong and own Falun Gong books. She was sentenced to two years and fined 5,000 yuan. She filed an appeal.

Ms. Wei took up Falun Gong in 1996 and all of her illnesses disappeared. She worked hard and earned the respect of her students. She also earned awards for the school.

She was arrested at the Changchun Railway Station while she was on her way to visit a relative on November 23, 2016. The detention center refused to admit her because of her health problems. The police released Ms. Wei after they extorted 5,000 yuan from her family.

Ms. Wei and her husband, also a lecturer at the Teacher’s College of Beihua University, were arrested and taken to the Shahezi Brainwashing Center on August 1, 2014. Ms. Wei was later released on medical parole because of her health. Her husband was sentenced to a three-year term with five years of probation on April 13, 2015, after being detained for over eight months.

Ms. Wei Xiujuan

4. Air Force Aviation College Instructor Imprisoned Again

Mr. Yao Chengxu is a former instructor at the Air Force Second Aviation College in Changchun, Jilin Province. He was tried in the Fengxian District Court in Shanghai on January 30, 2018, and sentenced to two years. The judge and prosecutor defamed Falun Gong and ordered Mr. Yao to renounce his faith.


Teachers Sentenced in 2019


1. Outstanding Teacher Incarcerated and Sentenced to Eight Years

Mr. Zhu Puzhao is a graduate of Changsha University in Hunan Province. He used to teach at Taolinqiao Middle School in Ningxiang County, Changsha City, Hunan Province. The school once awarded him “Outstanding Young Teacher” and “Teaching Expert” because he was hardworking, honest, kind, and selfless. His friends liked and trusted him and he often had a smile on his face.

Because Mr. Zhu refused to renounce his faith in Falun Gong, the authorities arrested him on October 12, 2017. After a year of incarceration, he was given an eight-year prison term in 2019.

Prior to his latest ordeal, the authorities put him in a forced labor camp for 15 months for writing, “Falun Dafa Is Good” on a country road in Ningxiang County.

After he was released, he decided to leave home in 2007 when the police attempted to arrest him again. The school where he worked fired him in 2014 and he had to do tutoring to make a living.


2. Three Teachers in Suihua City Sentenced to Prison after Mass Arrest

The Anda City Court judges in Heilongjiang Province sentenced seven practitioners from Suihua City on May 24, 2019. The practitioners filed an appeal. Three of them were teachers: Ms. Wang Fang and Ms. Zhao Tingting were given two years in prison and Ms. Gao Jinshu one year with a 5,000-yuan fine.

Ms. Wang Fang, an elementary school teacher, died on December 31, 2020, only two months after she finished serving her term. She was 54.

Ms. Wang was arrested on October 3, 2018. After she was transferred to the Heilongjiang Women’s Prison, she was physically and mentally abused, which brought on headaches, numbness in her hands, dementia, fainting, and high blood pressure.

Ms. Wang returned home in early October 2020, only to learn that she had been fired by the Shangzhi Elementary School, where she had taught for 30 years and been known as a well-respected and loved teacher.

Only two weeks after she started tutoring for a private agency to resolve her financial difficulties, she passed out at home on December 30 and was taken to a hospital. She was diagnosed with a brain stem hemorrhage and passed away the next day.

Ms. Gao Jinshu retired as an associate researcher at Suihua Education College. She recovered from multiple illnesses by practicing Falun Gong. She once helped a 10-year-old girl whose parents had abandoned her. Her kind deed made the local news. At work she won the Outstanding Social Science Studies for Ethnic Minorities award twice.

Ms. Gao Jinshu


Ms. Zhao Tingting worked in a kindergarten in Suihua. The children adored her because she was kind and passionate about her work. She never took presents from the students’ parents. If the parents insisted, she’d buy presents for their children the next day in return. She bought her students toys when they gave her candies at Christmas. She was always there to help her coworkers, who all trusted her.


3. Senior Teacher in Jilin Tech Given Four and a Half Years after Serving 12 Years

Mr. Zheng Weidong from Changchun City, Jilin Province, was a senior teacher at Jilin Technology College of Electronic Information. He was sentenced on March 6, 2002, and tortured in Jilin Prison and Shilingzi Prison for a total of 12 years. A few years after he was released, he was again arrested and given four and a half years with a 10,000-yuan fine on October 30, 2019.

Mr. Zheng Weidong


4. Mother of Canadian Resident Sentenced to 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.

Ms. Chen appeared in the Shijingshan District Court on August 16, 2019. She was charged with “undermining law enforcement.” She wasn’t 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 also counting the booklets with only a few pages as books to compound the evidence.

Lu announced Ms. Chen’s four-year verdict one week later. She was taken to Beijing Women’s Prison.

Ms. Chen Yan


5. High School Teacher Sentenced to Three and a Half Years in Prison and Fined

A high school teacher in Haicheng City, Liaoning Province, was notified on July 23, 2019, that he had been sentenced to three and a half years in prison and fined 5,000 yuan. He appealed the verdict on August 1 and also submitted a request demanding an acquittal and the return of his personal belongings that were confiscated by the police.

Mr. Wang Hongzhu, 43, 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, the authorities targeted Falun Gong practitioners. Mr. Wang was tried in the Lishan District Court on May 20, 2019.

Prior to his latest arrest, Mr. Wang was sent to a forced labor camp on October 18, 2001, for two years and fired from his job for telling people about Falun Gong.

Mr. Wang Hongzhu


6. Guangzhou Professor Sentenced to Prison for Posting Information on Social Media about His Persecuted Faith

The Haizhu District Court in Guangzhou sentenced a college professor to three and a half years in prison and fined him 10,000 yuan on January 29, 2019, for posting information about Falun Gong on social media.

Mr. Zeng Hao, 45, a 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 the QQ platform between October 2014 and January 2017.

Mr. Zeng appeared in court on July 27, 2018. The court took the prosecutor’s suggestion of a heavy sentence and handed Mr. Zeng three and a half years six months after the hearing.

Mr. Zheng appealed but the Guangzhou City Intermediate Court upheld the original sentence on June 26, 2019.

Mr. Zeng Hao


7. Brother Dies of Torture, Sister Detained for the Sixth Time for Their Faith in Falun Gong

Two women in Shuangyashan City, Heilongjiang Province, were arrested on June 20, 2019, while putting up stickers with information about Falun Gong on them. Ms. Wu Yuexia, 62, and Ms. Wang Yuping, 63, are now in the Shuangyashan Detention Centre.

This is the sixth time Ms. Wu has been detained for her belief in Falun Gong. Her younger brother, Mr. Wu Yueqing, was arrested numerous times and sentenced to 12 years in prison for practicing Falun Gong. Mr. Wu was brutally tortured and his health declined. He had a hole in his lung and his weight dropped to about 80 pounds. He died on December 23, 2007. He was in his 30s.

Ms. Wu, a high school language teacher in Shuangyashan City, began to practice Falun Gong in December 1998. Before that she suffered from chronic headaches and leg pain. She tried all kinds of reputable medications, folk medicine, and qigong systems, but none of them worked. Less than 20 days after she began to practice Falun Gong, her ailments disappeared.

Following the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, she also became more genuine and kind, both with her family and at work. She stopped complaining about her husband and did more housework than before.

Her workload at school was almost twice as much as anyone else’s—teaching senior classes as well as lower grade classes. She did not get extra pay for that, but the senior classes she taught were ranked among the city’s best. Students liked her, and the other teachers and school officials were also impressed by how she changed. Many of them took up the practice and, with support from the school, they were able to do the exercise indoors on cold winter days.

Ms. Wu Yuexia


Teachers Sentenced in 2020

1. 49-Year-Old Teacher Given Nine Years

Ms. Gao Lijuan, a 49-year-old teacher in Tianjin, was arrested on December 28, 2017. During her detention at the Binhai New District No. 3 Detention Centre, her lawyer visited her several times and her family also sent clothes and money to her from time to time.

Ms. Gao was sentenced to nine years in prison in January 2020 and fined 30,000 yuan. When her family went to the detention centre to make a deposit for her in June 2020, they were told that she was no longer there.

Her family then contacted the Tianjin Women’s Prison (the only women’s prison in town) through the Prison Administration Bureau to find out where she was, but were told she wasn’t there either.

They were finally told that it was possible Ms. Gao was in Binhai Prison. Her family went to Binhai Prison, only to be told that she wasn’t there and that there was no female ward in the prison.

Ms. Gao’s family was finally able to confirm on February 8, 2021, that she was still being held at the Binhai New District No. 3 Detention Centre and her lawyer had visited her there. It’s not clear why the guards told her family that she had been taken away.


2. Elementary School Teacher Sentenced to Prison, Husband Arrested and Daughter Fired for Seeking Her Release

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. Ms. Zhu Surong filed an appeal to protest the verdict.

On July 1, 2020, Ms. Zhu’s husband was arrested and their older daughter was fired from her job, both for seeking justice for her.

Ms. 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 Centre.

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 Ms. 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.

Ms. Zhu Surong


3. Tortured to Near Death, Former Teacher Sentenced Again for Writing Letters to China’s Premier

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.

Ms. Song Yanqun was arrested on March 26, 2020. The police said her letters to Li had been returned to them by 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.

The court informed Ms. Song’s family in late December that she has been sentenced to three and a half years. The judge allowed her to appeal the verdict, but without help from her lawyer or family.

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.

Ms. Song Yanqun


4. Former Deputy Chief of Education in Shenzhen and His Wife Sentenced to Prison

In March 2020 the police arrested Mr. Tang Haihai and his wife Ms. Sun Xuexin. Mr. Tang used to be the deputy chief of Shenzhen City Bureau of Education in Guangdong Province. He was sentenced to a year and two months and his wife to three years. They were held in the Nanshan District Detention Centre.

After he became a practitioner, Mr. Tang worked hard and had an outstanding performance record when he taught at Shenzhen Senior High School. He was appointed the deputy chief of education in 2003.

Through his dedication to education and efficient management, he improved the quality of education in middle and elementary schools in Shenzhen.


5. Teacher and Wife Sentenced to Prison and Fired

Dr. Huang Yongqing and his wife Ms. Zhang Hong both worked at Tongling University in Anhui Province. In October 2020 Dr. Huang was sentenced to a year in prison with two years probation. His wife was given two years. The university authorities fired both of them.


6. Shenyang Ligong University Professor Imprisoned for His Faith

Mr. Yu Chunsheng, 62, used to be an associate professor and chair of the mechanical engineering department at Shenyang Ligong University in Liaoning Province.

Beizhan Police Station officers arrested him on June 19, 2019. He was tried in the Yuhong District Court on April 29, 2020. Judge Hao Xingnan didn’t announce a verdict at the time. The court informed his family they had to pay a 5,000-yuan fine and sentenced Mr. Yu to one year after the fine was paid.

He was incarcerated twice before his latest sentence. The university removed Mr. Yu from his position because he remained a steadfast practitioner.

Mr. Yu Chunsheng


Teachers Sentenced in 2021


1. 82-Year-Old Man Sentenced to 10 Years for Practicing Falun Gong

After being arrested and released several times, an 82-year-old retired teacher in Shenzhou City, Hebei Province, was sentenced to 10 years in January 2021 for his faith in Falun Gong.

Mr. Li Dengchen was first arrested at home on October 22, 2018. The police ransacked his residence and confiscated his valuables worth 150,000 yuan. Due to his high blood pressure, the Shenzhou City Detention Center refused to admit him, and he was released.

Only a month later, on November 23, he was arrested again and admitted to the Shenzhou City Detention Center. Mr. Li developed a critical medical condition in his lungs and was treated in an intensive care unit in 2019. He was released on bail on April 26. By then, he had become emaciated, incontinent, and unable to care for himself. His legs were also swollen.

In late July 2020, Mr. Li received a notice to appear in court. He lived away from home again for a month to hide from the police.

In January 2021, he was arrested one more time and given a 10-year sentence. He has now been taken to the Baoding Prison.


2. 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.

Mr. 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.

Mr. Sun filed an appeal to protest his second prison sentence. He wrote in his appeal, “If everyone follows Falun Gong’s principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, this society will become a better place with fewer crimes. I can’t understand why people today cannot tell right from wrong. Isn’t it that the more good people in society, the better? But I don’t want to give up hope. I believe that the Mudanjiang Intermediate Court will redress this injustice and acquit me.”

The father of one of the police officers who arrested Mr. Sun went to Sun’s home and apologized to his family. He said, “My son has received retribution for arresting Mr. Sun. He is struggling to repay debts totaling about one million yuan, his daughter developed depression, and his wife has just divorced him.” The father offered to get Mr. Sun’s family some firewood for their cookstove as compensation for his son’s wrongdoing.

Mr. Sun was a fine arts instructor at Muleng City Teacher Training College. He used to have many ailments, including a stomach ulcer, nephritis with blood in his stool, arthritis, tracheitis, heart disease, hyperthyroidism, rhinitis, and hemorrhoids. Standing at 5 feet, 11 inches tall, he weighed less than 50 kilos (110 pounds). He was weak and his hands did not function well. Because of severe, chronic pain, he sometimes thought of suicide.

His family spent a fortune on his medical care, but nothing helped. Mr. Sun only got worse. “It’s hopeless,” Mr. Sun once said to his wife. “The money we still have left will go to you. And you can live with your mother and our children.”

At the lowest point in his life, in 1997, Mr. Sun heard about Falun Gong and took up the practice. In just a few months, all his health issues disappeared. His weight returned to normal and he was revitalised. He truly felt the happiness of being disease-free and was very thankful for Falun Gong.

Living by Falun Gong’s principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, Mr. Sun became a better person and his temper also improved. Because of his excellent performance as a teacher, the president of his college specifically requested a pay raise for him. Later on, he was awarded “Teacher of the Year” in Muleng City.

Mr. Sun Shiwei


3. Guizhou Woman Secretly Arrested and Sentenced to Six Years

Since Ms. Zhou Qin was secretly arrested in September 2019, her family hasn’t been allowed to see her once. They were recently notified that the 61-year-old former college English teacher has been incarcerated and will serve a six-year term for practicing Falun Gong.

Ms. Zhou from Guiyang City, Guizhou Province, lived by herself. Her family suddenly lost contact with her in September 2019. Unable to reach her, her cousin went to her home on September 25, but no one opened the door. None of her neighbors recalled having seen her recently.


4. High School Teacher Given Five Years for Speaking Up for Falun Gong

Heshunjie Police Station officers in Changchun, Jilin Province, arrested Ms. Fu Yanfei on July 7, 2020, in a park for speaking up for Falun Gong. Ms. Fu, 45, was a high school teacher who graduated from the School of Life Sciences at Northeast Normal University. She was given five years on January 5, 2021.

Ms. Fu learned Falun Gong in 1997 before she graduated from the university and recovered from her illnesses as a result of the practice. She was once sentenced to three years and has been arrested many times prior to the recent arrest.

Ms. Fu Yanfei


5. Sentenced While in a Coma, Liaoning Man Remains Unconscious Months Later

While a 50-year-old math tutor in Dalian City, Liaoning Province was in a coma after suffering a stroke, both he and his wife were sentenced to prison on February 23, 2021, for practicing Falun Gong.

Because Mr. Ding Guochen has never regained consciousness and remains in a vegetative state since he was sentenced, his wife, Ms. Yan Qinghua, stays home to take care of him. At one point, three staff members of the Jinzhou District Court went to their home to verify Mr. Ding’s condition. Ms. Yan pointed at her husband, who was in a coma and on oxygen, and said, “He is like this due to the persecution. Take a look yourself. We can’t afford to have him treated in the hospital, so I have to take care of him at home.”

Seeing the actual situation, the court representatives said to her, “You can stay home to take care of him.”

The couple was arrested during a police sweep across the province on July 11, 2019, which came as part of the Chinese Communist Party’s effort to “maintain social stability” ahead of its 70th anniversary in power.

While Ms. Yan was released later that day, Mr. Ding was taken to Jinzhou Detention Centre. He held a four-week-long hunger strike to protest the arbitrary detention and was force-fed. He lost his hearing and had a stroke as a result of the abuse. He was released on bail on October 19, 2019.

Mr. Ding resumed practicing Falun Gong upon returning home. He regained some of his mobility but still has issues with his hearing.

The police submitted the couple’s cases to the Jinzhou District Procuratorate in early 2020. They were indicted and their cases were forwarded to the Jinzhou District Court on May 14, 2020. When the couple refused to attend the hearing, the police and court staff often harassed them at home.

On January 27, 2021, Mr. Ding had another stroke and fell into a coma. He has been unconscious ever since.

The Jinzhou District Court delivered their sentences to the couple on February 23. Mr. Ding was sentenced to two years and fined 5,000 yuan. Ms. Yan was given three and a half years in prison and fined 8,000 yuan.

Mr. Ding Guochen is currently in a vegetative state


6. 85-year-old Woman Sentenced to Three Years

An 85-year-old retired teacher was informed on July 2, 2021, that she has been sentenced to three years and fined 10,000 yuan, for “undermining law enforcement with a cult organisation,” the standard pretext used by the Chinese Communist Party to charge Falun Gong practitioners.

Ms. Han Guiyun of Yingkou City, Liaoning Province, was arrested in a park on May 31, 2019, after being reported for talking to people about Falun Gong. During her trial in the Zhanqian District Court on March 10, 2021, Ms. Han testified that there is no law in China that says that practicing Falun Gong is a crime.

Judge Wang Feng convicted Ms. Han on June 3 and delivered the verdict to her on July 2. The “evidence” used to convict her included the fact that she had been practicing Falun Gong since 1996 and that she possessed Falun Gong materials at home. The judge ordered her to pay the fine within ten days after receiving the verdict. He is also to issue a separate notice as to when she would start serving time.


7. Financial Director Sentenced to Two Years for Practicing Falun Gong

A woman in Shenzhen City, Guangdong Province, was sentenced to two years on April 21, 2021, for practicing Falun Gong.

Ms. Fu Xiaoli, 47, worked for a foreign company as a financial director. She was arrested at home on February 29, 2020, after the police deceived her into opening the door by saying they were there to take her temperature.

After the Nanshan Detention Centre refused to admit her due to the pandemic, the police took her to the Nanshan Lockup, where she was handcuffed and shackled. She was also held at the Shenzhen No.4 Detention Centre and Luohu Detention Centre before being taken to the Yantian Detention Centre in early June 2020, where she has been held ever since.

Ms. Fu was tried by the Yantian District Court on October 28, 2020. The judge sentenced her to two years on April 21, 2021. She appealed the verdict on May 3, 2021.

Because Ms. Fu refused to renounce Falun Gong, she was fired from her position as a lecturer at Zhengzhou University in Henan Province and later a company in Beijing. Her husband also divorced her and took all of their savings.


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