Simply for upholding their belief in Falun Gong, a family of six in Tongliao, Inner Mongolia has been repeatedly arrested since the Chinese Communist Party launched a nationwide campaign against the peaceful self-cultivation practice in 1999.
The six family members have spent a total of 41 years in detention at the time of this writing. The father was tortured to death back in December 2009. Most recently, the middle daughter was put on trial for possessing Falun Gong books.
Ms. Tian Xin (田心), 41, was tried at Tongliao City Detention Centre on October 31st following her August arrest this year. The evidence used against her was items confiscated during a raid of her home, including 142 Falun Gong books, two computers and some copies of DVDs with information on the persecution.
Her lawyer pleaded not guilty on her behalf, pointing out that it is her constitutional right to practise Falun Gong and possess books about it. The judge adjourned the trial without issuing a verdict, saying that the decision would be announced later.
During the trial, the public prosecutor read a complaint letter written by Ms. Tian at her request. He stopped halfway through after he realized the extent of the persecution suffered by her family.
Her family of six has not spent a day together for the past 15 years. One after another, they were arrested, detained, and sent to labor camps or prison.
Ms. Tian's father Tian Fujin (田福金) was imprisoned twice and spent about nine years in prison before he was tortured to death. Her mother Liu Xiurong (刘秀荣) was incarcerated for ten years.
Her elder sister Tian Fang (田芳) was sentenced twice to a total of nine years. Her younger sister Tian Miao (田苗) spent six years in prison. Her only brother Tian Shuangjiang (田双江) was sentenced to three years.
Ms. Tian Xin was sentenced to two years of forced labour at Tumuji Labouur Camp in August 2000. Four years after her release, she was made to spend another two years in the same labor camp. She finally returned home in June 2008, only to learn that her parents, elder sister and younger brother had been arrested just 22 days earlier.
Ms. Tian's husband divorced her, and her teenage son has been under the care of relatives since her most recent arrest.
Names of officials involved in the persecution:
Presiding judge: Li Hailiang (李海亮)
Prosecutor: Wang Xinxin (王昕昕)
Court Secretary: Liu Lili (刘丽丽)
Horqin District Police Department: Wang Po ( 王波)
Yongqing Police Statioin: Cai Xinggang (才兴刚) Liu Li (刘丽), Zhang Haipo (张海波), Hou Yanjun(侯延军)
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