Mr. Jiang Wenshang Unjustly Sentenced for Promoting Shen Yun Performing Arts

Summary of Key Persecution Facts:

Name: Jiang Wenshang
Gender: Male
Age: 44
Address: Jixi City, Heilongjiang Province
Occupation: Unknown
Date of Most Recent Arrest: May 14th, 2009
Most Recent Place of Detention: Jiamusi Prison
City: Jiamusi
Province: Heilongjiang
Persecution Suffered: Sleep deprivation, imprisonment, torture, extortion, home ransacked, interrogation, detention

Beautiful fairy maidens dancing so elegantly against the wondrous settings of the Fairy Lake; the legendary monkey king with penetrating eyesight catching monsters and devils on a pilgrimage to the west seeking Buddhist scriptures; the loyal and patriotic general Yue Fei battling his enemies in an ancient war-torn battle field—these are a few scenes from Shen Yun Performing Arts, which revives 5,000 years of traditional Chinese culture through breathtaking dance and music. Yet for promoting such a remarkable performance to the Chinese people, Mr. Jiang Wenshang from Jixi City, Heilongjiang Province was unjustly sentenced to seven years in prison. He is currently incarcerated in Jiamusi Prison.

Mr. Jiang's account of his experience

My name is Jiang Wenshang and I am 44 years old. Though I was only in my 20's in 1997, I was very weak. I couldn't do physical labour and suffered from insomnia. I had seen many medical experts and taken many different types of medication, but nothing seemed to help.

I have an old friend who used to be frail and depressed, yet became very healthy and high spirited after practising Falun Gong for only a year. I also noticed that all of the practitioners around me were very kind. They follow the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance and strive to be better people.

I then decided to practise Falun Gong as well. Through studying the Falun Gong teachings, I learned that Falun Gong is a practice that guides practitioners to be good people. When I was with other local practitioners, I felt very peaceful, calm and cheerful. There was no competition for fame or self-interest among us, and it didn't cost a penny to learn the practice.

My physical heath returned within a month after practising and was able to make a living by doing physical labour. At the time, I lived with my wife out of wedlock. When I started practising Falun Gong, I knew that I should follow the law as well as human morality, so we got married and later had a son. We had a very happy family, which gave meaning to my life and made everything wonderful. I felt truly happy like never before.

Detained for appealing for Falun Gong, elderly father passed away

After the Chinese Communist Party launched the persecution of Falun Gong on July 20th, 1999, many practitioners from all over China were arrested. The radio and TV stations broadcast lies and propaganda daily that slandered Falun Gong. I heard many incidents where practitioners went to Beijing to appeal for Falun Gong and were arrested, detained and sentenced to forced labour camps or prisons.

I went to Tiananmen Square in Beijing in the winter of 2000 and displayed a banner that had the words, “Falun Gong is good.” I hoped our nation's government officials could hear the heartfelt wishes of the people. However, I was arrested and later detained at Jixi City Detention Centre for three months.

At the detention centre, I was given very little food, and the food I was given was of poor quality. Also, I hardly had anything to keep warm. As I refused to renounce my belief, officials from the city Political and Legislative Affairs Committee, 610 Office (an organisation of special agents just for persecuting Falun Gong) and local police filled out a form to extend my detention for another three months. My father was dying at the time and my family begged the police to release me. I was finally let go after my family was forced to pay a large amount of money and agreed to move my residency registration out of the city.

When I returned home, I learned that my 83-year-old father had been waiting on the corner of the street for me to return every day since I was arrested. He passed away soon after having gone through so much. My family had spent all of our savings in order to get me released.

Home broken into and ransacked

When I watched Shen Yun Chinese New Year Spectacular in 2008, I thought it was remarkable. The stunning beauty of the show and the perfect techniques of the performers touched my soul. I wished that people of the world could all see such a wonderful performance. I made many copies of the performance so that I could give them to people as gifts.

While we were staying with my mother-in-law in 2009, more than 10 officers from Jixi Domestic Security Division, Jidong Domestic Security Division and Hada Police Station climbed over the walls of my mother-in-law's home and broke in at around 4 a.m. on May 14th, 2009. They took away a van full of our personal belongings, including a computer, printer, DVD burner, DVD's, Falun Gong books, CD's and some consumable materials. I was arrested and taken to Jidong Police Department.

Interrogated, tortured and sentenced

Officers from the domestic security division took turns to interrogate and torture me, and I was deprived of sleep. Among those who participated are Yu Hongjun, Han Hengchang, Sun Zuoen and He Wenming.

Mr. Zhang Zhanqun from Jixi City was also arrested on May 14, and was severely beaten by officers from the domestic security division. He bled from his face, mouth and his other wounds. There was paper with blood stains left on his table and his personal belongings were confiscated.

My wife took our two year old child and went to the Jidong Domestic Security Division four days after my arrest, to request that they release me. She explained that I was a good person and didn't break any law. An officer there threatened her and said, “We don't care that you have a small child with you. If you insist we will lock you up too.” Treated unjustly by the police, my wife had nobody to turn to and no way to appeal. Our eldest child was only 11 years old at the time. With me in prison, how was my wife going to support two small children all by herself?

I was put on trial at Jidong County Court after about six months of detention. During the trial, I looked around but did not see any of my family members among those in attendance. I later found out that those who attended the hearing were all officials from the Political and Legislative Affairs Committee and the 610 Office. There was no one from the general public and my family was not notified of the trial. I was given little chance to speak during the trial and most of the questions I was asked only required a response of either “Yes” or “No”. I received the written judgment a few days later, only to find that I had been sentenced to seven years in prison. I am currently incarcerated at No. 1 Division of No. 7 Ward of Jiamusi Prison in Heilongjiang Province.

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