A former entrepreneur and his wife, who practised Falun Gong, were arrested in their home in December 2007, because they believed in living by the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance. Both were sentenced to five years in prison. The husband was tortured because he refused to wear the prison uniform, and when he was released in December 2012, he was unable to recover. He passed away in July 2013, seven months after his release, at the age of 58.
Arrested and Secretly Sentenced
When Mr. Wei Haiming and his wife, Ms. Zhao Zonghua, from Xining City, Qinghai Province, explained the facts about Falun Gong to people in April 2007, the local police officers noticed and followed them. Zhang Xingnong, chief of the Crime Section of the Datong County Police Department, along with several police officers, broke into their home on December 15th, 2007. The officers ransacked their home and arrested the couple. They confiscated their car, a copier, a mobile phone, cash, and other personal belongings.
The couple was first held in the local police department, where they were brutally tortured. While Mr. Wei was detained in a detention centre, he held a hunger strike twice to protest their arrest and became emaciated.
The Datong County Court tried the couple on April 16th, 2008, but no verdict was reached. However, the court secretly tried them again in July 2008, and sentenced both of them to five years in prison. Court officials did not notify their families nor their lawyer about the trial.
Mr. Wei was incarcerated in the Menyuan Prison and Ms. Zhao was sent to the Qinghai Province Women's Prison.
Company Forced to Shut Down
Mr. Wei began practising Falun Gong in April 1997, after which his severe asthma disappeared through practicing. He owned a construction company and had a good reputation. However, after the persecution of Falun Gong began in 1999, officials from the Xining City Police Department and the National Security Division forced him to shut down his company.
Honoured Teacher Demoted
Mr. Wei's wife was a teacher at the Chaoyang Elementary School in Xining. She was recognised many times for her excellent performance. However, she was demoted and her salary was cut due to her belief in Falun Gong. She was forced to stop teaching and do cleaning jobs. When she was arrested in February 2008, the school stopped paying her salary.
Summary of Key Persecution Facts:
Name: Wei Haiming (魏海明)
Address: Xining City, Qinghai Province
Occupation : Entrepreneur
Date of Death: July 2013
Date of Most Recent Arrest: December 15th, 2007
Most Recent Place of Detention: Menyuan Prison (门源监狱)
Persecution Suffered : imprisonment, torture, home ransacked, and detention
Key Persecutors: Zhang Xingnong (张兴农)
Defence Attorney: Name unknown
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