Mr. She Chengbang, a former high school teacher in Hanyin County, Shaanxi Province, served three years in a forced labour camp and seven years in prison for practising Falun Gong. He died in March 2019, three years after he was released from prison.
Mr. She, 53, is survived by his mother in her 80s, his wife (who has also been arrested numerous times for her belief in Falun Gong), and their teenage son who just started middle school. Prior to Mr. She’s death, his father passed away in April 2018 after repeated harassment by police and government officials.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a meditation system based on the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. It has been persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) since July 1999.
Kicked in the Chest and Punched in the Kidney
Mr. She, a senior-year high school language teacher at Hanyin County Middle School in Ankang City, was well-respected for his work. His dedication, stellar job performance, and favourable reviews from students earned him the title of “Teacher of the Year.” Besides teaching, he also served as the main volunteer coordinator of Falun Gong exercise sites in Hanyin County prior to the persecution.
In 2000, Mr. She and several local practitioners went to Beijing to appeal for their right to practice Falun Gong. They were arrested and taken back to Hanyin. Mr. She was given three years in Zaozihe Labour Camp.
The labour camp guards tortured Mr. She in an attempt to force him to forsake his belief. They once kicked him hard in the chest and punched him in the kidney. Another time, they cuffed his hands behind his back and hung him up to heating pipes by the handcuffs, with his toes barely touching the ground. The torture lasted 27 days. Mr. She suffered severe injuries and mental trauma as a result.
After being released from the labour camp, Mr. She was removed from his teaching position and reassigned to do odd jobs at school. With reduced income, his family struggled to make ends meet.
Both Husband and Wife Imprisoned
Many practitioners in Ankang City were arrested on April 8, 2009. Among them were over 10 practitioners from Hanyin County, including Mr. She and his wife, Ms. Peng Xia. The couple's then-two-year-old child was left at home along with Mr. She's parents in their 70s. The grandparents and grandchild lived in misery without any income.
During a secret trial at Hanyin Court on December 24, 2009, Ms. She was sentenced to seven years in Weinan Prison. Ms. Peng was also illegally convicted for her faith. She was given probation, but Chen Yong, then Communist Party Secretary of Ankang City Police Department, refused to release her.
The prison guards ordered inmates to watch Mr. She closely. He would be scolded even for slightly looking at other Falun Gong practitioners. Similar to what he suffered in the labour camp, he continued to be physically abused in prison.
After being released from Weinan Prison in April 2016, Mr. She was reassigned as a temporary worker in the school gym. His health continued to deteriorate as a result of the abuse he suffered in prison.
One day in 2017, he fell out of his bed at night and could not move. Although his condition improved after reading Falun Gong books and doing Falun Gong exercises, it worsened afterwards. In the end, he could only lie in bed and was unable to eat in his final years. Mr. She passed away in March 2019.
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