Summary of Key Persecution Facts:
Name: Fang Zhengping
Address: Xichang, Sichuan Province
Date of Death: July 2013
Date of Most Recent Arrest: October 14th, 2007
Most Recent Place of Detention: Yunnan Province No. 1 Prison
Persecution Suffered : Forced labour, brainwashing, beatings, imprisonment, home ransacked, interrogation, detention
Mr. Fang Zhengping was a Falun Gong practitioner in Xichang, Sichuan Province. He was arrested for telling others about the persecution of Falun Gong in Suijiang County, Yunnan Province, on October 14th, 2007. The Suijiang County Court sentenced him to seven years in prison. He died at the age of 57 after being tortured in the Yunnan Province No. 1 Prison.
Mr. Fang had spent two-thirds of his time in prison in the last 14 years because of the persecution. What he endured is hard to imagine.
A Life of Hardship
Mr. Fang was born into a peasant family in Mingzhu Township, Mabian County, Leshan, Sichuan Province, in 1956. The people in the countryside were barely surviving due to the ruthless campaigns imposed by the Communist Party, including “land reform,” “wiping out bandits who opposed the leaders,” and “suppression of counter-revolutionaries.” “Rural cooperatives” was also about to start.
Mr. Fang's parents named him Zhengping. "Zheng" was a Chinese character used in his family tree to indicate his generation. “Ping” means peace in Chinese. His parents wanted him to have a peaceful life.
The Great Leap Forward was implemented, and the Great Famine followed. His father passed away, and Mr. Fang was left with his mother and two younger brothers. To survive, his mother remarried, and he had three younger half-brothers.
His parents could not afford to raise six children, so they gave him up for adoption during the Cultural Revolution. His adoptive parents were soon unable to continue raising him, so he was sent back and became homeless.
A New Life
Mr. Fang lived alone until he met Ms. Cheng Donglan. He was then in his 40s and worked as a beekeeper in Xichang. Ms. Cheng had just lost her husband and lived with her son, so they got married.
Ms. Cheng started to practise Falun Gong in 1997 through a friend. Her illnesses disappeared in several months, and she was in good health and in good spirits.
Mr. Fang watched in surprise as his wife changed. Being healthy and having a family full of laughter were his greatest desires. He saw the hope in his wife, and he began practising Falun Gong.
He read the Falun Gong book Zhuan Falun, and Falun Gong brought him a new world beyond all his expectations. He had been hurt by his early misfortunes, and he was guarded and generally hostile towards others. Zhuan Falun interpreted life in a new way for him. He understood that his early years of misfortune came from his bad deeds in his previous lives, and his suffering was paying back the debts. He let go of his resentment towards others. He learned that looking inward in conflicts and being kind would help him have better relationships and build his own merit for a better future.
His hepatitis symptoms disappeared. He no longer lost his temper or fought. Mr. Fang and his wife lived in the family compound at the Xichang 401 Factory. The sewer in the building was backed up with garbage and smelled, since no one took care of it. The couple volunteered to clean it all year long after they learned Falun Gong and studied the teachings.
Arrested Seven Times, Dies in Prison
Mr. Fang was arrested for practising Falun Gong seven times, subjected to forced labour twice, and sentenced to seven years in prison after the Communist regime launched the persecution in July 1999.
The guard of the family compound reported to the Changningban Neighbourhood Community that a dozen practitioners visited Mr. Fang at home on April 24th, 2000. Changan Police Station officers arrested Mr. Fang the next day. Officers from the Xichang Domestic Security Division jailed him in the Xichang Detention Centre. Guards had inmates beat him, and he was severely injured. It took him more than a month to recover after he was released. The detention centre even charged him for meals.
Changningban Neighbourhood Community officials held him in the Changan Police Station on February 18th, 2001. Station officers took him to the Mapingba Brainwashing Centre, and he was there for five months. Officers from the Domestic Security Division handcuffed him, threw him up in the air, and let him fall to the ground, where he was held under the baking sun for hours. He was finally released after his wife signed a guarantee to “help and educate him.” He was forced to pay the brainwashing camp 1000 yuan1 for his living expenses.
In Xining Town on October 13th, 2001, Mr. Fang was reported for telling a beekeeper about the persecution. Police arrested him, ransacked his home, and imprisoned him at the Mapingba Drug Rehabilitation Centre for a month. Mr. Fang refused to stop practising. Guard Zhou wrote a 20-day extension on a blank warrant--no legal process was followed. He was finally released after his wife was forced to sign a statement promising to “help and educate” him to give up his practice.
Officers from the Xining Town Police Station arrested Mr. Fang in the middle of the night on August 27th, 2003, while he was outside distributing fliers about the persecution. They all beat him, and one of them targeted his chest. After they beat him to the ground, they tied him to an electric pole and continued. Officers from the Xinchang Domestic Security Division subsequently took Mr. Fang with them to his home and ransacked it. After they interrogated him using torture, they took him to the Liangshan Detention Centre. However, the detention center dared not admit him because he was in very bad shape. He was finally imprisoned at the Xichang Detention Centre and released on September 27th. Some of his injuries still did not heal even after two months.
Officers from the Xichang Domestic Security Division seized his bike. Mr. Fang went to demand his bike back on January 13th, 2004. Officers Wang, Luo, and two others handcuffed him and held him in the Tuohuang Drug Rehabilitation Centre. The tightly fastened handcuffs caused such severe pain that he could not speak. He was incarcerated for a year at the Xinhua Forced Labour Camp in Mianyang on April 8th.
Mr. Fang was arrested for telling others about the persecution on August 29th, 2006, and subsequently subjected to 20 months of forced labor. He was imprisoned at the Xichang Mapingba Drug Rehabilitation Centre. Guards had inmates beat him and did not give him enough food. His family sent money to him, but he did not get it. He was not even allowed to wash his clothes.
Mr. Fang went to his hometown for his resident ID and was arrested for telling others about the persecution by the Suijiang County Domestic Security Division on October 14th, 2007. The Suijiang County Court sentenced him to seven years in prison on December 13th. He was incarcerated in the Yunnan No. 1 Prison but jailed in Qujing Prison for a day before he was taken to the No. 1 Prison. Guards in Qujing Prison beat him. He was barely able to move again after one and a half months. This was his seventh arrest and imprisonment. This time he did not survive.
Before he died in prison, Mr. Fang had been jailed for 106 out of the 165 months since July 1999.
Ms. Cheng, his wife, was sentenced to ten years in prison on September 14th, 2010, and is imprisoned in the Yangmahe Women's Prison in Jianyang, Sichuan Province.
1. "Yuan" is the Chinese currency; 500 yuan is equal to the average monthly income of an urban worker in China.
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