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Couple jailed for 10 years - toddlers unattended
According to reports from Mainland China, Mr. Liu Zhiyan, a computer science professor in Mudanjiang City, and his wife Shen Chunhua have recently been sentenced to ten years in prison. Their three-year-old son and one-and-a-half-year-old daughter have been left without parents.
Their alleged crime: possessing literature about the banned Falun Gong meditation and exercise practice.
Falun Gong is a traditional qigong system, similar to Tíai Chi or yoga. Because Falun Gong grew to be more popular that the Communist Party, then-dictator Jiang Zemin declared the practice illegal in 1999.
Liu Zhiyan and his wife are Falun Gong practitioners. According to sources inside China, Liu started to practice Falun Gong while studying at Helongjiang University. In October 2001, he was arrested and sentenced to a labor camp because his practice was for practicing Falun Gong. While in the labor camp, he was tortured so severely, he showed signs of abnormal brain function and had difficulty controlling his speech and movement.
According to Liu Zhiyan, the labor camp guards forced him to take drugs before his release. The drugs affectedhis nervous system and prevented him from falling asleep at night. When he did fall asleep, he had terrifying nightmares. Liuís condition eventually improved after his release.
The reason for this most recent arrest and sentencing is unknown. However, it is believed that Liu and his wife were arrested for possessing Falun Gong pamphlets and informational materials.
Sources inside China also said that unusually large numbers of Falun Gong practitioners have been arrested during the past two months in Mudanjiang City.
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