Area of Origin: Nanjing City, Jiangsu Province, China
Background: Male, 57 years old, worked as the chief engineer of the 14th Research Institute of China Electronic Technology Group Corporation in Nanjing City, Jiangsu Province before the persecution on Falun Gong began in 1999.
Mr. Ma was repeatedly arrested and imprisoned for a total of 8.5 years. On July 20, 1999, Mr. Ma and four other Falun Gong practitioners were among the first to be arrested by the Chinese Communist Party in Nanjing City. Mr. Ma was bailed out after two months of detention. He was later detained for several days around May 1, 2000. Mr. Ma was arrested again in November 2000 and was sentenced to seven years in prison after being tortured and interrogated. He became homeless when he was released in November 2007. He was arrested again on April 30, 2009 and was detained for six months. During an arrest on May 26, 2011, the head of the Nanjing 610 Office, Xiao Ningjian, and other officers beat Mr. Ma and interrogated him at the police station. His heart was severely damaged during this round of interrogation. Mr. Ma was sentenced to one-and-a-half years of forced labor on September 19, 2011.
Mr. Ma was mistreated both in and out of the prison. His home was ransacked. Many of his Falun Gong items and cherished possessions were confiscated by the police. In detention, he was subjected to intensive brainwashing and tortured badly, including being handcuffed behind his back and strong inmates repeatedly throwing him in the air and letting him fall to the ground. The authorities attempted to force him to write statements renouncing Falun Gong and attacking its founder.
Mr. Ma’s wife, Yuhua Zhang, currently resides in the United States. Reason for his arrest: On September 19, 2017, Mr. Ma was arrested by Nanjing police for sending mail to the county leader regarding Falun Gong, and was detained at the Qinhuai District Detention Center. In October 2017, Mr. Ma was officially arrested. On May 16, 2018, Mr. Ma went on trial at the Xuanwu District Court in Nanjing City. On June 28, he was sentenced to three years in prison and fined thirty thousand yuan (around 4458 USD). The verdict stated that “Ma Zhenyu wrote 7 letters to central government leaders to appeal for Falun Gong.” Mr. Ma refused to accept the verdict and filed an appeal. On August 30, 2018, the Nanjing Intermediate People’s Court issued a ruling on the second instance to maintain the judgment of the first instance. Mr. Ma is currently jailed in Suzhou Prison.
Current Status as of March 2019:
- LATEST: According to a call with Mr. Ma’s wife on March 18, 2019, Mr. Ma’s lawyer tried to visit him at Suzhou Prison. However, the prison denied the lawyer entry. Mr. Ma’s wife signed a letter of authorization for the lawyer to meet with Mr. Ma, but the letter was not acknowledged by the officer. Mr. Ma’s mother also signed a letter of authorization. However, the police then pressured Mr. Ma’s bother to force his mother to void the authorization. No one is currently allowed to meet with Mr. Ma.