(Clearwisdom.net) Ms. Liu Zhi, a 49-year-old Falun Gong practitioner from Heping District, Shenyang City, Liaoning Province, was arrested in October 2009, and was sentenced to prison for four years in May 2010.

The Misery and Sadness Ms. Liu Experienced Before Practicing Falun Gong

Before Ms. Liu started to practice Falun Gong in 1995, and when her daughter was about one and a half years old, her husband died suddenly in an accident at work. It was a devastating blow for her and her daughter. After the accident Ms. Liu's mother-in-law did not want them to stay in the house, and she forced them to leave and spend the night on the street in the freezing cold. When Ms. Liu went back to work, her husband's supervisor promised her a job in the railway department, however, he later denied making such a claim. When Ms. Liu went back to her own department to work, she was told that her position was already taken by another person. She was then arranged to take care of the warehouse as a janitor making less money.

With the successive misfortunes that Ms. Liu was going through, her health deteriorated fast, and she developed many illnesses such as heart disease, hypertension, asthma, and convulsions. Her daughter ended up getting sick too. Since her health was poor, and her daughter was so young, she resigned from work. Their lives, however, did not improve. Ms. Liu developed hemoptysis, and she started to have blood in her stool. At that time her and her daughter lived only on noodle soup every day because that was all they could afford.

Ms. Liu Gets a Second Life After Practicing Falun Gong

In 1995, Ms. Liu Zhi was introduced to Falun Gong, which is known for its pronounced effects in curing diseases and improving health. Ms. Liu started to practice and in a very short time, she regained color in her face and all of her illnesses had disappeared. As her body was going through all these changes, her mind also went through a very fundamental change as well. She became more caring toward others and found peace in her heart.

Although life was still hard for her, she started to follow the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. She became happier and found her will to keep living. She also mended tensions with her mother-in-law and became a better person. Her friends all commented that Falun Gong gave her a second life.

The Detention and Persecution of Ms. Liu

On July 20, 1999, Jiang Zemin led the communist regime in persecuting the practitioners of Falun Gong. Ms. Liu stood up against the persecution by telling people how wonderful Falun Gong was and how the Chinese communist party was lying to everyone about the practice.

On October 22, 2009, Ms. Liu was arrested by the police from the Xinxing Police Station in Heping District in Shenyang City, at 4 p.m. The police ransacked her home and they even interrogated and harassed her landlord and her landlord's son. Ms. Liu had been on very friendly terms with her landlord for many years; however, because of the harassment he was undergoing, he forced Ms. Liu's daughter to move out. Her daughter was only a sophomore in high school at that time and did not know where to go.

Then on January 13, 2010, one of the coldest days of the winter, Ms. Liu's daughter had to move out with the assistance of her relatives.

After Ms. Liu was arrested, her daughter rented a house in a remote area. Because she was still so young, she did not not have an income. Her relatives all tried to do their best to help support her, but they could not help her out for a long period of time. Her relatives wrote a letter to the police department, and appealed to have Ms. Liu released as soon as possible.

Xu Yongqin from the National Security Team in Heping District put Ms. Liu's case on record and convicted her of distributing over 20 Falun Gong CDs to her relatives and friends while having Falun Gong materials in her possession. When her case was sent to the prosecutor, it was dismissed because there was not enough evidence against her. Xu Yongqin, however, insisted on having her case investigated further and after a month, he sent her case once again to the prosecutor and asked for it to be put on record.

Liu Qiang in Heping District Court was in charge of Ms. Liu's case. When the case arrived at the court, Ms. Liu's family members went several times but could not find Liu Qiang. When they did finally meet with Liu Qiang three or four days before the trial, he told her family that since Ms. Liu practiced Falun Gong, she should be sentenced to three to seven years in prison. After hearing this, her relatives immediately looked for an attorney and helped to raise money to hire the attorney. Within three or four days, they were referred to attorney Du Li'an in Daoheng in Beijing.

When the attorney was reading through Ms. Liu's records, Liu Qiang warned him not to take any legal action in defending Ms. Liu's case in the court of law. The court decided to put Ms. Liu on trial on April 27, 2010, three days ahead of her planned hearing. Her family members followed the procedure and obtained special passes to watch the trial. However, on the day of the trial, the court did not allow any of her family members to go inside, making up all kinds of excuses why they could not attend. After the trial the court did not announce the verdict in the courtroom or to Ms. Liu.

At noon on May 14, the court notified the attorney to announce the results, but the attorney did not want to go. On May 17, her family members went to ask for the results of Ms. Liu's trial. With the her family not giving up until they had answers, the assistant of Liu Qiang finally told them that Ms. Liu was sentenced to four years by the Heping District Court.

Her family members were shocked. They decided to appeal her case; however, the time allowed for an appeal was only 10 days. On May 20, her family members went to the Zhaohua Detention Center in Shenyang, and asked to meet with Ms. Liu to verify some information. A supervisor named Zheng met with her family members. He said, Ms. Liu was sentenced for four years, and she has been told about it already but that the judgment has not yet been finalized. He also told them that Ms. Liu was preparing to appeal herself.

After making repeated inquiries about the verdict in her trial, it was finally delivered to them on May 24, by Ms. Liu's attorney, Du Li'an. In the verdict, it was said that the case was put on trial in a public setting, however since her family knew that this was a lie and that they would not let them in, they became very angry after reading the verdict. All her family members could do was learn a little bit from what the attorney knew about her trial. They asked for a copy of the defense's case many times, but never did see any of the papers or hear what was said in court.

On the morning of her trial on April 27, Falun Gong practitioners also went in front of the Heping District Court, where the trial of Ms. Liu was being held. They asked to see her and started a peaceful protest. The police came out and started to beat the practitioners who were involved with the protest. A young woman who was passing by took pictures of the police beating the practitioners with her cell phone, however, a policeman saw her and grabbed the cellphone from her.

People participating in Liu Zhi's trial:

Researchers in the Heping District Procuratorate: Wang Yifan, Deng Shuai
Judge and presiding judge in Heping District Court: Liu Qiang
Deputy judge in Heping District Court: Cui Pingsheng
Juryman in Heping District Court: Dong Xiukun
Secretary in Heping District Court: Ji Weiwei