Name: Yuan Hongying (袁洪英)
Gender: Female
Age: 59
Address: Qiqihar, Heilongjiang Province
Occupation: Housewife
Date of Most Recent Arrest: May 9, 2012
Most Recent Place of Detention: Hongkou District Detention Center (虹口区看守所)
City: Shanghai
Persecution Suffered: Forced labor, illegal sentencing, home ransacked, detention

( Falun Gong practitioner Ms. Yuan Hongying, 59, was illegally tried in Hongkou District Court at 10 a.m. on October 19, 2012. Ms. Yuan, who was in Shanghai to help take care of her son's baby, was illegally sentenced to three and a half years in prison. The logic behind the judge's sentencing was that Ms. Yuan had already served a forced labor term for practicing Falun Gong. At 9 a.m. that day, the entrance to the courthouse was guarded by a large number of plainclothes officers and police cars. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) was so intimidated by this kind lady who had never even attended school, that they had to employ many officers and police cars. Ms. Yuan appealed the sentence, but Judge Duan Shouliang from the Shanghai No. 2 Intermediate Court upheld the original decision.

Before she began to practice Falun Gong, Ms. Yuan used to suffer from many health problems, including heart disease, asthma, inflammation of the gallbladder, and swollen legs. She had recovered from all of them after practicing Falun Gong and has not taken any medicine for the past 15 years. However, now that she is detained and being persecuted in a detention center, her old illnesses have recurred. Falun Gong improves one's health and saves lives, while the CCP's public security system does the opposite.

Arrested, Lawyers Prevented from Getting Involved

Ms. Yuan was arrested by officers from the Guangzhong Road Police Station on May 9, 2012. On the day of the arrest, her two-year-old granddaughter and her sister-in-law were visiting. The police officers paid no attention to the child or their threatening appearance and arrested Ms. Yuan. They not only returned to ransack her home, but also threatened and interrogated her sister-in-law. As a result, her sister-in-law's blood pressure went up and she had a recurrence of heart disease. She quickly left Shanghai, afraid she might die there. Upon her return home, she was hospitalized. Ms. Yuan's two-year-old granddaughter did not have anyone to take care of her, and she often cried for her grandma. Ms. Yuan's husband also was harassed by officers from the local police station, which caused his heart disease to recur.

Ms. Yuan's daughter came from Heilongjiang Province to Shanghai. She has been running non-stop to fight for Ms. Yuan's release, but no one will give her the time of day. The Hongkou Police Department authorities sent officers to Ms. Yuan's son's workplace to threaten him. They asked, “Who published the news of Yuan Hongying's arrest on the Internet? Are you supported by a foreign force?” They also threatened to closely investigate her case.

During this time, Ms. Yuan's family hired lawyers from Beijing to defend her. The person in charge at the Domestic Security Division, Lu Jinyong, repeatedly tried to keep the lawyers from getting involved. Ms. Yuan's family told him, “There is no law that says that Falun Gong is illegal.” Officer Lu yelled impatiently, “Don't talk to me about the law.” The family wondered, “As a law-enforcement officer, what else would we talk to you about besides the law?” Officer Lu also said, “Given her 'bad manners,' Yuan Hongying will be sentenced to four years in prison, or at least three and half years.” What he meant by “bad manners” was that she didn't cooperate with him and disclose the names of other Falun Gong practitioners. Police officer Song Xiang also called her family and told them to fire the lawyers.

Laws Not Followed in the Courtroom

Hongkou Court illegally tried Ms. Yuan on October 19. Instigated by the Domestic Security Division and the 610 Office authorities, the bailiffs and security guards tried to prevent the family members from attending the hearing in every possible way. There were plainclothes officers and police cars everywhere outside of the courthouse. Some officers took many pictures of the crowd outside of the courthouse while looking for a chance to arrest and persecute other Falun Gong practitioners.

When Ms. Yuan's family tried to enter the courthouse to attend the hearing, the bailiffs and security guards came out to try to stop them. They said, “Our superiors have said that only three family members are allowed to enter.” The family asked, “Isn't this a public hearing? Why is there a limit to the number of attendees?” The family was also told to show a summons. In the courtroom itself, the family had to sit in the back. Later, eight to nine unidentified people of questionable background came in and sat in the front. Ms. Yuan's relatives asked, “It is our family member who is being tried. Why are they allowed to sit in the front? Who are those people?” The bailiff said, “This is a public hearing. They registered first.” The family asked, “If it's a public hearing, then why are only three of our family members allowed to attend?” One of the bailiffs then said, “Do you want to stay? If not, get out!”

During the trial, the prosecutor from the Procuratorate read out loud the fabricated “testimonies.” No evidence was given, nor did any witnesses show up. The prosecutor said that Ms. Yuan “undermined law enforcement.” The lawyer defended her and said, “Ms. Yuan is just an elderly lady who can only write her name. For most of her life, she experienced ups and downs and accumulated many illnesses. It is because she practices Falun Gong that she regained her health. She is accused of undermining law enforcement, but she is simply not capable of doing so and never intended to do so. She has not caused any harm to anyone. How can she be guilty?” The lawyer also said, “If Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is evil, then what is good?”

Facing the lawyer's well-reasoned defense, Judge Zhou Jun interrupted at every possible opportunity. As a result, Ms. Yuan's other lawyer could not present a complete defense. She was illegally sentenced to three and half years in prison. The evidence was that she had already served a forced labor term for practicing Falun Gong.

Family Not Allowed to Visit

Ms. Yuan, 59, is from Qiqihar City, Heilongjiang Province. Under Communist rule, her family had been very poor since she was little. She never went to school and often didn't have enough to eat. As her children got older, the family's finances got a little bit better, but her health got worse and worse. She suffered from asthma, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammation of the gallbladder, noncancerous growths on the uterus, and swollen legs. She took medications constantly. By chance, Ms. Yuan started to practice Falun Gong in 1997 and followed the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance in her daily conduct. Ever since then she has become a better person. She always considers others first and has recovered from all her illnesses. After the CCP launched the persecution of Falun Gong, Ms. Yuan was arrested three times. She was sentenced to two years of forced labor in 2003 and forced to do hard labor for 14 to 15 hours a day in Shuanghe Forced Labor Camp in Qiqihar. Whenever she couldn't finish her quota, the guards threatened to extend her term.

Ms. Yuan has been illegally detained in Hongkou District Detention Center since her arrest in Shanghai. Her health is extremely poor and her severe heart disease has since recurred. Her family tried a few times to visit her (according to the law, the family is allowed to visit), but the guards at the detention center turned them away every time. Later on they didn't even allow her lawyers to visit her. Her family called the detention center and someone by the name of Teng was very rude when answering the phone. Teng told the family that they were not allowed to visit and they could report the situation to wherever they wanted.

When the family called the inspection department at the prison, a person named Chen who answered the phone seemed very well prepared and claimed, “Yuan Hongying doesn't want to see her family and doesn't want to hire any lawyer.” Her daughter said, “My mom has always employed a lawyer and had never said that she would not use a lawyer. The last time the lawyers visited, she asked them to tell her when the hearing would be held.” Chen repeated the same lies over and over. In the end, her daughter asked, “Mr. Chen, you said that my mother has been illegally detained there for more than six months and that she doesn't want to see us. Do you, yourself, believe that?” Chen had no reply. He then said, “Well, your mom practices Falun Gong. Do you believe that?” Her daughter said, “My mother regained her health through practicing. She helps others and is kind to everyone. We are her witnesses and we all believe it.” Chen said, “I have answered all of your questions. Report me if you are not satisfied.”

Ms. Yuan's family was very sad. The public security system officials and the detention center officials worked together against Ms. Yuan and they do not do things in accordance with the law. They tell lies shamelessly and shift the case back and forth to avoid dealing with it. The family is very worried about Ms. Yuan's health. The last time the lawyers saw Ms. Yuan, she said she often felt that she couldn't breathe. Her blood pressure has gone up, her teeth have loosened, and she didn't have enough to eat. She wanted to have her tooth pulled, but the prison doctor didn't dare to because her blood pressure was high. Even the lawyers are now not allowed to visit, and her family is very worried about her. They want to know if her health is getting worse—why otherwise all of a sudden are the lawyers not allowed to visit her?

The family called the director of the detention center and was told by the director, “Yuan Hongying will go to prison,” meaning that she will be taken to a prison. Ms. Yuan's family is calling upon international society to pay attention to the persecution and to Ms. Yuan's safety!