Elderly Woman Sentenced to Seven Years after Three Years of Incarceration and Torture
(Minghui.org) An elderly woman was arrested in 2015 for practicing Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline persecuted in China since 1999. After a year of detention, she was tried in October and again in December 2016. For her second hearing, the authorities did not notify her family or provide her with legal counsel. Ms. Fang Zhengrong was sentenced to seven years in prison. She has filed an appeal.
Prior to this trial, Ms. Fang was subjected to torture for 13 months in a detention center and twice in a forced labor camp for a total of three years and three months.
Ms. Fang Zhengrong, 66-year-old, began practicing Falun Gong in 1998. Through the practice, her major illnesses disappeared, including heart problems, esophageal and nasal tumors, and kidney inflammation.
Ms. Fang was arrested in August 2002 at a train station in Chengdu, when the authorities found her carrying Falun Gong literature. She was detained in the Pi County Detention Center and interrogated. Officers slammed her head against a metal column until her face was swollen and she could not see. She was only partially conscious and unable to eat for days.
Ms. Fang was transferred to Nanmusi Forced Labor Camp in Zizhong City in September 2003. She was held there for two years, frequently tortured, and often beaten until she was covered in blood. The guards would not let Ms. Fang use the toilet, change her clothes, or wash up.
She was made to sit or stand still until 2:00 a.m. and then had to get up at 5:00 am. Her meals consisted solely of plain rice. Without water or other food, she was severely constipated.
Ms. Fang was locked in solitary confinement for refusing to renounce Falun Gong. The guards instigated 18 people to take turns beating her. During one beating, clumps of her hair were pulled out, and her head was covered in blood.
Ms. Fang was again arrested for talking to people about the persecution of Falun Gong in March 2007. After 38 days in a detention center, she was transferred to Nanmusi Forced Labor Camp again.
Because Ms. Fang refused to renounce Falun Gong, a captain ordered prisoners to hit her on the head. Her ears bled, and her hearing has been impaired ever since. The authorities made Ms. Fang stand or sit motionless for two months with no toilet breaks. She also had to do forced labor until her release in June 2008.