Retired Pharmacist Sentenced to Prison for Her Faith
(Minghui.org) A retired pharmacist of Yongxing County Public Hospital was sentenced to three years in prison for refusing to renounce Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline being persecuted by the Chinese communist regime.
Ms. Huang Xiaofen has filed an appeal against the verdict. This is not the first time that she has been targeted for her faith since the persecution began in July 1999. Her husband, Mr. Chen Yiyuan, died less than one year after serving 8 years in prison for practicing Falun Gong.
Wife’s Arrest, Trial, and Sentencing
Ms. Huang was home on April 11, 2017, when police broke in and arrested her. As no law in China criminalizes Falun Gong, she was determined to fight for her freedom. She entrusted her two lawyers to file two rounds of complaints against officers Bian Lichuan and Liu Jingsong, as well as Tang Xiaobi and Liu Jihong (both prosecutors who issued her arrest warrant).
The local procuratorate twice returned her case to police but eventually filed an indictment against her. One official admitted, “We have no choice [but to charge her]. We’re facing tremendous pressure from higher authorities.”
According to insiders, the Chenzhou City 610 Office ordered Ms. Huang’s indictment. The 610 Office is an extralegal agency created by the central Communist Party leadership specifically to eradicate Falun Gong, and it is given the power to override the judiciary in carrying out its task.
Ms. Huang appeared in court on December 6. Many supporters came to attend the trial, but only a few were allowed to enter the courthouse even though many seats were still vacant.
The prosecutor alleged that the Falun Gong books confiscated from Ms. Huang’s home was evidence that she broke the law, citing two notices issued by China's Administration of Press and Publications in July 1999 to ban the publication of Falun Gong books. Ms. Huang’s lawyers countered that the Administration repealed the ban in 2011 and that it was fully legal for citizens to own Falun Gong books.
The prosecutor proceeded to allege that Ms. Huang broke the law by promoting Falun Gong (also known as Falun Dafa) at the local detention center. Ms. Huang argued that she was helping a drug addict calm down by telling her to say, “Falun Dafa is good.” The drug addict heeded her advice and had a good night’s sleep.
The prosecutor replied that Ms. Huang’s way of helping people was illegal and that she should have sought a legal channel to assist that drug addict.
Judge Luo Wen convicted her not long after the court hearing.
Husband’s Untimely Death
Ms. Huang’s husband, Mr. Chen, was arrested on April 20, 2003, for refusing to renounce Falun Gong. Police paraded him through the streets weeks later on May 1, with his mouth taped shut and his arms tied behind his back.
Mr. Chen was later sentenced to 8 years in prison. He was subjected to 24/7 surveillance during his entire imprisonment. There were people watching him even when he took a shower or used the restroom.
He was forced to do 14 hours of hard labor from dawn to evening every day. At night, he was ordered to listen to propaganda tapes slandering Falun Gong before he was allowed to go to sleep.
Mr. Chen later developed high blood pressure. Not long before his release, he was moved to the prison hospital, where he was given unknown drugs from time to time.
He was extremely weak when he was released in April 2011. He told his wife that those drugs made him extremely uncomfortable.
The local police kept monitoring him after his release. On August 20, 2011, more than 30 officers appeared at the couple’s home and turned the place upside down. Officer Liu Hongbing stayed at the couple’s home for several days.
Mr. Chen passed away in March 2012.