(Minghui.org) As the 2018 Chinese New Year approaches, many Falun Gong practitioners are not able to reunite with their loved ones to celebrate this traditional holiday, and even elderly practitioners are not spared.

These practitioners have been targeted for their belief in Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline based on the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, which has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999. The practitioners are illegally jailed, and the health of innumerable practitioners are deteriorating due to mistreatment and abuse in detention centers and prisons.

In Dalian City, Liaoning Province, many practitioners in their 70s, including Ms. Liu Yufen, Ms. Wang Xiuxiang, Mr. Ma Ruitian, and Ms. Zhang Chengjun, are still detained or have fled their homes to avoid being persecuted.

Ms. Liu, 79, was arrested on October 8, 2017, by officers from Dalian's Economic and Technological Development Zone Police Department and Domestic Security Division.

Ms. Wang Xiuxiang, 76, is going to be transferred to the Liaoning Provincial Women's Prison to serve a three-year prison term. She is being held in a detention center, although she was found to have high blood pressure and other medical conditions when she was illegally arrested on January 16, 2018.

Ms. Zhang Chengjun, 78, was released on February 17, 2017, after serving three years in prison. She cannot return home because of the persecution.

Mr. Ma Ruitian, 76, is serving an eight-and-a-half year term at the Shenyang No. 1 Prison. He is nearly blind due to being tortured.