Woman With Serious Health Problems Tried, Sentenced, and Imprisoned
(Minghui.org) A Dandong City resident suffering from serious health problems since her arrest more than one year ago was made to stand trial and sentenced to three years and two months in prison. Her assigned prison initially declined to admit her, citing her poor health condition, but it took her in three months later.
Ms. Zhao Xuejing, in her sixties, was arrested on May 12, 2017 for putting up banners with messages about Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline being persecuted by the Chinese communist regime.
Ms. Zhao was found to have high blood pressure on the night of her arrest. The local Dandong City Detention Center refused to take her, but one officer said, “Even if she dies, she must do it at the detention center!”
She developed heart problems during her detention. Three times she lost consciousness and had to be resuscitated. Her family visited the local police station many times to request her release, but no one addressed their concern.
The local Procuratorate returned her case to police three times, on June 27, September 6, and November 16, 2017. Du Guojun, head of the local Domestic Security Office, refused to release Ms. Zhao. He managed to persuade the Procuratorate to file an indictment against her.
Ms. Zhao appeared in Yuanbao District Court on January 19, 2018. Her loved ones noted that she needed help walking into the courtroom and that she appeared extremely weak. Judge Ma Shuhe sentenced her to prison and fined her 3,000 yuan on January 22. Her appeal was rejected by Dandong Intermediate Court on February 26.
Ms. Zhao had previously served seven years in prison for her faith. As no law in China criminalizes Falun Gong, she resumed her efforts of raising awareness of the persecution after she was released. Her simple act led to her latest arrest and second imprisonment.
Liaoning Province Women's Prison, located in Shenyang City, refused to admit Ms. Zhao on March 12, 2018, when she failed the required medical examination.
Upon learning of what happened, Ms. Zhao's family requested that she be released on bail. Li Tong, director of the detention center, said they had already filed a bail request with the Shenyang Prison Bureau.
Ms. Zhao's family was asked to visit the Dandong Judicial Bureau about one month later. They were told that an affidavit issued by her local community committee must be on file to secure her bail. They said the affidavit must state that the committee would guarantee that Ms. Zhao would never step forward to talk to people about Falun Gong again.
The committee refused to issue such an affidavit, as it felt there was no way they could make such a promise. It held firm to its decision despite Ms. Zhao's family's pleas.
Ms. Zhao remained in the detention center for the next few months. Her family then received a phone call from Yuanbao District Court in June 2018, asking them if Ms. Zhao had any history of heart problems. Her family said no. Several days later, they learned that Ms. Zhao had been admitted to the prison on June 19.
The family is calling for kindhearted people to help seek her release.