(Minghui.org) A resident of Zhanjiang City, Guangdong Province, was sentenced to seven years in April 2018 for raising awareness of her faith in Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the communist regime since 1999.

Ms. Chen Haixia's appeal was rejected in November 2018 and she was taken to Guangzhou Women's Prison in January 2019 despite her life-threatening high blood pressure that has persisted throughout her prosecution process.

When Ms. Chen's family visited her in mid-February shortly after the Chinese New Year, they were heartbroken to see her extremely emaciated and exhausted. Her son burst into tears upon seeing her.

Ms. Chen told her family that she was forced to watch propaganda videos attacking Falun Gong all day long and could hardly sleep while being monitored around the clock. Her eyes were red due to lack of sleep.

She said the prison guards force-fed her and tried to force her to accept medical care, but she rejected it out of concern that many other Falun Gong practitioners had been subjected to administration of nerve-damaging drugs and other abuses during the treatment.

While her blood pressure stayed at a dangerously high level of 260 mmHg since the start of her imprisonment, the prison refused to release her on medical parole on the grounds that her case (as a Falun Gong practitioner) needs special permission.

Arrested and Sentenced for Passing Out Informational Materials

Ms. Chen was arrested in late October 2017 while distributing Falun Gong materials in her hometown in Leizhou City (about 40 miles from Zhanjiang City). The police released her a few days later and monitored her activities to locate her residence.

The police arrested her again in early November 2017. They ransacked her home and confiscated 6,000 yuan in cash.

Ms. Chen suffered from some physical conditions and fainted several times due to high blood pressure while being kept at Leizhou City Drug Rehabilitation Center. Yet the authorities refused to release her on medical parole.

The police submitted her case to Chikan District Procuratorate in Zhanjiang City before January 2018, which was then rejected by the prosecutor due to insufficient evidence.

While the police collected more information with which to charge Ms. Chen, they rejected her lawyers' request to release her on medical parole.

Ms. Chen appeared in Chikan District Court in April 2018 and was sentenced to seven years in prison. Her family appealed to Zhanjiang City Intermediate Court, which upheld her verdict in November 2018 without holding an open hearing of her case.

Ms. Chen began to serve time at Guangzhou Women's Prison on January 17, 2019 despite her physical condition.

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