Former Marine Researcher Has Pension Suspended After Being Sentenced for Not Renouncing Her Faith
(Minghui.org) A woman from Hangzhou City, Zhejiang Province was sentenced to two and a half years in prison in October 2018 for refusing to renounce her faith in Falun Gong.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a mind-body discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.
Due to her poor health, Ms. Dong Xiangru is currently under house arrest. The local authorities have been repeatedly harassing her at home and her former employer has suspended her pension since March 2019.
A former senior researcher at Zhejiang Province Marine Fishery Bureau, 74-year-old Ms. Dong was first harassed by the police on June 7, 2017, who descended upon her home and attempted to force her to renounce her faith. She refused.
The police returned eight days later and arrested her. They confiscated her portrait of the founder of Falun Gong and scraped off the words “Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance is good” from the wall in her apartment.
The officers claimed that Ms. Dong was recorded on a surveillance camera distributing Falun Gong-related materials, but they didn't provide any evidence of it. She tried to persuade them not to participate in the persecution of Falun Gong, but they refused to listen. They grabbed her arm and forced her to sign on the arrest record. Her hands and arms had bruises afterward.
The police interrogated her for six straight hours before driving her to Hangzhou Detention Center, which declined to take her due to her high blood pressure. The police took her back at 5 a.m. on June 16 and released her on one year of bail at noon.
Between November 2 - 20, 2017, the police and staff members from the local residential committee kept harassing her at home and attempted to take her to a brainwashing center. When she refused, they sent a person with a graduate degree in legal studies to “work on” her. He threatened to have her arrested if she didn't renounce her faith. She said that she would never give up practicing Falun Gong.
The police continued to harass her, her children and her 84-year-old husband. They also pressured her husband's former workplace to suspend his pension. The police later submitted her case to the procuratorate, which forwarded it to the court.
Court Trial and Suspended Pension
Ms. Dong appeared in Xihu District Court on May 9, 2018. She testified in her own defense, and her lawyer entered a not guilty plea for her.
The judge sentenced her to two and a half years in prison with a 20,000-yuan fine on October 11, 2018. She was ordered to serve time at Hangzhou Detention Center, which declined to take her after a check-up revealed that she was in poor health. The judge decided that evening to put her on house arrest for the time being.
Ms. Dong appealed to Hangzhou City Intermediate Court, which ruled on December 27, 2018, to uphold her prison sentence without an open hearing.
Ms. Dong received an oral notification from her workplace that her pension would be suspended starting in March 2019 because of her faith.
During the communist regime's National People's Congress on March 5-15, 2019, the police and residential committee staff monitored her every day and followed her wherever she went.