Imprisoned Woman Denied Family Visits for Four Months for Doing Falun Gong Exercises
(Minghui.org) Ms. Zhang Wei has been denied family visits for four months because she did the Falun Gong exercises at Liaoning Women's Prison, where she is serving a 8.5-year term for not renouncing her faith.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a spiritual and meditation discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.
Ms. Zhang, a resident of Dandong City, Liaoning Province, has already served three years at Liaoning Women's Prison, since spring 2016. She has been frequently beaten by the guards and inmates for not giving up her faith, causing severe injuries to her back and legs. She did the Falun Gong exercises to recover her health, only to be denied family visits starting in April 2019.
Ms. Zhang's husband went to the prison on June 27, 2019. Two guards told him, “Zhang Wei did the Falun Gong exercises in front of hundreds of people at the prison factory. She violated our rules here. We are denying her all visits!”
One of her family members said to the guards, “We haven't seen her for four months and are very worried about her, especially her 80-year-old mother. Zhang Wei almost died after she was tortured while serving her first prison term here in 2002. She was beaten again this time, how can we not worry about her?”
The guards replied, “If she doesn't follow the prison rules, we will lock her in solitary confinement, with her hands cuffed.”
Her husband asked the guards, “She still has several years to serve here. Will you keep her hands cuffed all the time if she doesn't stop doing the exercises?”
No matter what the family members said, the guards still refused to allow them to see Ms. Zhang.
Ms. Zhang's family next went to the local Procuratorate to complain about the prison. They were directed to the Provincial Prison Administration Office, which referred them to the Provincial Prison Petition Office.
A staff member at the Provincial Prison Petition Office asked Ms. Zhang's family to file a complaint with the internal petition office at the prison directly. “If you are still not satisfied with the response from them, you can come back and talk to us.” the staff member said.
Ms. Zhang's family went to the prison's petition office the next day with the complaint, only to be rejected. They returned to the provincial prison petition office and were received by the same person as the day before. That staff member read their complaint and went to another room to call his supervisor.
When he returned about four minutes later, he told Ms. Zhang's family that the case couldn't be accepted and that the family had to talk with the prison authorities themselves.
Ms. Zhang's family made another attempt to contact the prison but were told that as long as she does the Falun Gong exercises, they will not be allowed to visit her.
Ms. Zhang's husband vowed to hire a lawyer to seek justice for her.
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