Imprisoned Woman Put in Solitary Confinement, Denied Phone Calls and Family Visits
(Minghui.org) A 54-year-old woman imprisoned for her faith in Falun Gong has been denied visits and phone calls with her family for several months.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.
Ms. Yan Shufang, a Tonghua City, Jilin Province resident, is serving a four-year term at Jilin Province Women’s Prison.
Because of refusing to give up Falun Gong, she was held in isolation and not allowed to contact or talk to anyone. It was reported that she lost a significant amount of weight during this period.
Ms. Yan’s family said Ms. Yan used to call them once every month, but they haven’t received calls from her for several months now. They went to the prison to visit her prior to the Chinese New Year, but were rejected.
Ms. Yan’s family heard that a new guard was assigned to oversee her. They worry that she might have been abused by the guard because of her faith.
Arrest and Sentencing
Ms. Yan was arrested on April 24, 2016 for distributing informational materials about Falun Gong. She was interrogated at a hotel and deprived of sleep for five days. The police slapped her in the face with a plastic stick and extorted money from her family.
After Ms. Yan’s case was submitted to the Antu County Court, Hong Shuying, the presiding judge in charge of her case, forced her lawyer to quit representing her and then told her family that it was the lawyer’s own decision.
Ms. Yan appeared in court on June 13, 2017 and was later sentenced to four years. She was transferred to Jilin Province Women's Prison in mid-December 2017. The court didn’t inform her family of her sentencing or the imprisonment. They only found out about it through the detention center.