Guangdong Woman Detained for Her Faith, Young Sons Interrogated by Armed Police
(Minghui.org) Ms. Chen Pingzhen’s elderly parents trembled when the police scaled their fence and broke into their home to arrest her in the middle of the night. Her father died one month later.
The Lechang County, Guangdong Province resident was later sentenced to five years in prison for her faith in Falun Gong, an ancient spiritual discipline being persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999. She is now held in incommunicado, and the authorities have refused to disclose her detention location to her family.
Father Dies in Agony, Young Sons Intimidated by Armed Police
A group of officers broke into Ms. Chen’s home on July 23, 2019 and ransacked the place without showing identification or a search warrant.
The officers forbade her husband from asking for her whereabouts. As he is still recovering from a major surgery, Ms. Chen’s 77-year-old mother struggled to care for her two grandsons, aged 7 and 8.
Ms. Chen’s arrest dealt a heavy blow to her father. Unable to eat or sleep well, his health quickly deteriorated and he passed away on August 29, 2019.
The police also went to Ms. Chen’s sons’ elementary school three times. More than 20 armed police officers showed up on October 18, 2019, questioning whether the little boys practice Falun Gong. The officers also videotaped the boys during the conversation.
Family Stonewalled about Her Current Situation
Ms. Chen’s husband received a call from an unknown person in December 2019, and was told that she had been sentenced to a five-year prison term.
Upon hearing the news, Ms. Chen’s mother, Ms. Huang Xiangui, rushed to the local Procuratorate to inquire about her case, and was received by an officer surnamed Lin. Lin told her that Ms. Chen had been sentenced for writing letters to local 610 Office director Zhu Huiqun in 2017 and 2018, and posting information about Falun Gong in public.
The 610 Office is an extralegal agency created specifically to persecute Falun Gong.
Ms. Huang next went to the local court, where a staff member gave her the phone number of Judge Qiu, who was in charge of Ms. Chen’s case.
When Ms. Huang called Judge Qiu, he refused to talk to her and said they would inform her if there were new developments about Ms. Chen’s case.
The court staff member also told Ms. Huang that her daughter was being detained at the Lechang Detention Center and hadn’t been sentenced.
Ms. Huang then went to Lechang Detention Center on January 6, 2020 to make deposits for Ms. Chen. But the guards there said she had already been transferred to Shaoguan Detention Center on November 7, 2019.
With contradictory accounts from the authorities, Ms. Chen’s family is not sure about her sentencing status. They haven't been informed of her whereabouts at the time of this writing. They also worry whether she has been subjected to mistreatment for holding firm to her faith.
Because she practices Falun Gong, Ms. Chen has been repeatedly targeted during the past 20 years. She was arrested and sentenced to three years in prison in 2001. Only one year after being released, she was arrested again and sent to Sanhui Brainwashing Center in 2005.
She was arrested one more time and held in the brainwashing center in 2015 for filing a criminal complaint against Jiang Zemin, the former head of the communist regime who ordered the persecution of Falun Gong.