(Minghui.org) After persistent requests from Ms. Lan Lihua’s family, the Liaoning Women’s Prison finally agreed to release critically ill Ms. Lan on medical parole as early as April 20. It is unclear whether she has been released at the time of writing.

Ms. Lan, a Shenyang City, Liaoning Province resident, is serving a three-year-and-ten-month sentence for raising awareness of the persecution of her faith in Falun Gong, a mind-body discipline that has been targeted by the Chinese Communist Party since 1999.

She developed breast cancer while being held at Shenyang City No.1 Detention Center. Despite her weak physical condition, she was still taken to the prison, where her condition quickly deteriorated and she also contracted Hepatitis B.

On March 17, 2020, a prison guard surnamed Guo called her family and demanded they make a 5,000-yuan deposit for her to do a physical checkup. Guo said Ms. Lan was very weak, could not walk on her own, and kept coughing. But he emphasized that Ms. Lan was denied medical parole because she refused to renounce Falun Gong.

Ms. Lan’s family made the deposit at Guo’s request. Four days later, he called back to inform them of the results, which indicated that her cancer cells had metastasized to both of her lungs. In addition, she had excess fluid accumulation in her chest and heart, enlarged axillary lymph nodes, as well as swelling around her right collarbone and scalp, which are also indicators of cancer metastasization.

On April 13, the prison called Ms. Lan’s son and told him that she was just taken to the hospital and that a doctor had issued a notice of critical condition for her.

Ms. Lan’s family contacted the prison the next day and requested medical parole for her again. The prison insisted that they wouldn’t release her because she refused to renounce Falun Gong. Her family called the prison several times during the day, but to no avail.

On April 15, Ms. Lan’s family went to the prison and demanded that she be released on medical parole. Two officers, including one who claimed to be the president of the prison hospital, received them. They maintained their tough stance and rejected the family’s request. They also refused to allow them to visit Ms. Lan in the hospital.

On the afternoon of April 15, the prison called Ms. Lan’s family and asked them to deposit 2,600 yuan for her for a medical examination.

On April 16, Ms. Lan’s family returned to the prison to continue seeking medical parole for her. Since no officer came to receive them, they had to use a loudspeaker to talk to the officers in the building. Soon, a security guard came over and attempted to take away their speaker. They refused to give in.

After about twenty minutes, an officer surnamed Yin from the prison’s petition office approached them. After Ms. Lan’s family explained their request, Yin first said he couldn’t help, but he later said that the prison had just approved their request and sent the paperwork to the procuratorate for downstream processing.

Ms. Lan’s family rushed to the procuratorate, only to be told that they hadn’t received anything about her case. Her family called the prison to verify the case, but the officer said this time that they hadn’t sent the paperwork to the procuratorate yet.

When her family demanded that the prison provide a clear explanation of the procedure and timeline, prison officials refused to answer and hung up on them.

The family contacted the prison again on April 17 and demanded her immediate release due to her critical condition. This time, the prison authorities affirmed that they were doing the paperwork but said the process might take a long time. They also said that they would not be responsible should anything happen to Ms. Lan before her medical parole was granted.

The prison also allowed Ms. Lan’s husband to have a video call with her. He noted that she appeared very weak and had difficulty talking and breathing. He talked to her for about fifteen minutes. 

He talked to her again on April 18 and felt she was weaker compared to the day before.

He and the rest of the family frequented the prison, hospital and local justice bureau, trying to expedite her parole approval. Although the prison attempted to shift the responsibility to the justice bureau, the bureau staff revealed to Ms. Lan’s family that the decision of whether to release her was still in the hands of the prison. 

When her family contacted the prison again, a guard told them the earliest they could release her may be Monday, April 20. It remains to be investigated whether Ms. Lan has been released at the time of writing.

Related reports:

Imprisoned Woman with Metastatic Breast Cancer Denied Medical Parole

Cancer-stricken Woman Denied Medical Parole Because Family Refuses to Cover Her Medical Expenses That Should be Paid by Prison

Woman Gets Cancer and Hepatitis B in Custody, Prison Refuses to Provide Medical Treatment or Parole

Woman Develops Breast Cancer in Detention, Jailed Again within Four Years for Her Faith