Former Teacher Missing, Friend Suspects Another Arrest for Her Faith
(Minghui.org) After having suffered two decades of persecution for her faith in Falun Gong, a Boluo County, Guangdong Province, woman has been missing since March 2020. Her friend suspects that this teacher has been arrested for her faith again and is calling on the international community to assist in her rescue.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is an ancient spiritual and meditation discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party since 1999.
Ms. Yan Ping used to teach at a local elementary school. Even though she was very popular with her students and an excellent teacher, the education bureau fired her after she was sentenced to prison in 2016 because she refused to renounce her faith.
Knowing that Ms. Yan has been struggling financially, one of Ms. Yan's friends tried to contact her in March 2020 about a job opportunity, only to find out that Ms. Yan has been missing for several weeks.
Two Decades of Arrests, Detentions, and Torture
Over the past 20 years, Ms. Yan, a native of Macheng City, Hubei Province, has been repeatedly targeted for her faith in Falun Gong and was even tortured almost to death.
She was first arrested in December 2000 because she appealed for Falun Gong in Beijing. After she was taken back to Macheng, the police kicked her and forced her to kneel down. One officer pulled out much of her hair. She was detained for four months and forced to pay 2,100 yuan in living expenses to the detention center.
Ms. Yan was arrested again on September 29, 2002, for talking to people outside of a cinema when it showed movies defaming Falun Gong. She held a hunger strike in Macheng Detention Center to protest the persecution and was force-fed. Several of her teeth fell out when the guards pried open her mouth. They also tied her up in a spread-eagle position on a death bed until she lost consciousness.
The police later sent her to Shayang Forced Labor Camp for a year. The guards sometimes deprived her of sleep and forced her to stand or squat all day long. She was also forced to do intensive unpaid labor, including farm work, manufacturing earphones, and making Christmas lights. The guards wouldn’t let her sleep if she didn’t finish her daily quota.
Ms. Yan later moved to Boluo County, Guangdong Province, with her husband. She was then arrested on July 21, 2011, for distributing materials about Falun Gong.
The police ransacked her home in front of her husband and sixth-grade son. The boy was so frightened that he couldn’t eat for an entire day. Her husband was also stressed after her arrest—his weight plummeted within in a few days, and he looked old and weary.
In August, Ms. Yan was sent to Sanshui Brainwashing Center in Guangdong City and held there for nearly a year. She was forced to watch videos slandering Falun Gong during the day and was monitored by two staff members around the clock. Her 10,000-yuan merit pay was also withheld by her school.
The authorities continued to harass her from time to time and demanded that she write thought reports to reflect on her mistakes in practicing Falun Gong.
Ms. Yan was arrested again on April 23, 2016, for studying Falun Gong teachings with local practitioners. Because she went on a hunger strike to protest the arbitrary arrest, the detention center guards cuffed her hands and feet together so that she could not stand up. By the time they loosened the cuffs a few weeks later, she could no longer stand or walk.
On September 19, 2016, the Huicheng District Court held a secret hearing for her without informing her family. She appeared in court in a wheelchair.
The judge later sentenced her to a year and a half in prison, with a 5,000-yuan fine. On January 16, 2017, two days before she was transferred to Guangzhou Women’s Prison, the Boluo County Education Bureau fired Ms. Yan.
In prison, Ms. Yan was constantly deprived of sleep, denied use of the restroom, and forced to do unpaid labor. Sometimes the guards forced her to sit on a small stool without moving for extended periods of time and sometimes would force her to hand-copy brainwashing materials. Her right fingers almost became disabled as a result of this torture.
When she was released from prison, her hair had turned gray and she often suffered from headaches, dizziness, and excessive sweating.
The court froze her bank account to make her pay the 5,000-yuan fine.
The authorities constantly harassed Ms. Yan and installed several surveillance cameras outside of her apartment.