(Minghui.org) A 67-year-old woman returned home after spending five years on the run to avoid being persecuted for her faith in Falun Gong, only to be arrested one day later and eventually sentenced to seven years.

Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is an ancient spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party since 1999.

Ms. Lang Gaiqin of Xinxiang City, Henan Province, was previously arrested on November 3, 2014. After she was released on bail six days later due to health issues, she decided to go into hiding to avoid being arrested again. During the time she was away, the police harassed her daughter several times and submitted her case to the procuratorate, which then indicted her and forwarded her case to the court. 

Ms. Lang was arrested again on July 9, 2019, only one day after she returned home. She was tried in the Hui County Court and sentenced to seven years. Ms. Lang appealed to the Xinxiang City Intermediate Court, which upheld the verdict. She is now in the Xinxiang City Detention Center due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Past Persecution

Ms. Lang used to work at the Xinxiang City Grain Warehouse. She took up Falun Gong in May 1997 and credits the practice for curing her insomnia, kidney infection, and bone hyperplasia. 

Because she refused to give up her faith, she was arrested and detained multiple times, especially during the early years of the persecution.

Ms. Lang was first arrested on May 11, 2000, while doing the Falun Gong exercises in a park and detained for 15 days. Her employer monitored her around the clock after she was released. She was also pressured to write a statement to renounce Falun Gong. Her employer withheld her 3,000-yuan salary.

Ms. Lang was arrested again on November 28, 2000, for appealing for the right to practice Falun Gong in Beijing. After she was detained for a year, the police said she would be held in Shibalihe Forced Labor Camp on December 27, 2001, for two years. 

But she failed the physical exam, so the labor camp refused to admit her. The police released her on January 5, 2002, and forced her to pay a 33,000-yuan fine.

Ms. Lang was stopped by the police when she was out in public on August 26, 2002. Because she answered “Yes” when they asked her if she practiced Falun Gong, they arrested her. She held a hunger strike in the detention center to protest the persecution. The guards force-fed her with spicy, salty water and left her outdoors in the snow to freeze her. She was released on December 19, 2002.

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