(Minghui.org) A countrywoman in Kunming City, Yunnan Province was twice sentenced for her steadfast belief in Falun Gong and spent a total of five years behind bars. She was also subjected to harassment, surveillance, detention, and brainwashing.

Ms. Zhu Yulian, 61, detailed her experience and ordeal below.

Taking Up Falun Gong

I took up Falun Gong in March 1998, after I heard about its effectiveness in health improvement. By following Falun Gong's principles of Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance, I changed my bad temper and mended my relationship with my husband. I found happiness again.

With more and more people joining Falun Gong practice in my village, the village officials decided to lend us a room for our group exercises and study.

None of us would have expected that our pursuit of health and spiritual elevation would later be labeled crimes by the Chinese Communist Party, which all of a sudden unleashed a nationwide persecution campaign against Falun Gong in 1999. My life has since been shattered. 

Detained for Appealing for Falun Gong

Along with about 60 Falun Gong practitioners, we went to Yunnan Province Appeal Office on April 4, 2000, to seek justice for Falun Gong. Before we had the opportunity to talk to any officials, the police came and bused us to the Wuhu District Police Department where we were interrogated and photographed. Then I was sent to Juhua Village Police Station.

I was interrogated and photographed again at the police station. Three days later, I was transferred to a detention center, where I was held for 15 days and forced to do unpaid labor of sorting beans.

Taken to Brainwashing Center

A few village officials came to my home on January 3, 2001, and dragged me to the brainwashing center set up by the Guandu District 610 Office, an extralegal agency created specifically for persecuting Falun Gong. Another ten practitioners were also taken there at the same time.

The officers forced us to watch videos defaming Falun Gong and ordered us to write thought reports and statements to renounce our belief. 

After I was released 15 days later, the authorities continued their efforts to try to force me to renounce my belief.

First Arrest and Sentence

Another Falun Gong practitioner, Ms. Zheng Guiying, and I ran into a security guard while we were distributing Falun Gong truth-clarifying materials in a nearby village on February 26, 2008. He arrested us and sent us to the local police station.

When all the police officers went out for lunch, I walked out of the police station and returned home.

The deputy village head of my village and over a dozen police officers came to my home the next day. I was not home at the time, and they ransacked my place and confiscated my Falun Gong books. They called my brother and told him that they were looking for me.

I went to the local police station with my brother and my husband on the same day. After waiting for four hours, I was arrested and sent to Guandu District Detention Center.

Ms. Zheng Guiying and I were tried by the Kunming City Intermediate Court on August 11, 2008. The police covered our heads with black head-covers when transporting us from the detention center to the court. 

I was put into a small room in the basement of the courthouse alone to wait for my trial. A bailiff shocked me with an electric baton. I was kept there for half an hour before being taken to the courtroom.

As I did not see my family there, I asked the judge whether he had informed my family about the trial. He ignored me. I was sentenced to two years in prison and Ms. Zhang was sentenced to three years that day.

I appealed the verdict upon returning to the detention center, only to have the Yunnan Province Supreme Court uphold the original sentence.

Ms. Zhang and I were sent to Yunnan Province Second Women's Prison on November 28, 2008. In the beginning, the prison guards tried to pressure me to renounce Falun Gong by forcing me to sit on a small stool for 16 hours a day and write thought reports daily.

Four months later, I was transferred to a different ward and started to do unpaid labor from 6:00 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. every day. I would be punished if I failed to fulfill the quota.

I was released on February 17, 2010. When my husband came to pick me up, the prison guards asked him to monitor me. The police harassed me from time to time after that.

Second Arrest and Sentence

I went with five practitioners to Jinning County to distribute Falun Gong materials on September 24, 2016. We were reported to the authorities and then arrested.

We were sent to Jinning Police Station first and then brought to Jinning Hospital. We went through full examinations and had our blood samples taken. Then we were brought to the Kuming City Police Department and went through the same examinations again.

Four of the practitioners, over 70 years old, were released on bail after paying a 2,000 yuan fine. Another practitioner and I were detained in Kunming Detention Center.

Later, I was sentenced to three years by Jinning County Court and incarcerated in Yunnan Province Second Women's Prison again.

During a prison-wide propaganda session on June 7, 2019, I questioned the officials whether there was any legal basis for the persecution. Before I finished my question, I was pushed out of the meeting room. Then I was put under strict monitoring. I was forced to sit on the small stool for 16 hours every day with limited access to the restroom. 

Since I refused to acknowledge any wrongdoing or write a statement to renounce Falun Gong, I was held under strict monitoring until my release.

Local police often came to my home to harass me afterward.