(Minghui.org) An 82-year-old woman in Jiutai City, Jilin Province, was arrested more than a year ago for her faith in Falun Gong, a mind-body practice that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999. Though Ms. Tang Shuzen was released on the same day, the police kept harassing her over the next few months. Most recently, they tried to extort money from her son by promising to drop her case in exchange.

Ms. Tang was distributing informational materials about Falun Gong in early 2019 when she ran into a plainclothes officer. She didn't know his identity and gave him some materials too. The officer arrested her and took her to the Nanshan Police Station. She was interrogated about where she got the materials and information of practitioners she was in contact with.

Although Ms. Tang refused to answer the police’s questions, she was pressured by her daughter, who had gone to the police station in the afternoon to seek her release, to sign a statement promising not to practice Falun Gong. Ms. Tang was then released.

A group of officers and staff members from Kuancheng District Procuratorate harassed Ms. Tang at home on April 20, 2019, and asked if she still practiced Falun Gong. After she said yes, the officers revealed that they were planning to indict her. They told her she had the right to hire a lawyer and left a pile of documents for her to sign. 

The police returned on October 10, 2019, to harass Ms. Tang. They also demanded her son take her to the police station, but he didn’t comply. The police harassed her again the next day.

The police harassed Ms. Tang’s son in early June 2020. They said that if he paid them 10,000 yuan, they would drop the case against his mother.

Prior to this latest round of persecution, Ms. Tang was arrested in 2014 and 2017 for talking to people about Falun Gong. One practitioner, Ms. Yu Guixiang, who was arrested together with her on June 16, 2017, died in custody four days after the arrest. The police compensated her family 200,000 yuan in exchange for their agreement to not seek justice against them.

Ms. Tang used to suffer kidney infection, hypotension, and lumbar spinal stenosis. She was in so much pain that she could not care for herself. Not long after she took up Falun Gong, however, she recovered and her quality of life significantly improved.

Upon seeing her changes, her husband, a cancer patient, also took up Falun Gong and soon recovered. Because of that, he was arrested and detained for four months. He became terrified and gave up practicing after returning home. His cancer recurred a year later, and he passed away shortly thereafter.