Liaoning Woman Wrongfully Imprisoned for Four Years for Her Faith
(Minghui.org) Ms. Wang Xinlian was arrested along with her husband, Mr. Pan Hongting, from their home in Dalian City, Liaoning Province on June 28, 2016, in a mass arrest of local Falun Gong practitioners. Both the couple were given 4-year sentences. Her husband was released early in January 2019 and Ms. Wang is scheduled to be released on June 27 this year.
While in prison, Ms. Wang was viciously beaten for not wearing a prisoner name tag. She was deprived of visitation rights from her family, including her son and her daughter, who was disabled as a baby.
Life Changed for the Better from Practicing Falun Gong
Ms. Wang used to live in rural Shandong province with her in-laws in their 70s, her husband, and their two children. The family had a hard time making a living by farming. They later moved to Dalian City to join Mr. Pan’s sister.
While Mr. Pan made little money by driving a motorcycle taxi, Ms. Wang stayed home to take care of her elderly in-laws and children. The family lived in poverty. They often picked up vegetables trashed by vendors in the farmers’ market. The poor living condition and discontent about her life took a toll on Ms. Wang’s health and she began to suffer some ailments.
Ms. Wang was introduced to Falun Gong in 1998 and her health took a turn for the better shortly after. She became more optimistic about life. She worked hard without complaining and treated others with kindness. The family situation also improved. Ms. Wang's husband found a good job, and she opened a convenience store. Witnessing the changes in her, her husband also took up the practice. Even their disabled daughter got better and learned to dress and wash herself.
Arrested in a Police Sweep
On June 28, 2016, police pretended to be customers of the convenience store and tricked Ms. Wang into opening the door around 6 a.m. When she opened the door, police barged in and arrested Ms. Wang and her husband. The couple was taken to different detention centers on the same day.
Another 99 Falun Gong practitioners in 9 cities in Liaoning Province were also arrested in two hours that morning. The arrests were orchestrated by the 610 Office, an extralegal entity set up by the Chinese communist regime on June 10, 1999 specifically to persecute Falun Gong.
Ms. Wang's daughter, Pan Hong, has been disabled since a baby. She still depends on her mother to help her bathe and prepare meals for her. After her parents were arrested, she was left home by herself since her brother had to work. Desperate for her parents' release, she went to the police station every day, demanding their release.
One time she went to the police station and was kept waiting for hours before the police director showed up. She reiterated her requests for her parents' release. Instead of addressing her request, the director called in several policemen. They took her fingerprints and pictures against her will. Her legs were badly bruised as she struggled to get away.
When her brother got off work, he went to the police station too. The siblings were made to believe that they would be taken to a local drug rehabilitation center to see their mother. However, when they got there, they realized that they were deceived and their mother was not there. The police threatened to arrest them as well if they continued to seek their parents' release.
Sentenced for Making Informational Materials
Ms. Wang was tried by Kaifa District Court on October 31, 2016, and testified in her own defense. She said, “I was arrested for practicing Falun Gong. I am innocent. What crime have I committed by living by Falun Gong's principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance?”
She also told the judge about how she and her family benefited from practicing Falun Gong. She said, “My illnesses went away after I started practicing Falun Gong. My daughter is disabled. She couldn't even take care of herself before. Because of Falun Gong, she is slowly getting better.”
The judge sentenced Ms. Wang and her husband to 4 years in prison on December 2, 2016, for making informational materials about Falun Gong.
Upon hearing about their verdicts, their son developed a high fever and some heart condition. Their daughter said she felt her heart was ripped apart and she was desperate and helpless.
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