(Minghui.org) An elderly couple in Kunming City, Yunnan Province was arrested on April 15, 2020 for talking to people about Falun Gong.

Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a mind-body practice based on the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. It has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since July 1999.

The local detention center refused to take in Mr. Yang Nengwen, 83, and his wife, Ms. An Shunlian, in her 70s, when the police attempted to have them detained after arresting them hours earlier. The reason for the rejection was because of Mr. Yang’s age and Ms. An’s high blood pressure. They were both released after depositing 2,000 yuan for bail.

The arrest of the couple took place ahead of the annual meetings of China's National People’s Congress and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, which had been pushed back from March to May due to the coronavirus pandemic. The communist regime usually escalates its persecution of Falun Gong practitioners around politically sensitive dates such as these annual meetings.

Prior to their latest arrests, the couple have been subjected to forced labor, detention, brainwashing, and home ransackings since the persecution of Falun Gong began in 1999.

Wife Given Two Years of Forced Labor in 2007

When Ms. An helped out some elderly patients in a hospital in April 2007, she told them about the persecution of Falun Gong. However, one patient's child reported her to the authorities for reward money.

Ms. An was arrested on April 26, 2007 and given two years of forced labor.

Both Husband and Wife Arrested in 2010

Over a dozen police officers arrested the couple when they were about to step out of their building on April 22, 2010. The police ransacked their home and confiscated Falun Gong books and related materials.

The couple was taken to the police station. Mr. Yang was later released. Ms. An was sent to a detention center.

Both Sentenced to Prison in 2016

When Mr. Yang and Ms. An told people about Falun Gong at a farmers’ market on April 24, 2016, two police officers arrested them. The couple were interrogated at the local police station. Police ransacked their home while they were under detention. They confiscated Falun Gong books and materials, and over 1,000 yuan in cash.

The couple were both released later because the detention center refused to admit them due to Mr. Yang's age and Ms. An's medical history with hepatitis B.

However, they were sentenced shortly afterward, with Mr. Yang given six months in prison with one year parole and a 2,000-yuan fine; Ms. An a one-year prison term with one year parole and a 3,000-yuan fine.

Because Ms. An refused to report to the police station every month per her parole requirement, police broke into her home and arrested her again. Her prison term was then increased to two years and the parole period was extended to two years as well.