(Minghui.org) A retired teacher who regained a new life after practicing Falun Gong underwent a great ordeal for holding fast to her faith. Ms. Sun Zhigui's husband divorced her and kicked her out of their house after she was first arrested for her faith in 2000. The 71-year-old woman was arrested a few more times in the years that followed, resulting in two forced labor terms and a prison term. 

Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is an ancient spiritual and meditation discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.

Ms. Sun is a retired employee of the Yiliang County Training School in Zhaotong City, Yunnan Province. With over ten diseases, she had to take a long-term medical leave from work in 1997. By the beginning of 1998, she had used up all of her family's savings for medical bills, only to see the right side of her body paralyzed. Unable to bear the financial strain and the health trouble, she contemplated ending her life on multiple occasions.

Her fate changed when she came across Falun Gong in May 1998. Within months of her taking up the practice, she became healthy. By March 1999, she was fully recovered and returned to work.

The persecution began in July 1999 and continues to this day. Ms. Sun has never wavered in her faith despite going through tremendous tribulations from persecution.

Family Torn Apart

Ms. Sun was arrested in November 2000 and refused to renounce her faith when ordered to.

Her husband was a police officer, and he filed a divorce to avoid being implicated in the persecution. The court approved the divorce without Ms. Sun's consent and awarded their son and all property including their residence to her husband.

Ms. Sun had to rent a place to live. The police tracked her down and often came to her home to harass and threaten her. 

Police banged on Ms. Sun's door on an early morning in November 2001, after finding that a relative had come to visit her. She refused to open the door, but the officers kept coming back every hour. They even brought Ms. Son's ex-husband over. They left her alone after 6:00 p.m. She was so horrified the whole day that her heart disease, which had been cured through Falun Gong practice, relapsed. She collapsed and became bedridden for a few months.

Three Years of Forced Labor

Over a dozen officers from Yiliang County Domestic Security Division broke into Ms. Sun's home on March 3, 2003. They pushed her down on the sofa and ransacked her home. After confiscating all of her Falun Gong materials, including posters, books, audio and video, and personal belongings worth over 5,000 yuan, they took her to the local police department. 

The police interrogated her for over a week and she refused to answer any questions. They summoned and questioned her son, claiming that, because her son majored in computer science in college, he must have helped Ms. Sun print Falun Gong materials. 

To disparage and humiliate her, the police paraded her on the street. The local TV station recorded it and broadcast it. 

After two months of detention, Ms. Sun was given three years of forced labor and sent to Kunming City Women's Forced Labor Camp.

Ms. Sun was subjected to more than ten hours of brainwashing every day and often forced to write statements to renounce Falun Gong. After less than six months in the labor camp, several of her old diseases relapsed and she became extremely weak. Her anal fistula quickly deteriorated and needed an operation. As a result, she was released on medical parole. 

Before she was fully recovered, she was forced to go back to the labor camp in April 2004. She was released on December 16, 2005.

Forced to Leave Home

The officials from Yiliang County 610 Office and the police from Domestic Security Division often came to Ms. Sun's home and her workplace to harass her. They also harassed her son and asked him to report his mother's whereabouts. It was hard for him to handle the pressure.

To avoid the harassment and rid the pressure on her son, Ms. Sun left home in October 2006. 

However, the police went to the homes of her relatives, even the ones living in other cities to search for her. They forced her son to open the door of her home to search while she was gone. They even asked her school to help locate her and ordered them to stop her retirement pension.

Second Forced Labor Term

The police eventually found Ms. Sun in Kunming, a city over 200 miles from Zhaotong. On September 9, 2007, the police in Kunming broke into Ms. Sun's temporary residence. They ransacked her place and arrested her. She was taken back to Yiliang County three days later and held in the detention center. 

She was given two years of forced labor in October 2007 and sent to the Kunming City Women's Forced Labor Camp again.

Once she arrived at the labor camp, she was confined at her cell. An inmate was assigned to live in the cell with her to monitor her. The inmate followed Ms. Sun even when she used the restroom. She was not allowed to go to the cafeteria for meals and was only given two times a month to take showers and do her laundry, for 30 minutes each time. 

The inmate who was assigned to monitor Ms. Sun said to her, “I know you Falun Gong practitioners are good people. But I couldn’t treat you nicely, or my term would be extended. My three-year-old daughter is waiting for me to get back home. It’s the guards who asked me to verbally abuse you. You can just treat me like talking non-sense.”

At the same time, she was forced to watch and listen to materials slandering Falun Gong every day for more than 10 hours. When she refused to cooperate, she was punished to stand all day long. Even when she was sleeping, the guards didn’t allow her to turn off the light or cover her face with anything, fearing that she would do the Falun Gong meditation in the dark.

Six months later, the guards ordered her to do unpaid labor for more than 12 hours a day. She had to take the work back to her cell after hours if she failed to finish the quota. She fingers became deformed and ached at nights and her eyesight worsened dramatically. Her old illnesses began to show symptoms. 

She was released on May 20, 2009.

Tortured and Secretly Tried

After Ms. Sun returned home, she was forced to keep her cell phone on around the clock so that the police could trace her. The police harassed her neighbors and ordered them to assist in monitoring her.

Ms. Sun went to her cousin's home on March 13, 2012. When she was riding the bus home the next day, the police intercepted the bus and dragged her off. She was taken to Zhaoyang District Police Department and thoroughly searched, including inside her shoes and socks. When she refused to comply, one officer stomped on her feet. 

After fabricating an interrogation record, the police sent her to Zhaoyang District Detention Center around 6:00 p.m. the same day. The guards searched her body again after she was admitted to the detention center. 

She was forced to start labor work right after she arrived. Since she was too tired to work, she was left in an open area with bare feet. It was raining and cold. Her clothes were torn and could barely cover her.

Since Ms. Sun refused to renounce her faith and she could not finish her labor quota, all inmates in her cell weren’t allowed to have breakfast and only given cornmeals. 

After she went on a hunger strike on March 18, the guards decided to give IV injection to her. Several inmates tied her up tightly to a metal chair and put shackles on her. Her body began to become numb after 10 minutes and her fingertips became black and blue. Four hours later, she passed out and was dragged back to her cell. Her tendons, muscles and bones were injured as a result. The next day, her muscles began to twitch and her bones all over her body ached. She felt dizzy, palpitating, short of breath, and was unable to walk.

Ms. Sun requested to go to the hospital on April 10. When she was taken there, the detention center doctor who went along gave the false examination reports to the hospital doctor, indicating no health issue for her. She was taken back to the detention center without treatment. 

She was secretly tried in the detention center on August 30, 2012, and sentenced to three years in prison with four years of probation by the Zhaoyang District Court. 

Her son took her home on the same day. She was very weak and needed help walking. She weighed only 70 pounds, losing about 50 pounds during five months of detention. 

During her detention period, the police, 610 Office agents and officials from her school and Yilang County Education Bureau, visited her in the detention center and threatened her with heavy sentences and suspension of her pension if she refused to renounce Falun Gong. Ms. Sun rejected all of their requests.

After her release, the police asked her son to report her whereabouts. They also harassed her at home. When she stayed outside of her home during the local earthquake in September 2012, the police followed her around, even to restrooms. The police also questioned her neighbors about her activities and damaged her reputation in the neighborhood. 

Beaten and Left Stranded in a Mountain

Ms. Sun was reported to the authorities on April 7, 2015, when she was distributing the materials about Falun Gong and the persecution at a mountain village in Xiaocaoba Township.

Zuo Chaojian, head of the township police station, and other officers arrested her at around 9:00 a.m. and confiscated her purse. Zuo slapped her in the face several times which caused her to lose her hearing for a while. The police then twisted her arms behind her back and beat her until she lost consciousness. 

When Ms. Sun came to her senses, she realized that they were dragging her by her feet with her head, body, and feet on the muddy and rocky road in the rain. Her face was covered with her jacket and someone was kicking her in the ribs to wake her up. They demanded her to stand up and walk because the road had become too narrow for them to continue dragging her. 

But she was too weak to walk. They purposely dropped her several times. Zuo threatened to throw her over the cliff. They eventually left her stranded there. When she requested her belongings before they took off, they asked her to go to the police station.

Ms. Sun was soaked in the rain. The heels of her shoes were torn off, her clothes were ripped, her feet were bleeding and her whole body was covered in mud. There were also three large bumps on her head. She could not get up and laid on the ground shaking. One officer returned about an hour later to check on her. Seeing her still alive, he left.

Ms. Sun forced herself to slowly climb up the mountain. She arrived at a temple on the top of the mountain after several hours. The nuns carried her inside the temple and took care of her. They told her that the police had stopped and asked them to not help her if they saw her.

Ms. Sun made her way down the mountain the next morning with a walking stick. She went to the police station to demand the return of her personal belongings. However, four officers carried her out and threw her onto the street.

Ms. Sun eventually got her purse back the following day.

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