(Minghui.org) Ms. Tai Hui’s family experienced many positive changes after her parents and older sister started to practice Falun Gong in January 1998. The happy family was torn apart after the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) launched the persecution of Falun Gong, a mind-body discipline based on the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, in July 1999.
Over the past two decades, the family in Mengla County, Yunnan Province, was subjected to non-stop persecution for upholding their faith. Ms. Tai's father passed away due to constant harassment. Her mother endured tremendous mental distress and suffered memory loss. Ms. Tai, 49, her older sister; and aunt were repeatedly arrested and sentenced.
Ms. Tai's father, Mr. Tai Rongchang, was a demobilized soldier and had retired from his job as a secretary of Mengla County Agriculture Bureau before he started practicing Falun Gong in 1998. He had heart disease and hepatitis but regained his health after he started to practice, leading many of his coworkers to do the same when they saw how he improved.
Ms. Tai's 75-year-old mother, Ms. Li Qiongfen, was a nurse in Mengla County Hospital. After she started practicing Falun Gong, she was no longer so quick-tempered. She was once involved in an accident while on a tour organized by the hospital. Although her injuries were severe, Ms. Li recovered within three months by practicing Falun Gong. Her quick recovery amazed her coworkers.
Having witnessed the positive changes in her family members, Ms. Tai Hui and her aunt took up the practice in December 2005.
Ms. Tai, being the youngest in the family, was pampered by her parents and grew up to be competitive and self-centered. These character flaws caused her marriage to end in divorce. After practicing Falun Gong, she recovered from several ailments and got along well with her coworkers, who had a better understanding of the practice after seeing how she improved.
When the persecution of Falun Gong started, the secretary of Mengla County ordered Mr. Tai to renounce his faith or they would oust him from the CCP. Mr. Tai chose to continue practicing Falun Gong and quit the Party.
The secretary of the hospital where Ms. Li worked ordered her to renounce her faith. When she refused, she was demoted and sent to work at the reception desk. She and Mr. Tai also faced constant harassment and were monitored by their neighbor, a coworker of Mr. Tai.
To avoid the harassment, the couple moved to Ms. Li's sister's home in Kunming City in the same province after Ms. Li retired. The authorities followed them and threatened to reduce their pension if they refused to return to their hometown, as they had been placed under house arrest. The couple was taken back to Mengla County that day.
The authorities withdrew over 2,000 yuan from Ms. Li's pension to compensate them for their travel expenses.
The police never stopped harassing the couple. And when their two daughters were sentenced for their faith in the next few years, they were further distressed.
Years of persecution took a toll on Mr. Tai’s health, and he passed away in August 2013. He was in his 80s.
Mr. Tai’s death dealt Ms. Li a hard blow. She suffered a mental breakdown and severe memory loss. She couldn’t go out by herself and sometimes couldn’t even recognize her family. Ms. Tai Hui took a part-time job to have time to take care of her mother before Ms. Tai’s latest arrest in September 2019.
On February 11, 2006, only three months after she took up Falun Gong, Ms. Tai Hui was arrested on the train from Mengla County to Kunming City and detained in the county police department.
The next day, more than 20 policemen stormed into her older sister's home and ransacked the place. After not finding any Falun Gong materials they were looking for, they arrested her sister and mother.
While the sister and mother were released late that night after being interrogated, Ms. Tai was taken to the detention center and later held in a drug rehabilitation center for two weeks. The police continued to monitor her after she was released.
Ms. Tai opened a beverage store in August 2009. On September 25, 2009, she was reported to the police for telling some students about Falun Gong and was arrested in her store by officers from the Huaning County Public Security Department. The police searched her store and confiscated her Falun Gong books and other personal items. They took her to the Huaning County Detention Center and closed her place of business.
Ms. Tai was sentenced to four years in Yunnan No. 2 Women's Prison.
Ms. Tai was held in solitary confinement until February 2011 and forced to sit on a small stool. She was monitored every day by two inmates, who restricted her restroom breaks and refused to let her bathe. She was then made to do unpaid labor. The prison officials often tried to force her to write guarantee statements to renounce her faith.
Ms. Tai's parents went to visit her four times, but the prison officials never let them see her, claiming that Ms. Tai was not cooperating. They were finally granted a visit after they wrote letters to the procuratorate and Yunnan Province Women's Federation to complain that what prison officials were doing was illegal.
When her father passed away in August 2013, the prison refused to let Ms. Tai see him one last time and still tried to force her to renounce her faith. She nearly had a mental breakdown.
Ms. Tai was not allowed to buy food or eat breakfast. The guards also put unknown drugs into her food and gave her injections against her will. She started to vomit, had tightness in her chest. and felt dizzy. She also permanently lost hearing in one ear.
Ms. Tai was released from prison on September 25, 2013, but the police continued to harass her.
On September 3, 2019, Ms. Tai was studying Falun Gong books at home with other practitioners when several police officers barged in and arrested them. She was detained in Kunming Women's Detention Center.
Ms. Tai was recently tried in the Xishan District Court. Her lawyer entered a not guilty plea for her. She testified in her own defense, pointing out that when the police confiscated her Falun Gong books and materials, they violated her legal right to private property.
Ms. Tai's elder sister, Ms. Tai Yan, 53, worked at the Mengla County Industry and Commerce Bureau. She started practicing Falun Gong in January 1998 with her parents. The practice helped to regain her health after she suffered a life-threatening condition after she gave birth in 2005.
When the persecution of Falun Gong started, the Mengla County TV Station attempted to have her appear on TV to renounce her faith, since she was a volunteer coordinator. She refused to comply and was detained for 15 days.
In February 2006, when local practitioners gave her funds to produce Falun Gong informational materials, someone reported her for illegal fundraising.
Ms. Tai was arrested in mid-February and had her home ransacked. The police confiscated her computer and printer. On March 3, she was sent to a drug rehabilitation center. Two weeks later, she was given two years in Yunnan Women's Forced Labor Camp, where she was subjected to brainwashing sessions and made to do intensive unpaid labor.
After her release, Ms. Tai Yan went back to her place of work and was demoted to a contract worker. She was paid about 300 yuan per month. A year later, the company compensated her some of her deducted wages, but she still made a thousand yuan less than before.
Ms. Tai's aunt, Ms. Li Qiongfang, in her 50s, had worked in a factory in Kunming City before she retired.
She was arrested in May 2006 for going to the police department with Ms. Tai Yan’s parents and requesting her release. Two months later, the police took her to Yunnan Women's Forced Labor Camp for two years.
The authorities withheld Ms. Li’s retirement pension while she served time. They continued to deduct a portion of her pay every month, even after she was released in July 2008.
Ms. Li was arrested again on August 27, 2010, during a mass arrest. Her home was ransacked and she was later sentenced to an unknown term.