Liaoning Woman Appeals Against Government’s Withholding of Her Pension Due to Wrongful Imprisonment Against Her Faith
(Minghui.org) A Jinzhou City, Liaoning Province, woman was devastated to find out that her pension had been suspended after she finished serving a seven-year term for her faith in Falun Gong, a spiritual and meditation discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.
Ms. Bai Mingfang, around 56, was arrested on the evening of September 25, 2012. The police broke into her home and ransacked it. As Ms. Bai was at a neighbor’s place when the police came, the officers searched every household in her apartment building to look for her. In the end, an officer climbed into the restroom of her neighbor's on the second floor and arrested Ms. Bai and her neighbor.
Ms. Bai was sentenced to the Liaoning Province Women’s Prison by the Taihe District Court in January 2013. Between September 2012 and November 2016, she still received her pension from the Jinzhou Human Resources and Social Security Office. But as of December 2016, her pension has been suspended.
After she was released on September 24, 2019, she contacted the social security office several times and demanded that they reinstate her pension. Unable to reach an agreement with the office, she filed an administrative litigation against it on March 20, 2020.
On June 23, the Songshanxin District Court ruled that Ms. Bai had no standing to file the case. She then filed an appeal with the Jinzhou City Intermediate Court, which held a hearing on her case on November 19. Although the intermediate court reversed the lower court’s ruling and requested the social security office resume Ms. Bai’s pension on November 30, it also demanded that Ms. Bai return the nearly 100,000 yuan in pension that she had received between September 2012 and November 2016 within ten days.
The intermediate court cited a recent policy that strips all retirees of their retirement benefits during their prison terms. But Ms. Bai argued that her pension is her personal property, not the state’s asset, and no government agency has the right to withhold or suspend her pension. She is now preparing to appeal the case with a higher court.