(Minghui.org) The month of October 2021 recorded 108 Falun Gong practitioners sentenced to prison for their faith, bringing the year-to-date sentencing cases confirmed in 2021 to 1,036.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a mind-body practice that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.
Three of the newly confirmed cases took place in 2020; 23 were between January and August 2021, as well as 24 in September and 58 in October 2021. Due to strict censorship in China, the persecution can’t always be reported in a timely manner, nor is all the information readily available.
Sichuan Province topped the list with 12 newly reported sentencing cases. Liaoning, Jilin, Heilongjiang and Guangdong each had 11 cases. The remaining 14 provinces and municipalities had cases numbering between 1 and 8.
The practitioners’ prison terms ranged from 6 months to 10 years, with an average of 3 years and 5 months. Sixteen practitioners were given prison terms of seven years or longer.
In addition to the prison terms, 39 practitioners were fined a total of half a million yuan by the courts, with an average of 12,974 yuan per person. Twenty-four of the practitioners were given fines between 1,000 and 7,000 yuan, and thirteen practitioners were fined between 10,000 and 30,000 yuan. Another two practitioners who were sentenced to seven and ten years were fined 70,000 and 100,000 yuan, respectively.
The sentenced practitioners came from all walks of life, including a librarian, a salon owner, teachers and engineers. The youngest practitioner was a 30-year-old nurse, who was sentenced to eight years along with her mother, a 70-year-old woman who was given two years. Another woman in her 70s was also sentenced to eight years, while her son is still serving time for practicing Falun Gong. The oldest practitioner was a 79-year-old man, who was sentenced to one year and seven months. Another 26 practitioners in their 60s and 70s were also convicted.
Two practitioners, 82 and 69, who were sentenced to prison years ago and allowed to serve time at home, were arrested again and ordered to serve their expired terms.
Below are snapshots of the cases reported in October 2021. The full list of sentenced practitioners can be downloaded here (PDF).
Elderly Women Ordered to Serve Expired Terms
Ms. An Fuzi, an 82-year-old resident of Yanji City, Jilin Province, was taken to the Jilin Province Women’s Prison in late September 2021 to serve a renewed three-year term for her faith in Falun Gong.
Mr. An’s ordeal started when she was arrested on March 3, 2016, while studying Falun Gong teachings at another practitioner’s home. She was sentenced by the Yanji City Court to three years on April 7, 2017. She appealed the verdict, but the higher court ruled to uphold the original sentence. Due to her poor health, she was allowed to serve time at home.
Although her term had already expired in 2016, the police arrested Ms. An again in late August 2021. The court renewed the three-year verdict against her and ordered her to be imprisoned weeks later.
Similar to Ms. An’s case, Ms. Xu Shiying, a 69-year-old resident of Dezhou City, Shandong Province, was arrested on September 29, 2021 and taken to the Shandong Women’s Prison in Jinan City on October 18, 2021, to serve a renewed 2.5-year term.
It’s reported that the authorities targeted Ms. Xu because she refused to renounce Falun Gong during the nationwide “zero-out” campaign, a concerted effort aimed to force every practitioner on the government’s blacklist to give up their faith.
Mr. Ren Haifei and Ms. Sun Zhongli were sentenced to ten and seven years with 100,000- and 700,000-yuan fines, respectively, on October 14, 2021 for practicing Falun Gong.
Both Mr. Ren and Ms. Sun, residents of Dalian City, Liaoning Province, were arrested on June 26, 2020. The police confiscated 500,000 yuan in cash and computer supplies worth more than 200,000 yuan from Mr. Ren’s apartment. They also located his car and confiscated 50,000 yuan in cash found in the vehicle.
While Ms. Sun was released the next day due to poor health, Mr. Ren, 46, was hospitalized for 19 days, after he suffered heart and kidney failure due to savage beatings by the police.
On July 1, 2020, Mr. Ren’s wife, Ms. Wang Jing, also a Falun Gong practitioner who is currently living in the U.S., protested in front of the Chinese consulate in New York and demanded her husband's immediate release.
Mr. Ren was later transferred to the Yaojia Detention Center. The once healthy man developed severe diabetes and was forced to take unknown medicines. When his lawyer was finally allowed to visit him after being turned away initially, the lawyer noticed that he was emaciated and haggard.
The police submitted Mr. Ren and Ms. Sun’s cases to the Ganjingzi District Procuratorate on September 18. They were indicted in November and had their cases moved to the Ganjingzi District Court.
The court held two joint hearings of the two practitioners’ cases, on September 8 and 23, respectively. Their lawyers entered not guilty pleas for them. Ms. Sun maintained that she didn’t do anything wrong in practicing Falun Gong and trying to be a good person. The judge convicted the two practitioners on October 14.
Prior to his latest term, Mr. Ren was sentenced to 7.5 years in 2001 for talking to people about Falun Gong. He was severely tortured at the prison. By the time he was released in September 2008, Mr. Ren, then 33, had become so weak and emaciated that his family almost couldn’t recognize him. Yet he had to stay away from home to avoid further harassment.
Mr. Chen Hongyuan, a Jieyang City, Guangdong Province resident, was recently sentenced to nine years in prison, following his arrest at a private residence while reading Falun Gong books with others on June 14, 2020.
The police forcibly ransacked Mr. Chen’s home and ordered takeout to eat there. The many used printers confiscated from his home and Falun Gong-related materials found in his computer were later used as prosecution evidence against him.
Mr. Chen was beaten while being held at the Jieyang City Detention Center. He held a hunger strike to protest the persecution and was taken to the hospital for treatment in September 2020 after he became very weak.
He was sentenced to nine years and taken to the Sihui Prison on September 11, 2021.
Ms. Yang Wanxin, a 65-year-old retired teacher in Beijing, was given a nine-year prison term for her faith in Falun Gong on September 29, 2021.
Ms. Yang was arrested at home on August 21, 2020, by a group of plainclothes officers. Without showing their police IDs or a search warrant, the police ransacked her home and confiscated her computer, printer, and other personal belongings worth thousands of yuan.
Both Ms. Yang and her daughter were taken to the police station for interrogation. Her daughter was released a few hours later.
The police raid left Ms. Yang’s bedridden husband terrified. He became increasingly depressed over Ms. Yang’s detention and lost hope in life. His condition quickly declined and he passed away in December 2020.
In the same month, the police submitted Ms. Yang’s case to the Shijingshan District Procuratorate. The prosecutor indicted her four months later and moved her case to the Shijingshan District Court.
Ms. Yang’s daughter was summoned to the court by judge Liu on July 23 for a meeting. She went there, only to be arrested by a dozen officers, who kicked her into a police van and interrogated her for over ten hours. Her home was ransacked again.
The young woman filed a complaint against judge Liu and demanded that he be recused from Ms. Yang’s case. Instead of addressing the request from Ms. Yang’s daughter, the court blocked her family members from attending her hearing on August 31. The daughter was also denied from representing her mother in court. Several family members were arrested when they went to the court, and they were detained for a day.
Violation of Legal Procedure
Ms. Li Guiling, a 55-year-old resident of Changchun City, Jilin Province, was sentenced to 2.5 years in prison for practicing Falun Gong on September 26, 2021, after being made to appear in a virtual hearing four months ago. The hearing lasted less than 5 minutes.
Ms. Li was arrested at home on January 6, 2021. None of the police officers showed their IDs and they forced Ms. Li to fingerprint the list of confiscated items after ransacking her home.
Ms. Li was then taken to the hospital for a physical examination. The police slammed her head on the door. When she protested the brutality, the officers held her arms, covered her mouth and pinched her face and neck, leaving bruises all over her arms and face.
Two officers then carried Ms. Li to the restroom for a urine test. They put her on the ground and kicked her. A male officer threatened that if she didn’t cooperate, he would submit his own urine as hers. He also threatened to burn her Falun Gong books in front of her.
As the weather was very cold, the police initially brought Ms. Li’s jacket from the car for her. As she shouted “Falun Dafa is good” to protest the persecution, they returned the jacket to the car.
Ms. Li was first held at the Weizigou Lockup for ten days and then transferred to the Changchun City No. 4 Detention Center, where she has been held since.
The police later submitted her case to the Chaoyang District Procuratorate, which indicted her and moved her case to the Chaoyang District Court.
Ms. Li was tried through a virtual hearing on May 24, 2021. Judge Wang Yanan forbade Ms. Li from defending herself and quickly wrapped up the hearing in less than five minutes.
Ms. Xu Huiming, a Wuhan City, Hubei Province resident in her 50s, was sentenced to a four-year prison term for her faith in Falun Gong. Her appeal of the verdict was rejected.
Ms. Xu was arrested on April 18, 2019 while walking near her home. While she was detained at the Wuhan City No. 1 Women’s Detention Center, she was also taken to the Qiaotouwan Brainwashing Center and held there for an unknown period of time. Her husband was denied visitation. The guards only accepted the clothing he brought for her.
The police went to the detention center in late June 2019 and ordered Ms. Xu to write a statement to renounce Falun Gong, claiming that they would release her as soon as she wrote it. Ms. Xu insisted that she hadn’t done anything wrong by practicing Falun Gong and refused to comply.
Ms. Xu was sentenced to four years in prison by the Hanyang District Court in November 2020. She appealed with the Wuhan City Intermediate Court, which ruled to uphold the original verdict in March 2021.
The authorities secretly transferred Ms. Xu to another detention location, without informing her husband. After asking around, he found out that she was possibly being held at the Jianghan District Detention Center, but he was still denied visitation.
Ms. Yang Guangzhen, a 62-year-old retired teacher in Linshu County, Shandong Province, was sentenced to two years on October 8, 2021 for practicing Falun Gong.
Ms. Yang was arrested and had her home ransacked on April 1, 2020. When she appeared in the Linshu County Court on September 13, 2021, she detailed how the police arbitrarily arrested her on the street, forcibly body searched her, collected a saliva sample, tied her to a metal chair, and locked her in a metal cage. She added that the police used insulting and humiliating language during her arrest and interrogation.
Ms. Yang’s lawyer described how a male police officer inappropriately body searched Ms. Yang, and testified against the arresting officers for ransacking her home without a warrant, failing to provide a confiscation list, and fabricating evidence to frame her.
The lawyer also argued that no law has criminalized Falun Gong in China. He added that the prosecutor failed to provide any evidence to demonstrate how Ms. Yang had allegedly “undermined law enforcement,” the pretext used by the Chinese courts to imprison Falun Gong practitioners.
The judge handed down the two-year sentence on October 8.
Ms. Zhang Guixiang, of Changchun City, Jilin Province, was secretly tried in a ten-minute hearing without legal representation and sentenced to three years for practicing Falun Gong.
Ms. Zhang, a 58-year-old former employee of the Changchun Automobile Import and Export Company, was arrested at home on the morning of October 20, 2020. The police ransacked her home and confiscated her Falun Gong items.
The police didn’t provide any information about Ms. Zhang’s status after taking her away. When her family managed to find out that she was in the Weizigou Detention Center, the guards didn’t let them visit her or send her any daily necessities. They were only allowed to make a deposit for her to buy things inside.
The police later told her family that the arrest was to meet a quota and that they would release her in ten days. When the ten days were up, the police refused to release Ms. Zhang and transferred her to the Changchun No.4 Detention Center.
When Ms. Zhang’s lawyer Xie Yanyi went to the courthouse in March to submit his Power of Attorney, the judge refused to accept it, claiming that no out-of-province lawyers were allowed to defend Falun Gong practitioners in Jilin.
Her family went with lawyer Xie to the Chaoyang District Court on June 4 and filed a complaint against the judge for preventing the lawyer from representing Ms. Zhang. They also filed similar complaints with the Jilin Province Procuratorate and the Chaoyang District Procuratorate. Both agencies responded that it was their responsibility to look into the case, but that they also had an order from the city government not to accept any complaint related to Falun Gong.
On June 14, Ms. Zhang’s family discovered that the local Social Security Bureau had suspended her pension as of April when checking her bank account. They called the office to ask about it, but the person who answered refused to give any explanation, saying, “We will talk about it when Zhang is released.”
The Jilin Province Procuratorate responded to the family’s complaint on June 21 and suggested that the family communicate with the court themselves.
Ms. Zhang’s family went to the courthouse many times and called judge Qu Dong in charge of her case several times to seek justice for her. The judge said, “If you think the police did her wrong, you should file a complaint against them. You don’t have to tell me that. If the police or the prosecutor think there is something wrong with the case and they want to withdraw it, I have no objection to that, either.”
Changchun City Intermediate Court officials called the family on June 24 and asked if they were satisfied with their response to the complaint. When the family responded that it had not yet been resolved, the court officials said they would follow up with them. An hour later, Zhang Dan, the presiding judge of Chaoyang District Court, called Ms. Zhang’s family and asked them to come to the courthouse. She said she would help them resolve the problem.
When the family got there, judge Zhang said she was busy in a meeting and couldn’t see them. She got back to the family a few days later and said that she couldn’t resolve the issue after all and they would have to deal with it themselves.
When the family consulted people who worked at the intermediate court about what else they could do, they were told, “You can continue to file complaints.”
On the morning of July 20, the detention center guards ordered Ms. Zhang to wear protective gear to appear at a hearing. Ms. Zhang thought the hearing would be in a courtroom, only to be taken to a separate room in the detention center for a video conference.
Ms. Zhang asked the judge where her lawyer was. The judge responded that if she pleaded guilty, he would appoint a lawyer for her; otherwise, she would be denied legal representation. Ms. Zhang insisted that she didn’t violate any law in practicing Falun Gong. The judge ended the hearing in ten minutes.
Ms. Zhang’s family said they went to the courthouse to meet with judge Qu the day before the hearing. Qu didn’t mention a word about the hearing scheduled for the next day and maintained that he was handling her case according to the law.
During another meeting between Ms. Zhang’s family, judge Zhang and judge Qu’s assistant Li Zhuo on August 5, judge Zhang took several photos of Ms. Zhang’s family members and their IDs. She also asked for their personal information. A bailiff videotaped the entire meeting.
Ms. Zhang’s family said that the authorities had violated legal procedures at every step of the prosecution process. When they were said that everyone who participated in the persecution would be brought to justice in the future, Li laughed at them.
The family asked Li to inform them if the court scheduled a hearing. Li didn’t mention that a hearing had already taken place two weeks earlier.
Ms. Zhang’s lawyer found out about the secret hearing on August 26, when he was finally allowed to visit her. Prior to that, her family had called judges Zhang and Qu, as well as Li, several times about the status of her case. They either refused to answer the call or beat around the bush when they spoke.
Ms. Zhang’s family learned on September 29 that she has been secretly sentenced to three years. They asked if any witnesses appeared in court to be cross-examined. Judge Qu responded that he had the witnesses’ accounts in writing and there was no need for them to appear in court. He also refused to provide the legal basis on which he convicted Ms. Zhang, saying “I don’t have any obligation to explain this to you.”
The judge also refused to provide a copy of Ms. Zhang’s verdict to her family, claiming that there was no such legal requirement. He claimed that even Ms. Zhang’s own children didn’t have the right to appeal the verdict on her behalf.
Two Rizhao City, Shandong Province residents were sentenced to 1.5 years and fined 5,000 yuan each on October 13, 2021.
Ms. Han Gongying, in her 70s, and Ms. Yang Jie, in her 40s, were arrested on April 9, 2020 for talking to people about Falun Gong. They were released on bail in the evening after being interrogated. The police extended their bail term when it expired a year later. In June 2021, both women were notified that the police had submitted their case to the Wulian County Procuratorate.
During their hearing on September 17, 2021 at the Wulian County Court, both practitioners acted as their own lawyers and entered not guilty pleas. The presiding judge, Yang Jie, constantly interrupted them.
Ms. Yang testified against the police for beating her during the interrogation. Judge Yang claimed that it’s impossible for the police to have beaten her. When Ms. Yang mentioned the name of the officer who beat her, the judge said that it was too late for her to bring up the issue and that she wouldn’t be able to do anything about it.
The judge later played the video recording of Ms. Han being interrogated. Officer Yu Jingtao could be heard shouting at Ms. Yang.
When Ms. Yang asked to read out loud the content of the Falun Gong informational materials confiscated from her and Ms. Han, the judge denied her request.
Ms. Yang argued in her final statement that no law has ever criminalized Falun Gong in China and that the prosecutor failed to provide any evidence to support the charge of “undermining law enforcement.” The judge responded that such evidence would become available in the future, before adjourning the hearing.
Ms. Yang was taken to the Rizhao City Detention Center on September 28, and she attended a virtual sentencing session there when the judge convicted her on October 13. Ms. Han was allowed to serve time at home as she was diagnosed with stomach cancer in 2017.
Ms. Lei Huamei, a Huaihua City, Hunan Province resident, was followed by the police, as she distributed informational materials about Falun Gong on her way home after work on September 27, 2020. The police arrested her and took her to the police station.
After the police handcuffed her, she shouted “Falun Dafa is good! I didn’t do anything wrong for being a good person. You are violating the law in persecuting me!” One officer threatened to stuff her mouth with a rag if she continued shouting.
The police snatched Ms. Lei’s purse. They refused to show their police IDs and covered their badges to prevent her from seeing their names. The officer who interrogated her also refused to tell her his name, even though he dared her to sue him for the persecution.
Ms. Lei was taken back home at around 11 p.m. The police grabbed her handcuff and pushed her hard. After the police left, she realized that her home key and ID were missing from her purse. She returned to the police station to ask for the missing items and found a bag of Falun Gong books, which were secretly confiscated by the police who took her key without her knowledge.
The police returned her the key and ID, but refused to give her the books back. They also turned off the lights inside and outside of the police station, in order to force her to leave.
Another group of officers found Ms. Lei at the drug store she worked at around noon the next day. They told her to go with them to the police station, claiming it was for her to pick up her Falun Gong books. Ms. Lei said she couldn’t leave work and would go there another day. The police insisted that she go with them right then and dragged her into the police car.
The police handcuffed her and searched her body again at the police station. Yet they still refused to return her Falun Gong books. With her family’s strong demands for her release, the police let her go at around 5 p.m.
Ms. Lei was arrested again at work on November 13, 2020 and held at the local detention center. During her first hearing by the Zhijiangdong Autonomous County Court on March 16, 2021, she refused to accept the court-appointed lawyer. She acted as her own lawyer and argued that she didn’t violate any law in practicing Falun Gong and trying to be a good person.
Except for her mother and parents-in-law, judge Chen Qingzhen didn’t allow any of her other family members or friends to attend the hearing.
Ms. Lei’s family hired two lawyers for her after the March hearing. The lawyers entered a not guilty plea for her during the second hearing on May 10.
Ms. Lei’s son and daughter also went to the court, but weren’t allowed to enter the courtroom, with the excuse that they were too young. Although the judge promised to arrange for Ms. Lei’s children to meet with her after the hearing, they were never allowed to see her after waiting for a day.
The judge announced to sentence Ms. Lei to three years with a 2,000-yuan fine on July 22, 2021.
Targeted for Speaking Out
Ms. Yang Haixia, 62, Ms. Li Shuchun, and her nephew Mr. Li Helong were arrested on February 5, 2020, after the police saw them putting up banners about Falun Gong through a surveillance camera. Ms. Yang and Ms. Li are Falun Gong practitioners, and Mr. Li is not.
Although the three Daqing City, Heilongjiang Province residents were soon released on bail, Ms. Yang and Ms. Li were taken back into custody on January 11, 2021, and Mr. Li in April.
The three of them were tried by the Ranghulu District Court in Daqing City Detention Center on May 19, 2021. The judge sentenced Ms. Yang to seven years and Ms. Li to five years on July 23, 2021. It’s not clear whether Mr. Li was convicted.
Ms. Yang appealed to Daqing City Intermediate Court, which ruled to uphold her original sentence in mid-September 2021.
An ailing woman was tried at home without prior notice and later sentenced to 1.5 years with a 10,000-yuan fine for her faith in Falun Gong.
Ms. Zeng Jianjiang, a 59-year-old Hulin City, Heilongjiang Province resident, was cooking lunch at home on July 12, 2020, when a group of officers broke in and arrested her. Her home was also ransacked.
The police claimed that they had been monitoring her since November 2019 and found her mailing letters to the public about the persecution of Falun Gong.
When the police took Ms. Zeng for a physical examination in preparation for her detention, she was found to have high blood pressure as well as heart and liver problems. After a few hours of interrogation, she was released on bail at midnight and forced to pay a 1,000-yuan bond.
As Ms. Zeng had suffered a stroke and had difficulty walking when the police submitted her case to the Jidong County Procuratorate in May 2021, the prosecutor, Liu Ying, came to her home to ask her questions about her case.
Officers from the Hulin City Domestic Security Office handed Ms. Zeng her indictment on July 28, as well as a six-month house arrest notice issued by the Jidong County Court.
Without any notification in advance, nine court officials showed up at Ms. Zeng’s home on September 23, when she was at home alone, to hold a hearing of her case. Except for judge Xu Zhongqi, none of the other officials showed their IDs. The judge rushed through the session in less than an hour and didn’t allow Ms. Zeng to defend herself. Ms. Zeng received her verdict on October 2.
One year after Ms. Yin Xianping finished serving three years for her faith in Falun Gong, she was sentenced to four years again for the same reason on August 2, 2021.
Ms. Yin, around 55, was a nurse at the Duchang County Blood Station in Jiangxi Province. She was reported to the police for talking to people about Falun Gong around the Duchang County government building on February 23, 2021. She was placed on criminal detention the next day and her arrest was approved on March 5. In May, she was transferred to the Jiujiang City Detention Center.
The Yongxiu County Court in Jiujiang City sentenced her to four years and fined her 20,000 yuan on August 2, 2021, on charges of undermining the implementation of the law, the standard pretext used by the communist authorities to frame Falun Gong practitioners.
Ms. Wu Chaokun, a 41-year-old resident in Kunming City, Yunnan Province, was sentenced to one year for her faith in Falun Gong and taken to the Yunnan Province No.2 Women’s Prison on May 19, 2021.
Officers from the Xincun Police Station and local fire department went to Ms. Wu’s clothing store on December 7, 2020, and asked her to join a WeChat group of local business owners. As she was talking to them, the officers saw the words she wrote in her store, “Falun Dafa is good; Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance is good.” They reported her to the Domestic Security Office. Director Li Hongyi soon came and arrested her. The police also searched her store and confiscated her three Falun Gong books, without a search warrant.
Ms. Wu’s family went to the police station in the evening to demand her release but to no avail. Her older sister, Ms. Wu Chaohui, returned to the police station the next morning to inquire about her case and saw her there. Ms. Wu Chaokun complained that the police were handcuffing her very tightly. When her sister asked the police to loosen the handcuff, the police threatened to arrest her as well.
Ms. Wu’s family sought justice for her at the procuratorate and court. But the authorities ignored their complaints and rushed through the prosecution process.
When her family talked to prosecutor Shu Chaoqun of Xundian County Procuratorate in mid-March 2021, Shu said that she had forwarded Ms. Wu’s case to the court. She ordered the family to stop filing complaints against them and said it’s useless.
Ms. Wu was tried through a video conference by the Xundian County Court on March 20. The judge asked her whether she would break her ties with Falun Gong. Ms. Wu insisted that she would never give up her faith.
Having become disabled during a previous three-year sentence, a 67-year-old woman was sentenced again to six and a half years for her faith in Falun Gong.
Ms. Zheng Hongqin, of Yushu City, Jilin Province, was arrested on November 15, 2020 for talking to a plainclothes officer in a supermarket about Falun Gong. Her home was also ransacked.
Ms. Zheng developed serious medical conditions while being held at the detention center and was later hospitalized. Meanwhile, the police submitted her case to the Dehui Procuratorate. She was sentenced by the Dehui City Court on June 10, 2021, and has been taken to the Jilin Province Women’s Prison.
Prior to her latest sentence, Ms. Zheng was previously arrested on October 1, 2011, for posting information to rescue a detained practitioner. She became emaciated and was very weak after nine months of detention.
When she was tried by the Yushu City Court on April 28, 2012, she was carried into the courtroom and could only answer questions by nodding or shaking her head. The judge later sentenced her to three years, and she was taken to the Jilin Province Women’s Prison on July 4, 2012.
In the prison, Ms. Zheng fell and broke her back while using the restroom. As the guards refused to provide her medical treatment, she became permanently disabled with a hunched back of nearly 90 degrees. She also developed severe diabetes and fainted a few times.
Ms. Sun Zhuoying, a 70-year-old Shanghai resident, was recently sentenced to a third prison term for practicing Falun Gong.
Ms. Sun was arrested on December 9, 2020. The prosecutor approved her arrest on January 16, 2021 and later moved her case to the Fengxian District Court. She appeared in court on October 26, 2021 and was sentenced to 1.5 years.
Since the onset of the persecution, Ms. Sun has served a labor camp term and two prison terms, for a total of 11.5 years. She suffered severe torture in custody, including sleep deprivation, long hours of standing, sitting on uneven surface or squatting without moving, being tied up and covered with thick comforter in the summer, as well as being poured with ice-cold water in the winter.
By the time Ms. Sun was released from her second prison term in May 2016, she had lost hearing in one ear. She had pain all over her body. She was unable to stand, sit or walk, and had trouble eating and sleeping.
After being detained for 13 months, Ms. Jin Min was secretly sentenced to six years for practicing Falun Gong.
Ms. Jin, a 53-year-old Jilin City, Jilin Province resident, was arrested on September 11, 2020, after she was reported for talking to a taxi driver about Falun Gong. She was held at the Jilin City Detention Center and denied family visits.
Ms. Jin’s father, in his 80s, went around town trying to rescue her, but to no avail. The court prevented him from hiring an out-of-town lawyer to represent Ms. Jin or to represent her himself.
Without informing her family, the Chuanying District Court secretly tried Ms. Jin in early October and convicted her. Her family has appealed against the verdict with the Jilin City Intermediate Court.
Since the onset of the persecution, Ms. Jin has been arrested nine times, detained in a brainwashing center, and sent to forced labor camps twice. She was first arrested in February 2000 for going to Beijing to appeal for the right to practice Falun Gong and given one year of forced labor. Her term was extended by 11 months because she remained firm in her belief. She was tortured and force-fed for over 100 days and was twice deprived of sleep for over 10 days. She was also beaten, forced to squat, shocked with electric batons, and tied to a death bed.
Ms. Jin was once tied to the death bed for 18 days straight and the guards shocked her with electric batons after pouring water on the metal bed. She couldn’t walk after she was released.
Another time, the guards tied Ms. Jin’s legs on top of each other and left her like that for eight hours. She was tortured for two days and not allowed to eat or use the restroom.
The guards slapped her in the face and scratched her face with a ring. Her face swelled up.
In 2001, the authorities at Heizuizi Forced Labor Camp forced her to squat in the hallway and tried to brainwash her for 10 days. Despite being deprived of sleep during those days, Ms. Jin remained steadfast in her faith.
Not long after Ms. Jin was released, she was seized again in a mass arrest in 2002 after practitioners in Changchun City tapped into the TV cable to broadcast videos about Falun Gong. She was given two years of forced labor, and all her salary was withheld.
Ms. Jin returned to work after serving her labor camp term but was fired in 2005.
Ms. Jin was repeatedly arrested and detained from June 2010 to December 2013.
In 2016, Ms. Jin and her father moved to a rental home in Jilin City while they were trying to rescue her two sisters who were serving prison sentences for practicing Falun Gong.
When Taoyuan Police Station officers showed up at her rental home on August 19, 2016, they flashed their IDs and told Ms. Jin to step out. Her father asked to be present when the police talked to Ms. Jin, but they ignored him.
The police later seized Ms. Jin but didn’t tell her father where she was. After asking around, her father learned that she was being held in the Changliu Detention Center. She started a hunger strike a month later to protest the arbitrary detention and was on the verge of death.
While Ms. Jin was being treated in the hospital, an Erdaojiang District Court judge held a hearing in her hospital room and sentenced her to one year. She was later taken to Jilin Women’s Prison.
Ms. Yao Guihua, 55, a salon owner in Zibo City, Shandong Province, was arrested on May 14, 2021 for distributing materials exposing the persecution about Falun Gong. She was later sentenced to three years.
Since the onset of the persecution, Ms. Yao has been repeatedly targeted for upholding her faith. When her son was only seven months old, the authorities ordered her arrest on October 9, 2000, even though she was still breastfeeding her baby. While in detention, she was not allowed to use the restroom and she was deprived of sleep. She was violently beaten by several policemen at night. Ms. Yao was released five days later after her family was extorted for 9,000 yuan.
Ms. Yao was arrested again on September 3, 2006 for talking to people about Falun Gong. The Zichuan District Court tried Ms. Yao, and sentenced her to four years in prison on January 23, 2007. As her husband worked out-of-town, her daughter in middle school and her six-year-old son were left with their grandparents, struggling to get by every day.
At Shandong Province Women’s Prison, the inmates turned a square stool upside down with legs facing up, and then pressed Ms. Yao against the stool feet and beat her harshly, with one inmate grabbing her hair and one stepping on her legs. Ms. Yao’s hair on the front of her head was pulled out. They tortured her this way for several days, until she was on the verge of death. Then she was thrown into a solitary confinement cell.
She went on a hunger strike to protest against the brutal treatment. The guards instructed the inmates to force-feed her and inject her with unknown drugs.
After years of torture, Ms. Yao suffered scoliosis and lumbar degenerative lesions. Her torso became asymmetrical, with the left side protruding outward and the right side becoming concave.
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