(Minghui.org) Ms. Wang Zhiyan was arrested by seven plainclothes officers waiting in ambush outside of her home, as soon as she returned from visiting her parents on May 13, 2021. The Taiyuan City, Shanxi Province resident was targeted for not renouncing her faith in Falun Gong, a spiritual and meditation practice that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.

After the police submitted Ms. Wang’s case to the procuratorate, her husband Mr. Gao Xiubing, who also practices Falun Gong, hired a lawyer to defend her. In retaliation, the authorities attempted to take him to a brainwashing center. When he refused to comply, the police stayed outside of his home and turned away any visitors. Mr. Gao and his elderly mother were stranded at home without food and necessities.

The authorities not only put Ms. Wang’s husband and mother-in-law in harm’s way, but also intimidated her own mother and younger brother, who is nearly blind from previous prison torture while serving time for practicing Falun Gong. The family of her older sister, who is also a Falun Gong practitioner, was harassed as well.

Wife Arrested, Family Harassed

Seven plainclothes officers from Gulou Police Station and a residential committee staffer went to Ms. Wang’s home at 6 p.m. on May 13. As she wasn’t home when the police came, they waited for over two hours and arrested Ms. Wang as soon as she returned from visiting her mother. Her family learned five days later that she was held at the Taiyuan City No. 4 Detention Center.

In order to rescue Ms. Wang, Mr. Gao hired a lawyer for her. On May 28, Mr. Gao, who didn’t have a job, went to the local social security bureau to claim Ms. Wang’s salary for the month, so that he could pay for the lawyer’s legal fees.

The receptionist instructed Mr. Gao to wait for their director. After waiting for one hour, instead of meeting with the director, Mr. Gao saw Zhang Xiaopeng from the Taiyuan City 610 Office show up. Zhang warned Mr. Gao, “If you hire a lawyer, we have all kinds of ways to deal with the lawyer and your family.”

A week later on June 4, Zhang brought six community officials and agents from the 610 Office to Mr. Gao’s home and harassed him and his mother.

Meanwhile, the authorities also went to the home of Ms. Wang’s older sister, Ms. Wang Zhihong, on the morning of June 8 to harass her. As Ms. Wang Zhihong wasn’t home when the police came, they threatened her family members.

In the next few months, Zhang instigated the police and community officials to harass Ms. Wang Zhihong and her family several times. As Ms. Wang Zhihong also practices Falun Gong, a police officer called her daughter and said that he would call her every month if her mother did not give up Falun Gong. Ms. Wang Zhihong also got calls from two local officials on October 18, urging her to renounce Falun Gong. She warned them that their actions violated her constitutional rights to spiritual belief.

In September, the Taiyuan Political and Legal Affairs Committee ordered local officers to harass the Wang sisters’ 83-year-old mother and their younger brother twice.

Lawyer’s Visit Denied

Ms. Wang Zhiyan was indicted and her case was moved to the Wanbolin District Court on September 26. The judge scheduled a virtual hearing of her case on October 20, but both Ms. Wang and her lawyer objected and demanded to attend the hearing in person.

Since Mr. Gao hired the lawyer for Ms. Wang, the lawyer went to the detention center four times to visit her, but to no avail. Although the detention center allowed him to meet with Ms. Wang virtually after rejecting his visitation request for the first time, the guards sabotaged the meeting by sending the lawyer to the Taiyuan City Traffic Command Center with the excuse that they didn’t have the proper equipment for the virtual meeting.

When the lawyer went to the traffic command center, a staff member there complained to him, “Five lawyers have been sent here (by the detention center) before you. We do not have any setup for online meetings. What is up with the detention center? This is pure nonsense!”

It costed Mr. Gao, who didn’t have a job, 8,000 yuan to cover the four trips of the out-of-town lawyer.

Ms. Wang’s son later applied to be her family defender. Wu Jun, the judge designated to handle Ms. Wang’s case, told the son that he must have Ms. Wang’s written consent in order to represent him, knowing that the family has not been able to see Ms. Wang so far.

It’s not clear whether Ms. Wang’s hearing on October 20 ever took place.

Husband Cannot Leave Home

In order to block Mr. Gao’s persistent effort to rescue Ms. Wang, the Taiyuan City Political and Legal Affairs Committee ordered the police to take Mr. Gao to a brainwashing center. Between October 11 and 15, the police and the residential commissioners repeatedly harassed him at home.

The officers from Gulou Police Station knocked on Mr. Gao’s door in the afternoon on October 11. No one answered. The next morning, three officers and two residential committee staffers came with a 15-day detention warrant for him. They said that the city planned a 3-month brainwashing session and the residential committee staffers would come back later to bring him there.

“This is mandatory. It doesn’t matter if you have an elderly person at home,” they said, knowing that Mr. Gao’s mother, a retired teacher in her 80s, had chronic diabetes and relied on him to move around and get her insulin shots.

According to China’s Constitution, mandatory brainwashing and restricting personal freedom is illegal. The law prohibits “detention and deprivation or restriction of citizens’ personal freedom through illegal means.” There are no relevant laws in China that regulate the operation of brainwashing centers.

Two more officers came to Mr. Gao’s home on separate occasions on October 18. He refused to answer the door both times. The officers stayed outside of his home and blocked his younger sister from entering, when she came to visit Mr. Gao. Unable to leave the house without being taken to a brainwashing center, Mr. Gao and his mother were stranded at home and they haven’t been able to get food and outside support at the time of writing.

Persecution of Younger Brother

The ordeal that Ms. Wang’s family is facing is nothing new to the family. Since the Chinese communist regime ordered the persecution in 1999, the family, with several members practicing Falun Gong, has been repeatedly targeted for their faith.

Ms. Wang’s younger brother, Mr. Wang Zhigang, graduated from Taiyuan University of Technology. When he ran a bookstore with his mother, he read Zhuan Falun and began to practice Falun Gong. He was known to be kind and helpful. During the time of flooding in southern China in August 1998, he gave almost all of his income to the victims.

Around the same time, Ms. Wang Zhiyan, who used to have hepatitis and did not want any children, also started to practice Falun Gong. Her illness was gone and she gave birth to a healthy boy. She lived with her ill mother-in-law and took good care of her.

After the persecution started, Mr. Wang was given one year of forced labor in 2000. Only one month after he was released, he was arrested again and given another three-year term in 2001. For his continued effort to raise awareness about the persecution, Mr. Wang was arrested again in 2008 and sentenced to three years in Jinzhong Prison. While imprisoned, he often was slapped hard in the face during torture sessions, resulting in several injuries to his eyes.

In January 2010, he was diagnosed with bleeding and damage to the vitreous body in both eyes. As a result, he has completely lost vision in his left eye, and has very blurry vision in his right eye.

Mr. Wang continues to experience severe pain in his eyes after being released. He now lives with his bedridden mother and relies on her meager pension to get by.

Related report:

Jinzhong Guards Ordered Prisoners to Brutally Beat Mr. Wang Zhigang, Resulting in Blindness