(Minghui.org) Five elderly women in Fushun City, Liaoning Province, were given prison terms ranging from nine months to three years between 2019 and 2021 for their shared faith in Falun Gong, a meditation practice that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime for the past 22 years.
Below are details of their cases.
Ms. Yu Guilan, 82, Sentenced to Three Years
Ms. Yu Guilan started to practice Falun Gong in October 1997. She was amazed by how quickly her chronic health problems such as heart disease, rheumatism, and arthritis were cured, and she often shared her personal experience with others, hoping more people could benefit from it.
While talking to people about Falun Gong, Ms. Yu was reported to the police and arrested on April 2, 2020. Against her will, the police collected her fingerprints and confiscated over 40 of her Falun Gong books, a photo of Falun Gong’s founder, and 30 Falun Gong keepsakes. She was released around 10 p.m.
Ms. Yu was arrested again on September 20, 2020, when the police monitoring her noticed she was distributing Falun Gong information. They searched her home again and took her Falun Gong posters. She was tried in the Wanghua District Court on April 27, 2021, and sentenced to three years by presiding judge Jiang Jia. She is now being held at the Fushun City Detention Center.
Ms. Zhao Yulan, 82, Sentenced to Three Years
Ms. Zhao Yulan was arrested by two police officers waiting outside of her home on April 28, 2019. She was taken to the Nangou Detention Center the following night and released nine days later due to health issues.
Ms. Zhao was arrested again on October 5, 2019, when she was talking to people about Falun Gong. She was sentenced to three years in October 2020 and is now Liaoning Women’s Prison.
Ms. Zhao took up Falun Gong in 1997, and many of her ailments, including vertigo and arthritis, soon disappeared.
After the communist regime began to persecute Falun Gong, Ms. Zhao went to Beijing to appeal in November 2001 and was arrested. She was detained for a week before she was admitted to a forced labor camp to serve a term of three months.
Ms. Zhao was arrested at home on February 28, 2003. The police snatched her keys and ransacked her home. Her Falun Gong books, materials, valuables, and cash were confiscated. She appeared in the Dongzhou Court on June 27, 2003,, and was sentenced to five years. She was admitted to Dabei Prison in Shenyang on August 17, 2003, and released on February 28, 2008.
She was arrested again on March 26, 2012, for telling people about the persecution. The police ransacked her home and confiscated her belongings. She was held in the Fushun Detention Center and her arrest was approved on April 5. The Dongzhou Court sentenced her to four and a half years in prison on July 26, 2012. She was admitted to Liaoning Province Women’s Prison on October 23.
While Ms. Zhao was in the detention center, the police and street committee members harassed her son repeatedly. His health deteriorated because of the stress, and he developed kidney problems. He spent all their money and sold their house to pay for his care. He died in June 2016 at the age 47.
When Ms. Zhao was released on September 25, 2016, she was homeless. Her pension was suspended in Nov 2017.
Ms. Wang Hongxiang, 80, Sentenced to Five Years
Ms. Wang Hongxiang was arrested on September 15, 2020, at a farmers’ market by officers from the Longfeng Police Station. Her home was ransacked. She was secretly sentenced to five years by the Dongzhou Court. Details of her trial aren’t clear.
Ms. Hong Shuyun, 83, Sentenced to Two Years
Ms. Hong Shuyun often tells people how she regained her health after practicing Falun Gong and why she thinks Falun Gong is great. She was arrested at home on September 20, 2017, after the police suspected her of distributing calendars with information about Falun Gong. The police ransacked her home and confiscated all her Falun Gong books. She was denied admission to the detention center due to high blood pressure and then released on bail.
The police took Ms. Hong from her home to the police station in March 2018 and ordered her to sign a statement renouncing her faith. She was fined 3,000 yuan.
Four Wanghua Procuratorate officials went to Ms. Hong’s home to question her on March 5, 2019. They returned on March 23, handed her an indictment, and told her to be prepared for a trial. She said she would never go to the courthouse because she did not violate any laws. They then said they would hold the hearings in her home.
A Wanghua District Court judge held two hearings in Ms. Hong’s home, on April 15 and May 31. The prosecutor claimed that they found 680 DVDs in her home and that 580 of them had Falun Gong information on them. Ms. Hong denied that she had such items.
A court staff member went to Ms. Hong’s home in June 2019 to inform her that she had been sentenced to two years in prison and fined 5,000 yuan. She was taken to Nangou Detention Center hours for a physical exam and was again denied admission due to high blood pressure. To avoid further persecution, Ms. Hong was forced to live away from home.
Shortly after she returned home in September 2021, Ms. Hong was arrested and was taken to Nangou Detention Center.
Ms. Ji Baozhen, 80, Sentenced to Nine Months
Ms. Ji Baozhen had been ill and suffering from life’s stresses for many years. She almost lost her will to live. But after she started to practice Falun Gong in 1999, all her ailments disappeared. She couldn’t have been more grateful and often told people about the health benefits of Falun Gong after that.
Ms. Ji was arrested on March 12, 2020, for talking to people about Falun Gong near a middle school. When the local detention center refused to take her due to the pandemic, she was released on bail that same day.
Officers from the Leifeng Police Station arrested Ms. Ji at home again on August 24, 2020, and later submitted her case to the Wanghua District Procuratorate. They arrested her a third time on September 2, 2021, and took her to the Nangou Detention Center. She was sentenced to a nine-month prison term on September 10, 2021.
Ms. Ji lives alone after her husband died in 2018. She has no steady income. She is now in the Nangou Detention Center.
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