Gansu Prison Adds Two More Years Before Woman’s 20-year Term Expires
(Minghui.org) Just before Ms. Zhang Rongjuan’s 20-year sentence for raising awareness about the persecution of Falun Gong was about to expire, the prison authorities added two more years to her term.
Ms. Zhang, a 54-year-old native of Zhenyuan County, Gansu Province, has spent most of the past two decades incarcerated since the Chinese Communist Party began to persecute Falun Gong, a mind-body practice, since July 1999.
Ms. Zhang was first arrested in August 2000 and given one year of forced labor two months later. The guards frequently beat her, and the resulting pain in her legs and feet lasted for two months. She fainted five times due to the beatings. Despite her injuries, especially to her head, the guards still forced her to do unpaid labor. She was so weak that she passed out several times while working.
By the time she was released in August 2001, she had become homeless and her nine-year-old child had been sent to a relative’s home. To avoid further persecution, Ms. Zhang moved to nearby Qinghai Province.
Between August 17 and 19, 2002, practitioners in Qinghai intercepted a local TV signal and played video clips that debunked the communist regime’s propaganda against Falun Gong. Their courageous efforts infuriated the authorities, which ordered a massive arrest of everyone involved.
On August 24, Ms. Zhang and another practitioner Ms. Duan Xiaoyan were arrested together. The police confiscated their computers, printers and over 10,000 yuan in cash. Both of them were held at the Ershilipu Detention Center. When they demanded that the police return their savings, the police only gave them 100 yuan back. The police later tortured Ms. Zhang on the seventh floor of a building and caused injuries in her knees.
Another dozen practitioners were also arrested later on. When Ms. Zhang, Ms. Duan, Mr. He Wanji and Mr. Li Chongfeng appeared in Xining City Intermediate Court on December 30, 2002, all of them had injuries on their bodies. Ms. Zhang was sentenced to 20 years, Mr. He to 17 years, Mr. Li to 15 years and Ms. Duan to 7 years.
Mr. He was tortured to death at the Haomen Prison on May 28, 2003. Ms. Duan was arrested again in 2015 and sentenced to 10 years in January 2017. She has been denied family visits for a year. It’s reported that the guards often beat her and caused her to experience some mental disorder.
For Ms. Zhang, she has been held at the Qinghai Province Women’s Prison since. When her family went to visit her at one time, she was carried out by the inmates, as her legs had become disabled as a result of the torture. Because of her refusing to give up Falun Gong, the guards recently extended her term for two more years.