Mother of U.K. Resident Sentenced to Prison After Decades of Harassment
(Minghui.org) A woman in Shaoxing City, Zhejiang Province, who is the mother of a U.K. resident, was sentenced to prison on January 28, 2021 for her faith in Falun Gong, a spiritual and meditation discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.
Ms. Wang Wenjun’s daughter has submitted an account of her mother’s ordeal to her representatives in the U.K. and is seeking their help to rescue her mother.
The police harassed Ms. Wang in February 2020, when the coronavirus pandemic was at its peak. When Ms. Wang refused to open the door, they pried open her double security doors and arrested her.
Although the police released her soon on bail, they kept coming back to harass and intimidate her. The police broke into Ms. Wang's home on August 4, 2020 and arrested her again. Her family was notified the next day that she had been put on criminal detention. She was released on September 1, 2020.
Staff members from the local residential committee harassed Ms. Wang in late November and told her she was facing a court hearing. They also said that the judge had appointed a lawyer for her and she could get a light sentence if she pleaded guilty in court. Ms. Wang refused to comply.
Ms. Wang stood trial at the Shengzhou City Court on December 29. Ten armed officers stood at the entrance of the courthouse and blocked her family from entering. Her family was only allowed to watch the hearing streamed on TV in a separate room, where they were watched by a dozen government officials during the process.
Ms. Wang’s own lawyer entered a not guilty plea for her. The prosecutor and judge constantly interrupted Ms. Wang and her lawyer’s defense.
An official from the Political and Legal Affairs Committee, an extra-judiciary agency tasked with overseeing the persecution, met with Ms. Wang on January 5, 2021 and scolded her for her “poor showing” during the hearing.
Ms. Wang said that she hadn't violated any law, as upholding her spiritual belief is her Constitutionally-protected right. The official responded, “It doesn’t matter whether we have evidence [of wrongdoing] or not, you will be sentenced.”
On January 28, 2021, the Shengzhou City Court announced a one-year-and-ten-month verdict against Ms. Wang. She was also fined 4,000 yuan. She is now held at the Shangyu District Detention Center.
U.K. Politicians Condemn the Persecution
To seek justice for Ms. Wang, her daughter reported her case to her representatives in the U.K. government. The case has also been submitted to the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office. Her representatives are paying close attention to Ms. Wang’s case.
Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister of Scotland, has sent a letter of support to Ms. Wang. She said that religious and spiritual freedom are universal values and the Chinese Communist Party should be condemned for their persecution of religious believers.
Ms. Wang began to practice Falun Gong in 1995. After the persecution started, she was often targeted and harassed for her faith. Her over ten years of service at work was wiped out, resulting in no pension payment.
Ms. Wang was arrested in October 2000 and sentenced to four years in Hangzhou City Women’s Prison.
After she was released in October 2004, the authorities continued to harass Ms. Wang and her family on a regular basis.
In early 2016, the authorities installed two street poles with surveillance cameras right in front of her apartment. The police still came from time to time and banged on her door. At one point, they cut off her water and didn’t allow her to leave home for five days.
Ms. Wang accompanied her husband to Guizhou Province in July 2016 for a long-term work assignment. Her daughter and son-in-law returned from the U.K. with their one-year-old son to visit the couple later that year.
One day when Ms. Wang went downstairs with her grandson to pick up a delivery package, several officers who had traveled 1,000 miles from Shaogxing City surrounded her and followed her upstairs. The little boy was frightened and burst into tears. His father, an Englishman, was also terrified. Ms. Wang was then brought back to Shaoxing and taken to a brainwashing center.
The authorities never stopped monitoring her daily life and harassing Ms. Wang after she was released.