(Minghui.org) Since the Chinese Communist Party began to persecute Falun Gong, a spiritual and meditation discipline, in July 1999, a woman in Jiujiang City, Jiangxi Province, has served a total of 13.5 years (including three labor camp terms and two prison terms) for upholding her faith. Ms. Zhou Meili was tortured in detention and her husband divorced her for fear of being implicated.

When Ms. Zhou, 65, was finally released from her latest 4.5-year prison term on November 8, 2020, she was devastated to discover that her pension had been suspended. She contacted the Jiujiang City Social Security Bureau and demanded the return of all her pension payments. But the staff members insisted that she must return the 110,000 yuan in payments issued to her while she was in prison, before they could resume her pension. The authorities claimed that Falun Gong practitioners aren’t entitled to any pension benefits while serving time, but Ms. Zhou argued that there is no such law.

When Ms. Zhou’s family asked if she could at least receive part of her monthly pension, they were told that she must pay off her “debt” first. Now Ms. Zhou has no income and has to rely on her children.

Three Labor Camp Terms

Ms. Zhou was first arrested and held at a brainwashing center for 3 months in 2001. Because she firmly refused to give up her faith, she was given three years Majialong Forced Labor Camp. Her husband Mr. Xu Rongfa couldn't bear the pressure and demanded a divorce.

While she was in the forced labor camp, her house was demolished. Her youngest daughter moved into her father’s factory assigned housing. However, the factory's residents’ committee forced her daughter to move out because they didn't want to have anything to do with people connected to Falun Gong practitioners.

In Majialong Forced Labor Camp, the guards once hung Ms. Zhou up for two days in an attempt to force her to renounce her faith. Her term was also extended for six months.

Torture illustration: Hung up

After Ms. Zhou was released, she continued to expose the brutal persecution and to tell people how wonderful Falun Gong is.

On August 25, 2005, she was arrested again by officers from Baishuihu Police Station and the local 610 Office (an extralegal agency created specifically to persecute Falun Gong). This time, she was given a 1.5-year labor camp term. She was first held at Majialong Forced Labor Camp and then transferred to a labor camp in Nanchang City on July 12, 2006. In the new labor camp, she was forced to have her blood taken and do unpaid labor. By the time she was released on March 20, 2007, she no longer had a home.

Ms. Zhou was arrested one more time, on January 3, 2008, after she was reported for distributing Falun Gong fliers at Yongquan Village. She was held at Jiujiang County Detention Center for a week before being transferred to Jiujiang City Detention Center.

Ms. Zhou went on a hunger strike to protest the persecution. The police attempted to extort 5,000 yuan from her in exchange for her release. But she refused to comply, and the police gave her another one-year term in Jiangxi Province Woman Forced Labor Camp.

Because Ms. Zhou refused to do the unpaid labor to protest the persecution, the guards made her stand out under the scorching sun in the summer and in the cold in the winter.

Torture illustration: Forced to stand under the hot sun

Two Prison Terms

When Ms. Zhou and several other practitioners, including Ms. Rao Fenglan, Ms. Zhang Daidi and Mr. Han Yuming, were putting up posters about Falun Gong in nearby Ruichang City on July 11, 2011, they were arrested. They were tried in the Ruichang City Court three months later, on October 12. Three lawyers from Beijing entered not guilty pleas on their behalf.

On December 16, the court sentenced all four practitioners to three years in prison each. They appealed, but the Jiujiang City Intermediate Court upheld the verdicts. The female practitioners were incarcerated in Jiangxi Province Woman Prison and Mr. Han was taken to Yuzhang Prison.

Only two years after Ms. Zhou was released, she was arrested again on May 8, 2016, while she and three other practitioners, including Ms. Liu Xiaoci, Ms. Xiong Maofeng and Ms. Sun Cuihua, were talking to people about Falun Gong. Officers from Pengpu Police Station ransacked their homes that night and took them to Jiujiang City Detention Center.

Xiong Yarong, the director of the Penpu Police Station, submitted their cases to the procuratorate and didn’t allow their families to visit them.

The four practitioners were tried in the Xunyang District Court on October 25. The local authorities arranged for heavily armed police to guard the courthouse and didn’t allow local residents to get close.

The judge sentenced Ms. Zhou to 4.5 years in prison in December 2016 and she was transferred to the Jiangxi Province Woman Prison weeks later. No family was allowed to see her because Ms. Zhou refused to write any statement to renounce her faith.

The other three practitioners were also sentenced, but their terms are as yet unknown.

The prison used many tactics to try to force practitioners to give up their faith, including not allowing them to wash, not giving them enough to eat, prohibiting them from using the bathrooms, cutting off toilet paper, or forcing them to squat without moving or stand still without sleep.

Related Articles:

Ruichang Police Department in Jiangxi Province Arrests 13 Falun Gong Practitioners within Three Months

Police from Ruichang City, Jiangxi Province Arrest Several Falun Gong Practitioners and Some Family Members

Ruichang Court in Jiangxi Province Attempts to Frame Four Falun Gong Practitioners

Chinese version available

Category: Accounts of Persecution