(Minghui.org) “Throwing me in prison for three years and fining me 5,000 yuan—the whole process was illegal and all the evidence was falsified!” said 70-year-old Ms. Wu Derong, who was sentenced to three years in prison for her faith in Falun Gong.

Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.

After her release on September 17, 2020, Ms. Wu of Luzhou City, Sichuan Province, recounted her 2017 arrest and how she was wrongly incarcerated.

She has been receiving an allowance of 100 yuan a month meant for the elderly in the rural area. After she was released, the social security bureau in the Naxi District wanted her to return the allowance that she had received during her prison term. The authorities threatened to summon her to court if she refused.

Below is her personal account.

Police Cut Off Power and Arrest Me

My husband and I were at home on September 17, 2017, when the power suddenly went out. The moment I opened the door to check the breaker panel located in the apartment’s common hallway, several people dashed in. Two of them grabbed me, while the rest went straight into my bedroom and found my cash box. It occurred to me that they knew exactly what to look for. One of them said, “Verify it,” and the other replied, “Verified.” Everything was done in the dark.

“Who are you? Why are you here?” I asked.

“How could you not know who am I?” replied someone. When I took a look, I realized that it was Li Xiongming, an officer from Yongning Police Station in the Naxi District.

All of the officers were in plainclothes and didn't identify themselves or show a search warrant. I didn't recognize anyone except Li, who had been actively persecuting Falun Gong practitioners.

After a while, someone shouted to the people on the ground floor, “Bring up the bags.”

I was forced to stand by the bedroom door and watch them put everything in the cabinet into the bags. I saw them take my DVD player, audio player, and a chalkboard I used to practice writing. A portion of my husband's pension of at least several thousand yuan used for our daily expenses was also taken. Two to three supermarket gift cards worth 300 to 350 yuan per card and issued each quarter by my son's employer were also confiscated. A pair of gold earrings bought in Taiwan was missing, too. The police didn't give us a list of items they confiscated.

While this was going on, my husband was so stunned he didn't dare to move as he watched the officers take our belongings and arrest me. They didn't show an arrest warrant or tell him where they were taking me.

Police Falsified Records

The whole operation, which happened at night without any neighbors knowing, was to frame me. Because they didn't leave behind a list of the items they confiscated, they could falsify the records.

For instance, they said that they found 130 newspapers, 65 flyers, 41 magazines, 23 banners, 4 pictures, 52 posters, 73 books, 84 CDs, and DVD players.

I didn't have that many books, newspapers, and flyers, nor did I have any banners. I had only a few CDs. The rest I’d collected when I was picking up trash and I intended to sell them to the recycling station the next day to earn some money.

On September 18, 2017, the day after I was arrested, the police delivered a detention notice to my family and also a subpoena notice showing the date as September 15 and stating that I had to report to Yongning Police Station on September 16. I didn't receive any subpoena notice nor was I summoned on September 16. The notice was written up after I was detained on September 17.

The police took my cash, gift cards, earrings, and chalkboard but they didn't write those down. Neither did the indictment or verdict mention those items. When I was searched at the detention center, I asked the police to hand over my 109 yuan in cash, a gift card, and a pair of shoes to my family. They didn't hand them over or return them to me.

This was not the first time that the police had seized our belonging.

On January 3, 2001, two officers from Xinle Police Station came to my house to arrest me. They refused to leave even though I wasn’t there. Because my son (who was living with us) had to go to work, he let them stay there while he left. With no one around, the officers took 1,500 yuan in cash, a small speaker, my Falun Gong books, and an MP3 player. They waited for a day and a night and ate my sweet potatoes. I was arrested when I got home the next morning.

After my arrest, Xinle Police Station officers called my husband’s employer and pressured his manager to fire him. When he returned home, he was furious to see the house in a mess, with fruit peels scattered everywhere. The police tried to get him to pay them 5,000 yuan in exchange for my release, but he wouldn’t do it. I was detained in the Naxi District Brainwashing Center for two years and eight months.

Only a few months after I was released, I was arrested again and given a labor camp term in 2004. This time, the police seized several thousand yuan in cash from me.

I was arrested one more time, on September 10, 2008, for telling people about Falun Gong. When my husband got home, the 5,000 yuan in cash I’d withdrawn just three days before was gone. Only a piece of a 20-yuan banknote was spared.

Procuratorate Falsified Records

Dong Dan, the investigator from the Naxi Procuratorate, interrogated me in the detention center after my latest arrest. Dong asked if I had been putting up flyers in the past few years. I told her honestly that I helped a retired cadre post two advertisements about selling a house. She didn't write that down. The next day, I saw the advertisement flyers had been written as “posting Falun Gong materials.”

I learned from the verdict that the 610 Office director from the Naxi District had torn off two Falun Gong flyers from the billboard at the Dazhenggou Farmers’ Market and handed them to the market authorities. The procuratorate wanted to blame me for putting them up so that they could close the case.

Dong showed me two videos. One of them was me carrying a bamboo basket and walking with two people who were also carrying a basket. The other video was the back view of someone carrying a basket. Dong said the person in the second video was also me. However, the video clip didn't show what “I” was doing, let alone putting things up on the billboard.

The prosecutor said that, because the basket carried by the person in the video was the same as the one found in my home during the house raid, it verified that the person was me.

I said, “I've been picking up [recyclable] trash for over ten years [and selling it to make a living]. It's not surprising to have a basket at home. Because I have to care for my elderly mother, it is normal to see me walking past the farmers’ market every day, so it's not surprising that I was the one in the image. When it's my turn to take care of my mother, I'm responsible for all her expenses so I need money. I don't have any source of income and mainly depend on picking up recyclables. Is it a crime to search for things that I can collect? I posted the flyers about selling a house at the bridge and there is a closed-circuit television (CCTV) there. You can take a look.”

However, Dong insisted I’d put up the Falun Gong flyers and used it as evidence. During the trial, I asked them to read out what was written on the flyers, but no one answered me.

Verdict Issued Based on Falsified Evidence

During the trial, I told the presiding judge, “This is not true. Everything was falsified. How could I have so many books, CDs, and newspapers? Many people carry baskets. Some are selling vegetables, some are shopping—they are doing all sorts of things. Why do you say that I'm the one putting up the posters?”

“We saw a basket in your house,” said the judge.

“I do have a basket at home and not just one. I've been picking recyclable trash for ten years and all because of you. I was held in the brainwashing center for nearly three years and in a forced labor camp for a year and three months. I was sentenced to three and a half years and detained multiple times. I was persecuted many times. When my house collapsed, I had no money to repair it and have to depend on picking up trash to survive.”

After the hearing ended, three people wanted me to sign the court proceedings, but I refused to. At the second hearing, the judge sentenced me to three years and fined me 5,000 yuan. They wanted me to sign the proceedings again.

I said, “What am I signing? Read it to me. I'm illiterate.”

No one read it to me. Instead, they tried to grab my hand and ordered me to sign and press my thumbprint. I firmly refused.

The presiding judge came to the detention center a few days after the verdict was announced and wanted me to sign on the verdict.

I told her, “You sentenced me without any basis. You are violating the law. I have never put up any [Falun Gong] posters. I told you honestly that I was posting two flyers on selling a house for a cadre who was in a hurry to leave and wanted to sell his house. I can find him to be my witness. Moreover, there is a CCTV at the bridge where I pasted the flyer. Why did you frame me? Since you said that I posted them, why don't you read out what was written on the flyer?”

“There's a basket in your house,” she said.

When she told me to sign the verdict, I told her to read it out for me but she refused to. She then told the guards to sign on my behalf. After much persuasion, one guard signed it.

When I was taken to prison, some of the guards who have a conscience said that I was wronged and were sympathetic.

Telling Public Security Personnel about Falun Gong

Despite being persecuted by the authorities, I have been trying to seize every opportunity to tell them about the facts about Falun Gong and persuade them to stop participating in the persecution.

During the trial in 2017 when the presiding judge asked me to speak, I said that there is no law in China that criminalizes Falun Gong; Falun Gong teaches people to be kind and many who practice it have had their illnesses cured.

When I was interrogated, I told the public security personnel how the country used to support Falun Gong and invite Falun Gong's founder to give lectures at various places. I told them that Falun Gong books were sold openly in Xinhua Bookstore (the largest and only country-wide bookstore chain in China), and asked them to explain why the country supported us for a while and then suppressed us. I also told them that I had been practicing Falun Gong for 23 years and have personally witnessed how good the practice is.

Related reports:

Six Practitioners Unconstitutionally Prosecuted By Hejiang County Procuratorate in Sichuan Province

Sichuan Woman Sentenced to Three Years for Her Faith After Secret Trial

Woman Whose Cancer Disappeared by Practicing Falun Gong Now Persecuted for Her Practice

Chinese version available

Category: Accounts of Persecution