(Minghui.org) A 66-year-old Chongqing resident is awaiting the verdict following a hearing on January 25, 2021 for her faith in Falun Gong.

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

A group of police officers and residential committee members broke into Ms. Cao Xuejun’s home on February 22, 2020 and searched around when no one was at home. Her Falun Gong books, photo of Falun Gong’s founder, and other personal belongings were confiscated. It was reported that because the police found Falun Gong-related materials in the apartment buildings near hers, they suspected it was Ms. Cao who had distributed the materials.

Ms. Cao went to the local police station the next day and asked for the return of her Falun Gong books, but her request was rejected. She went again a day later, only to be handcuffed and kept in custody for a few hours. The police began to monitor her daily life after releasing her.

Ms. Cao was arrested again on March 4, 2020 and detained for a few days.

Ms. Cao suddenly experienced severe back pain on January 12, 2021, and couldn’t get up. Despite her condition, three officers came on the next day, handcuffed her, and dragged her to a police car. She was held at the police station for about a week and then transferred to the Caijia Red Cross Detention Center.

Ms. Cao was summoned to the Chongqing City Procuratorate on the morning of January 25 and tried by the Jiangbei District Court in the afternoon. She testified in her own defense and denied any wrongdoing in practicing Falun Gong or trying to be a good person.

The presiding judge asked her whether she distributed Falun Gong materials. She denied the charge and said that the police fabricated the evidence against her.

Another judge revealed at the end of the hearing that the 610 Office (an extralegal agency created specifically to persecute Falun Gong) in Liangtong District had insisted on sentencing her.

Ms. Cao is now awaiting verdict at the detention center.

Past Persecution

Ms. Cao took up Falun Gong in 1998 at the recommendation of a doctor. All of her ailments disappeared shortly after. Because of upholding her faith after the communist regime ordered the persecution in 1999, she has been sentenced twice for a total of six years.

First 4.5-year Prison Sentence

Ms. Cao used to do business in Zanda County, Tibet. She was arrested in 2003 after the police suspected her of putting up Falun Gong banners. Five of her family members were held as hostages, and they were not released until they revealed to the police where Ms. Cao was. The inventory worth more than 200,000 yuan that she had recently purchased for her business was confiscated.

After she was sentenced to 4.5 years, the police subjected her and another practitioner to a public criticizing session attended by over 10,000 local residents. Ms. Cao shouted “Falun Dafa is good” as a way to resist the persecution. The police covered her mouth and also suffocated her. She served time in a prison in the nearby Xinjiang Province.

When she was released, she made a living in Chongqing by working as a tailor. The police continued to harass her from time to time.

Second 1.5-year Prison Sentence

Ms. Cao was arrested again in August 2015 after being reported for distributing Falun Gong materials, and sentenced to 1.5 years in the Chongqing City Women’s Prison.

On the first day she was in the prison, March 6, 2016, the inmates held her to the ground and searched her body. She shouted “Falun Dafa is good” in protest, only to be beaten and kicked. The inmates dragged her into the restroom, stripped off her clothes, lifted her up, and then threw her on the floor.

The inmates dragged her by the feet every day. She was often slapped in the face and deprived of sleep at night. Because she refused to renounce Falun Gong, the inmates forced her to stand for long hours.

Ms. Cao’s back was injured from the beating and she collapsed to the ground, unable to stand up. A guard named Tang Anzhi ordered the inmates to take her pictures, and blamed her for pretending.

Ms. Cao once fell into a coma from the torture and became incontinent. When she woke up two hours later, guard Tang threatened her, “It has been normal for people to be persecuted to death in the prison if they don’t give up Falun Gong. We have all kinds of [torture] methods to deal with you.”

Barely surviving the torture, Ms. Cao was released in February 2017.

Related report:

Elderly Women Brutally Tortured in Chongqing Women's Prison

Chinese version available

Category: Accounts of Persecution