(Minghui.org) After several months of asking around, Ms. Gao Lijuan’s family has finally found out where she is being held.

Ms. Gao, a 49-year-old teacher in Tianjin, was arrested on December 28, 2017, for practicing Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999. During her detention at the Binhai New District No. 3 Detention Center, her lawyer visited her several times, and her family also sent clothes and money to her from time to time.

In January 2020, Ms. Gao was sentenced to 9 years in prison and fined 30,000 yuan. When her family went to the detention center to make a deposit for her in June 2020, they were told that she was no longer there. A guard said that he remembered Ms. Gao was detained there, but she had been taken away.

Her family then contacted the Tianjin Women’s Prison (the only women’s prison in the city) through the Prison Administration Bureau to inquire about her whereabouts, but they were told she wasn’t there either.

After asking around, they were told that it was possible Ms. Gao was incarcerated in Binhai Prison. While Binhai Prison is a men's prison, a detainee at the Binhai New District No. 3 Detention Center recalled a guard mentioning back in 2019 that a very few female prisoners were also taken there.

Ms. Gao’s family then went to Binhai Prison to look for her, only to be told that she wasn’t there and that there was no female ward in the prison.

After a sustained search effort, Ms. Gao’s family was able to confirm on February 8, 2021, that she was still being held at the Binhai New District No. 3 Detention Center and her lawyer had visited her there. It’s not clear why the guards told her family that she had been taken away.

Related report:

49-Year-Old Teacher Given Nine Years for Her Faith, Whereabouts Unknown

Chinese version available

Category: Accounts of Persecution