(Minghui.org) With her grandmother bedridden and her mother arrested for her faith in Falun Gong, a young woman in Qinyang City, Henan Province, had 30,000yuan extorted from her by the police.

After Ms. Zhang Yuqin was released a month later, she reported the incident to Minghui website, which has been publishing first-hand accounts since the persecution of Falun Gong started in 1999.

Facing international scrutiny and the internal pressure of investigation into corruption in the past 20 years, the police returned the money to Ms. Zhang’s daughter in June 2021.

Ms. Zhang, 57, divorced when her daughter was only four, after her husband had an affair. With an ailing body and no income, Ms. Zhang relied on her younger brother to get by. She was later introduced to Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline complemented by meditative exercises, and soon recovered. She took on the responsibility of caring for her family and elderly mother so that her brother could focus more on his personal business. 

In December 2019, her brother suddenly passed away. Her mother in her 80s was dealt a heavy blow and fell ill. Ms. Zhang took meticulous care of her mother and comforted her. 

Just as her mother began to recover, the police arrested Ms. Zhang, on December 26. Knowing that the family desperately needed Ms. Zhang, the police extorted 30,000 yuan from her daughter, who feared they would not release her mother if she did not pay them the money. 

Her daughter later recounted that she was interrogated by the police before her mother’s arrest about who owns the apartment they live in. She told the police that the apartment was in her name, and she was paying over 2,000 yuan mortgage each month and could barely make ends meet.

After holding Ms. Zhang at the Jiaozuo Detention Center for 31 days, the police released her on January 26, 2020. During her detention, the guards prohibited her from buying daily necessities and often deprived her of sleep.

In August 2020, Ms. Zhang’s account of persecution was published on the Chinese Minghui website. Afterwards, local Falun Gong practitioners also posted the information around town to further expose the persecution.

In retaliation, the Jiaozuo City Police Department sent five police officers to Qinyang to investigate who put up the information. The police didn’t find anything after staying in Qinyang for a month.

Afterwards, the police began to harass Ms. Zhang’s sister, brother-in-law, and her daughter. They also installed two surveillance cameras outside Ms. Zhang’s mother’s home to monitor who came to visit her.

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Category: Accounts of Persecution