(Minghui.org) A 67-year-old retired college teacher has had her pension suspended since her release from prison on the last day of 2020, after serving an illegal detention 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.

Ms. Fang Yi, of Zhaoqing City, Guangdong Province, was arrested on October 25, 2017. The police ransacked her home and held her at the Yunfu City No. 1 Detention Center. She was later sentenced to prison.

When Ms. Fang was released on December 31, 2020, both the Zhaoqing Social Security Bureau and Zhaoqing College where she taught physics before her retirement suspended her pension without providing any reason.

She applied to the school to reinstate her pension. The school never issued any written response, and it only paid her a one-time low-income subsidy of 2,000 yuan in April 2021. 

When Ms. Fang contacted the Social Security Bureau, it cited a document issued by the Ministry of Human Resources in 2012, which stated that “if retired staff members of public institutions or government agencies are released on bail, put under house arrest, given criminal detention or facing prosecution, their pension shall be suspended; at the same time, they shall receive 75% of their pension as living expenses.” 

The notice also stated, “If retired staff members of public institutions or government agencies are sentenced to prison (not including probation), their pension shall be suspended since the day of their sentencing. The agency that issues their pension has the discretion to decide whether to reinstate their pension or how much to reinstate after they finish serving the term.”

When Ms. Fang questioned why she wasn’t given 75% of her pension as living expenses per the notice cited, the Social Security Bureau claimed that neither they nor any other public institutions such as her school know how to handle “living expenses” in their pension accounting, which only allows for pension contribution and pension disbursement as valid entries on their financial statements. 

The agency also claimed that even though they were given the discretion to decide whether to reinstate an ex-detainee’s pension, there have never been any regulations or laws on how to use their discretion to make a decision. It became clear to Ms. Fang that the agency cited a notice issued by an administrative body, not a legislative body, to try to justify their suspension of her pension, but then also hinted at the fact that the notice was not a law enacted by the law-making body which would have clearly dictated how to handle the pension matter.

To seek justice, Ms. Fang filed an administrative motion with the Zhaoqing government and is expected to receive the result in late August. 

Since the onset of the persecution, Ms. Fang has been arrested several times for upholding her faith.

She was first arrested in 2001 and held in a brainwashing center. The authorities began to monitor her daily after she was released.

Ms. Fang was arrested two more times, in February and June 2002, and detained for a month after each arrest. 

In June 2003, Zhaoqing College fired her as she wouldn’t renounce Falun Gong. A few days later, she distributed information about the persecution and how she benefited from practicing Falun Gong to the school’s teachers and students, only to be arrested by the Zhaoqing 610 Office. She was given a three-year term at the Sanshui Women’s Forced Labor Camp.

Perpetrators’ contact information:
Zhaoqing Social Security Bureau: +86-758-2829718
Litigation office of Zhaoqing City Government: +86-758-2239715Zeng Hengsong (曾恒松), secretary of Zhaoqing College: +86-758-2716235Wu Yechun (吴业春), principal of Zhaoqing College: +86-758-2715102Lin Junmu (林俊睦), deputy principal of Zhaoqing College: +86-758-2716006

Chinese version available

Category: Accounts of Persecution