Chinese Name: 孙凤仙Gender: FemaleAge: 65City: Nong’an CountyProvince: JilinOccupation: ObstetricianDate of Death: December 15, 2021Date of Most Recent Arrest: July 15, 2020Most Recent Place of Detention: Nong’an County Detention Center
An obstetrician targeted in a group arrest of Falun Gong practitioners suffered a cerebral hemorrhage while in detention and died two weeks later.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.
Ms. Sun Fengxian, a 65-year-old resident of Nong’an County, Jilin Province, was arrested with 21 other Falun Gong practitioners on July 15, 2020.
She was about to go to work at 7:30 a.m. that day, when a dozen officers broke into her home. They searched everywhere, without showing a search warrant. Her computer, all Falun Gong related materials, her husband’s cellphone and their TV antenna were all confiscated.
Both Ms. Sun and her husband were taken to the local police station for interrogation. She was terrified and began to feel sick. She was treated at the hospital ward of the Changchun City Detention Center and then transferred to the Nong’an County Detention Center.
In addition to Ms. Sun, twelve of the others also remained in custody. After their cases arrived at Dehui City Court, Judge Wang Rongfu blocked their lawyers and non-lawyer family defenders from reviewing case documents or attending the hearing on the grounds that they failed to provide proof that they didn’t practice Falun Gong themselves.
Judge Wang blurted out insulting and humiliating language while talking to the practitioners’ families, saying things like, “We have asked higher-level courts about it and this [not allowing lawyers to defend practitioners in court] is what I was told.” “Don’t talk with me about whether it is legal or not – this is how we do things. Let me tell you something: Falun Gong cases are special.” “No defense is no defense. Yes, we have violated the law, so what?! You can sue me wherever you want.”
He sentenced the practitioners to 1.5 to 10 years on July 26, 2021. All practitioners appealed the verdicts with Changchun City Intermediate Court. Ms. Sun’s appeals was accepted on September 1. Judge Zang Wancheng ruled to uphold her original sentence on November 29.
Ms. Sun suffered a stroke in Nong’an County Detention Center at 4:30 p.m. on December 3. After she was taken to the hospital, the doctor operated on her with her family’s consent. The surgery lasted nearly 5 hours and the doctor said it was successful.
Ms. Sun remained in a coma afterward and was transferred to Nong’an County Chinese Medicine Hospital on December 13. Her family was notified at 12:40 a.m. on December 15 that she was being resuscitated. She died at around 1:30 a.m.
Ms. Sun’s family suspects that abuse in custody resulted in her medical condition. They also faulted the detention center for not allowing them to visit her in the few months before her medical emergency. They said that if they’d seen her earlier, they’d have had a better idea of her physical and mental health and maybe the tragedy wouldn’t have happened.
Her family said the last time her lawyer visited her was on August 26, 2021. While the detention center demanded the lawyer be vaccinated against COVID-19, they later relented after the family complained to the Nong’an County government.
The lawyer asked to visit her again on October 9 after she appealed the wrongful verdict. The detention center demanded an approval letter from the lawyer's local justice bureau, as well as permission from Judge Zang of the Changchun Intermediate Court. The lawyer and her family filed several complaints against the judge for blocking the visit but to no avail.
On January 24, 2022, Ms. Gao Xiaoqi, 57, and Ms. Zhao Xiulan, 68, whose appeals were also rejected by the judge, were taken to the Jilin Province Women’s Prison to serve 9-year and 5-year terms, respectively.
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