(Minghui.org) When Ms. Zhong Weiling, 69, from Lianyungang City, Jiangsu Province, was released on April 15, 2022, after serving ten months for practicing Falun Gong, she was emaciated and incapacitated.
In Zhenjiang Women’s Prison, Ms. Zhong held two hunger strikes to protest the persecution. To try to make her renounce Falun Gong, the guards forced her to sit on a small stool all day long during the last month of her term. The inmates in the cell were encouraged to kick her. They forced her to sleep on the floor. She wasn’t allowed to eat vegetables or meat but could only drink the soup used to boil the food. Meanwhile, the guards also added unknown drugs to her rice.
A guard claimed, “I don’t believe over ten people can’t straighten out an old woman.” She also ordered the inmates to “beat her to death.”
As a result of regular beatings, Ms. Zhong was covered in bruises and injuries. She also suffers persistent dizziness and is now unable to care for herself.
Ms. Zhong, a retired elementary school teacher, was arrested on June 2, 2020, for talking to people about Falun Gong, a mind-body practice that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999. While interrogating her, the police tried to collect a blood sample. She resisted, only to fall and break her knee. She was then released and put under house arrest on June 5.
In mid-August 2020, the police submitted Ms. Zhong’s case to the Lianyun District Procuratorate. When that prosecutor refused to accept her case, the police turned to the Haizhou District Procuratorate.
On September 16, 2020, the Haizhou District Court put Ms. Zhong under house arrest again, this time for a year and 11 days. Zhang Jiangong, head of the Domestic Security Office, frequently harassed Ms. Zhong at home, searched her place, and confiscated her valuables.
Ms. Zhong appeared in court on December 14, 2020, and was allowed to go home afterward. The judge later sentenced Ms. Zhong to ten months and ordered the local Social Security Bureau to suspend her pension.
Ms. Zhong was taken back into custody and admitted to the Lianyungang City Detention Center on June 16, 2021, shortly after she was deceived into going to the court.
According to a detention center guard, due to the upcoming centennial anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party’s founding on October 1, the detention center was receiving between 200 and 300 new detainees every day as part of the regime’s effort to “maintain stability” during the celebration.
With injuries to her legs and loss of teeth from being tortured when she was detained before, Ms. Zhong had a difficult time getting anything to eat due to the extremely limited resources and poor conditions in the detention center. She quickly lost weight and was dizzy from lack of food.
Not until September 16, 2021, did the police give Ms. Zhong’s family a copy of her arrest notice and tell them about her prison sentence.
Ms. Zhong appealed the verdict with the Lianyungang City Intermediate Court. Although the higher court acquitted her and ordered the bailiff to release her in three days, the Political and Legal Affairs Committee, an extra-judiciary agency overseeing the persecution, didn’t approve the higher court’s decision and ordered Ms. Zhong to finish her term.
Meanwhile, the Haizhou District Court deceived Ms. Zhong, telling her that her family refused to hire a lawyer for her, while telling her family that she didn’t appeal the verdict. Neither Ms. Zhong nor her family received a copy of her verdict. Ms. Zhong was admitted to the Jiangsu Province Women’s Prison around mid-November 2021.
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