(Minghui.org) Two Kunming City, Yunnan Province residents were recently sentenced to prison for practicing Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.
Plainclothes officers broke into 85-year-old Ms. Qu Yuexian’s home on September 28, 2021. They showed her a photo confiscated from another practitioner, taken on May 13, 2021, and asked her to confirm whether one of the people shown in the photo was her.
Ms. Qu did read Falun Gong books together with a few other practitioners on May 13, 2021, and they took a photo together. As she didn’t deny the fact that she was in the photo, the police began to search her home, without showing their IDs or a search warrant. She questioned the legal basis for the raid. The police held up the photo and said, “This is it.”
Ms. Qu’s Falun Gong books and informational materials were taken away. No confiscation list was provided. She was then taken to the Liangyuan Police Station and interrogated until 3 a.m. Due to her advanced age, the police charged her a 1,000 yuan bond and released her on bail.
Another practitioner, Ms. Liu Rongxian, 75, was arrested the next day, as she was also in the same photo. Her Falun Gong books, informational materials, and several thousand yuan in cash were confiscated. She was held at the Kunming City No. 1 Detention Center.
An officer surnamed Huang went to Ms. Qu’s home on January 27, 2022, and took her to the Xishan District Procuratorate. A prosecutor named Bai Liqiong asked her whether the Falun Gong books and materials were hers.
After she said yes, Bai asked her, “Are you pleading guilty?”
“Guilty of what? These are the books I’m reading every day. What law did I break?” Ms. Qu argued.
“Are you still practicing it?” Bai continued to ask her.
“Of course I do. Falun Gong teaches people to be kind. My health has improved by practicing it. I saved much medical cost and also freed my children from having to care for me.”
As Bai couldn’t force Ms. Qu to plead guilty, she let her go home. She later indicted both Ms. Qu and Ms. Liu, indicating they were having an “illegal gathering.”
When Ms. Qu and Ms. Liu stood trial at the Xishan District Court (date unknown), Ms. Qu testified in her own defense. She argued that she and the other practitioners were merely reading Falun Gong books together and caused no harm to anyone or to society. She said that prosecutor Bai was blindly following the persecution policy and wrongfully indicted them. The judge frequently stopped her as she read her prepared statement.
As Ms. Qu continued talking, she asked prosecutor Bai, “Article 35 of the Constitution states that Chinese citizens have the rights to freedom of speech, publication, assembly, association, procession, and demonstration. Do I have these civil rights granted by the Constitution?”
She went on to say that she was born into the family of a fabric merchant. At age 11, she went on a trip with her father, only to have all of their possessions stolen by bandits. She was almost killed. The family’s business then quickly declined and she had to work very hard to earn a living. After getting married, she gave birth to six children. The hardship of life took a toll on her health and she struggled with many conditions, including bronchial asthma, rheumatism, gastric ulcer, and low blood pressure.
She sought various treatments, but none had much effect on her. Shortly after she took up Falun Gong in 1997, her ailments all disappeared and she has since enjoyed good health. She lives by Falun Gong’s principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance and took on a positive outlook on life.
“I have benefitted so much from practicing Falun Gong, yet Master never asked for anything in return from me. When I read Falun Gong books with other practitioners on May 13, 2021, as a way to celebrate Master’s birthday, what’s wrong with that? What law did we break?” she asked the judge.
The judge became infuriated and didn’t allow her to talk anymore. He later sentenced Ms. Qu to 1.5 years with an 8,000-yuan fine and Ms. Liu to 3 years with a 10,000-yuan fine.
Bai Liqiong (白丽琼), prosecutor of Xishan District ProcuratorateZhang Linmin (张林敏), presiding judge of Xishan District CourtWang Jianxun (王建勋), judge of Xishan District CourtZhao Li (赵丽), judge of Xishan District CourtLi Dandan (李丹丹), clerk of Xishan District Court
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