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Yunnan Woman Sentenced, Bedridden Mother Faces Lack of Care

July 19, 2022 |   By a Minghui correspondent in Yunnan Province, China

(Minghui.org) Ms. Liu Yijun of Chuxiong Yi Autonomous Prefecture, Yunnan Province, was sentenced to four years in prison and six months of house arrest on May 7, 2022, for practicing Falun Gong. The house arrest was to be served after her imprisonment.

Because Ms. Liu is the sole caregiver for her bedridden mother, local government officials suggested she put her mother in a nursing home. Given the many reports about the elderly being abused in nursing homes, she rejected their idea. She appealed the verdict on May 16, 2022, and is now awaiting the result.

Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.

Below is her personal account.

Arrested and Sentenced

On the morning of November 5, 2020, a woman claiming to be from the workers’ union at my mother’s former workplace came to my door and said she wanted to visit my mother, Xu Cuiying, who has been bedridden for more than 10 years. When I opened the door, about eight men hiding behind the woman barged in. I was stunned.

One of the men said that they were from the Domestic Security Division and had a search warrant. No one showed me the search warrant or their IDs. They weren’t wearing police uniforms either. I later learned that that man was He Yong, a deputy chief at the Domestic Security Division.

When the officers started to ransack my home, I tried to stop them. My mother, who was sitting on the couch, was frightened and soiled herself. Just then several women showed up. I asked them to step aside for a moment so I could clean my mother. They refused and even took videos.

I took my mother to the bathroom, but everyone continued to look on. I was very angry as I felt this was humiliating my mother and me. I argued with them, and officer Liu Jianyuan pushed me down on the couch. The male officers went out after a while, leaving the women to watch me. Afterward, the male officers came in again and continued to ransack my place.

I was taken to the police department and interrogated. In the afternoon, I was taken to the hospital to have my blood drawn. That night, the police told me to hand over 1,000 yuan for bail but I said I had no money. I didn’t know that they managed to contact my family in another city and got the money from them.

The police instructed me to sign a document and threatened to sentence me to three or four years if I refused. They said my mother would no longer be alive by the time I was released. I had no choice but to comply.

I returned home late that night. My mother was starving. She put her head on my shoulder without saying a word. We sat like this until midnight.

The police returned the 1,000 yuan bail bond on May 3, 2022. A few days later, they delivered a subpoena to me, informing me that I was scheduled for a hearing at 8:40 a.m. on May 6. Because I had to care for my mother in the morning, the judge agreed to postpone the hearing until 9:30 a.m.

On the day of the hearing, my neighbor, who had agreed to help take care of my mother, and I were busy preparing at my home when the deputy chief of the Domestic Security Division showed up at my door with two workers’ union officers from my mother’s workplace. They said they could help care for my mother during the hearing. I didn’t agree.

On May 7, a day after the hearing, judge Qin Xiaoyan descended upon my home with several court staff members. She said she had considered my situation and decided to come personally to announce the verdict: I was sentenced to four years in prison and another six months of house arrest. I was also fined 7,000 yuan. I expressed my intention to appeal.

I submitted my appeal on May 16. At the end of May 2022, the intermediate court summoned me for questioning. I submitted my defense letter.

Someone knocked on my door on June 10. They were two government officials, two neighborhood community officers, and the chairman of my mother’s workplace workers’ union. They said that before the intermediate court made any decision about my case, I should make arrangements for my mother. They said I should either ask my family members who work in another city to come and care for my mother or put my mother in a nursing home. I rejected their suggestions and said that I did not commit any crime. I added that caring for my mother is my duty as a daughter.

Letter to Officers and Judge

Below is the defense letter that I submitted:

My name is Liu Yijun. Before 2011, I worked at a real estate company in Kunming City, Yunnan Province, and was responsible for the training and recruitment of employees in the HR department. I got along well with my colleagues and they liked to talk to me about their problems.

Quitting My Job to Care for My Mother

In 2011, my mother slipped and fell in the bathroom. She was diagnosed with osteonecrosis of the femoral head and had to have surgery. The surgery was a success but her back started to stiffen after six months. She could not walk independently, and someone had to help her to the bathroom and to bed. We hired a caregiver for her but during the process, my mother sustained two internal fractures, which worried us.

I discussed it with my younger sister who worked in another city, and we agreed that I should care for our ailing mother. I quit a job I adored to fulfill my family responsibility.

I returned to Chuxiong to care for my mother while my father mostly helped with grocery shopping and cooking. Due to her condition, my mother became depressed and helpless.

I woke up early every day to help my mother wash and prepare breakfast. I helped her to the couch before washing up myself. Sometimes, my mother called for me to help her lie down even before I finished eating my breakfast. She would usually ask to get up after ten minutes and want to lie down again after another ten minutes. She also wanted to use the bathroom many times before lying down again. This repeated many times a day, and I didn’t have time to rest.

There were times when I had just settled down to take a rest and my mother would ask me to help her again. I could only clean the house when she was resting. But when I was tired and wanted to sleep, she would call my name again. I had no time to rest, much less time to go out and enjoy life. I felt tired and wanted to swear. I felt sad but had no one to help me.

After lunch, my parents would take a nap while I cleaned the kitchen. I could only rest after my father got up.

I was with my mother at night, and she usually woke up several times at night. Sometimes just after I laid down, she asked to get up again. There was a period of time when she refused to drink water during the day, and I found out that she wanted to avoid using the restroom to not be such a burden on me.

Oftentimes, my mother would start to shout in the middle of the night. After I woke her up, she said that she felt very warm and I had to help turn her over. When she still felt warm, I helped her to get up, and after a while, she would ask to get back into bed. Shortly after, she would ask to use the bathroom again.

Mother’s Health Deteriorated after Being Forced to Renounce Her Faith

In the past, my mother was a cheerful person. Although she had several ailments, she recovered within a few months after practicing Falun Gong. She could even go hiking.

My sister and I were happy to see that. However, my mother was later forced to give up the practice because of the persecution, and her health started to deteriorate.

I had several chronic health problems since I was young, including pneumonia. I was often taken to the hospital emergency room at night. After I started working, I was diagnosed with low blood sugar, low blood pressure, and sinusitis. I thought that I needed to be healthy to care for my mother.

Started Practicing Falun Gong

I decided to take up Falun Gong. By following Falun Gong’s teachings, I changed my temper and increased my physical endurance.

I was sentenced to two years in 2014 for practicing Falun Gong. My father, who was in his 80s, endured every day as he took care of my mother.

When I was released from prison in 2016, I was devastated to see how thin my father had become. His clothes that used to fit well were now loose. His hair had all turned gray. His asthma was worse, and he had to lie on the couch to rest after just a few steps.

I started to care for my parents and clean the house. My father would take a nap after eating, but it was a different story for my mother. I couldn’t sleep at night. This went on for a long time with no end in sight.

Caring for My Mother Alone

My father’s health became slightly better after I returned home. I also felt more confident. However, he suddenly passed away, and I nearly collapsed.

It became more difficult after my father died. I had to run to buy groceries, or my mother would be desperately calling me. Sometimes my mother was crying because she had soiled her pants due to a stomachache. After cleaning up and helping her take a bath, I would start to prepare lunch. I would then wash the bed sheets and blanket.

Day after day, night after night, a normal person would not have been able to handle this, but through my faith, I gained the strength to carry on.

Support from Neighbors

In Chinese society, people usually discriminate against anyone who has been sentenced to jail. But because I always treated everyone with kindness and helped everyone in need, people who used to ignore me started to smile at me and greet me. They also asked about my mother’s health. Some kind neighbors shared their food with us. A nearly 90-year-old grandmother once gave me a piece of meat, telling me to cook it for my mother.

I have no regrets about caring for my mother even though it is a difficult journey with no end in sight. I will try my best to fulfill my responsibilities as a devoted and dutiful daughter.

We all have parents that might someday need care, so I hope you can understand my situation.