Cancer-Stricken Art Teacher Denied Medical Parole, Prison Threatens Immediate Cremation Should She Die in Custody
(Minghui.org) A Chengdu resident serving time for her faith has been fighting cancer for months, but authorities have refused to grant her medical parole. They even threatened to cremate her body right away should she die in prison.
Ms. Yan Hongmei, an art teacher at Tianshui Elementary School, was arrested on August 4, 2014, after being reported for talking to her pupils about Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline being persecuted by the Chinese communist regime. She appeared in court on March 7, 2015, and was sentenced to four years in prison four days later. The local appeals court soon rejected her appeal without holding a hearing or consulting her lawyer as required by law.
Ms. Yan’s health kept declining while incarcerated at Longquan Women’s Prison. She was diagnosed with cancer but not given proper medical attention. As her condition worsened, guards eventually checked her into the prison hospital on September 2, 2017.
Ms. Yan’s husband divorced her in 2012 due to stress from worrying about her potentially being arrested for her faith. Her parents wanted to bring her home, but the prison authorities demanded that the elderly couple’s local street committee issue a statement promising to keep a close watch on Ms. Yan after her release.
The street committee in charge of the parents’ current residence declined, saying Ms. Yan was a political prisoner. The street committee in charge of the parents’ hometown residence also said no, claiming that Ms. Yan was worse than a murderer.
As no street committee was willing to monitor Ms. Yan, the prison refused to grant her medical parole.
While Ms. Yan remains at the prison hospital, her parents were told that they would not be allowed to claim her body should she die and that the prison would cremate her body immediately.