Once Given 3 Years of Forced Labor, Shandong Woman Sentenced to 3 Years in Prison – All for Her Faith in Falun Gong
(Minghui.org) A woman in Ji'nan City was sentenced to three years in prison for “using a cult to undermine law enforcement,” a standard pretext used by the Chinese communist regime in its attempt to frame and imprison Falun Gong practitioners.
Ms. Qu Zeping was arrested on September 28, 2016, by agents from Changqing District Police Station. Three other Falun Gong practitioners, including Mr. Du Enmei, 63, Ms. Li Yulan, 57, and Ms. Lin Yanling, in her 70s, were also seized on the same day.
Ms. Qu appeared in court on June 12, 2017. Her lawyer refuted the charges against her. He emphasized that no law in China criminalizes Falun Gong or labels it a cult. He challenged the prosecutor to specify which law Ms. Qu broke, and the prosecutor had no answer.
The lawyer further argued that the police fabricated evidence against his client. As Ms. Qu refused to answer questions during interrogation, the police listed items confiscated from the three other practitioners' homes on her interrogation record.
Ms. Qu testified in her own defense. She used to suffer from eye problems and couldn't see well, but her eyesight improved dramatically in just four days after she began to practice Falun Gong in February 1999. As such, she never hesitated to share her story with people when the persecution of Falun Gong began in July 1999. She argued that she should never have been arrested for exercising her constitutional right to freedom of belief.
The presiding judge sentenced Ms. Qu to three years in July 2017. The Ji'nan City Intermediate Court ruled four months later to uphold the verdict. According to a judge who was not involved in Ms. Qu's case, the only decision the appeals court can issue regarding Falun Gong cases is to uphold the original prison sentences.
Ms. Qu is now serving time at Ji'nan City Women's Prison.
This is not the first time that Ms. Qu has been targeted for her faith. She was first arrested on October 1, 2000 while appealing for Falun Gong in Beijing. Her daughter was only a few months at the time. She was brought back to Ji'nan and kept at Licheng Detention Center for one month before being moved to a local brainwashing center.
Her husband came visit her one day. He begged her to renounce her faith so that she could be released to take care of their baby girl. Ms. Qu cared deeply about her family, but she also knew that she had done nothing wrong by practicing Falun Gong.
Ms. Qu refused to give up her belief and was given three years of forced labor in February 2001. In order to humiliate her, the guards at Ji'nan City Women's Labor Camp alleged that she once slept with some man. Her husband believed the rumor and beat her every time he came to visit her at the labor camp. The guards never bothered to stop him from abusing his wife.
Ms. Qu was fired from her job after she was released. Her husband was laid off around the same time. He blamed her for everything and beat her up all the time. She had no choice but to divorce him.