Sichuan Woman Files Complaint Against Social Security Office for Withholding Pension Because of Her Faith
(Minghui.org) A resident of Yilong County, Sichuan Province is set to have her lawsuit against her local Social Security Office for withholding her pension heard in the court on May 14, 2019.
The office has stopped issuing Ms. Zhang Xiuzhen's pension since July 2018. They also demand that she return the pension benefits she had received during the 1.5 years she was imprisoned for distributing Falun Gong materials to the public.
Ms. Zhang was arrested in April 2016 for raising awareness about the persecution against her faith by the Chinese communist regime since 1999. She was released in October 2017 from Chengdu Women's Prison.
In recent months, many Falun Gong practitioners across China reported that their local social security offices withheld their pension and demanded they return the funds they had received during their detention or imprisonment for their faith.
In Liaoning Province, a local social security office refused to return the full two-year pension withheld from Ms. Wei Xiuying despite that the court ruled the case in her favor.
In Ms. Zhang's case, her local social security office not only asked for the return of the pension benefits dispensed to her during her imprisonment, but it has also stopped issuing her pension since July 2018. The Office said that in lieu of a pension, they would apply for a monthly 1,000-yuan of low income subsidy from the civil affairs committee to cover her living cost.
Meanwhile, they threatened to file a lawsuit against Ms. Zhang and send her back to jail if she didn't return the pension.
Ms. Zhang refused to comply. She wrote letters to the officials in charge and urged them not to follow the communist regime's persecution policy against Falun Gong. She also cited the Chinese Constitution and labor laws that any Chinese citizen should still receive full pension payment while serving time in prison.
After she wrote the letters, she found herself frequently harassed by the police.
Ms. Zhang eventually decided to file a complaint against the social security office to seek justice. The case was accepted by Xichong Court. The court initially scheduled to hear the case on April 23, 2019, but now has postponed it to May 14.