(Minghui.org) Two residents of Shijiazhuang City, Hebei Province, were arrested on July 18, 2019 after being reported for talking to people about Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.

After two days of criminal detention at a police station, Ms. Li Dongmei and Ms. Geng Shulan were transferred to Shijiazhuang No.2 Detention Center on July 20.

The Qiaoxi District Procuratorate approved their arrests on August 2 and is now preparing to file charges against them.

The two practitioners' families have hired lawyers to represent them.

Ms. Li started a hunger strike on July 23 to protest the arbitrary detention. She is being force-fed every day and held in solitary confinement in handcuffs at all times.

Ms. Geng was also forced to wear handcuffs and shackles for three days because she refused to recite detention center rules. With the handcuffs and shackles chained together, she was unable to stand straight and could only crawl on the floor. She couldn’t take showers or change clothes. She also needed help using the restroom. The heavy shackles severely injured her ankles and wrists.

The guards threatened to deny both women's lawyers from visiting them if they continued to protest the detention.

Persecuted for Practicing the Mind-Body Discipline that Changed Them

Ms. Li, 52, used to suffer from severe rheumatoid arthritis. Many of her joints were deformed, and she was bedridden for a long time and couldn't even hold a bowl. After she took up Falun Gong, she completely recovered and took on many house chores. She also found a job to help support her family.

Ms. Geng, 57, was a retiree of the No.4 Textile Factory in Shijiazhuang City. She developed a severe sleep disorder due to her night shifts and had a kidney problem. Her legs were often swollen. However, most of her problems disappeared soon after she learned Falun Gong in 1996.

After the communist regime ordered the persecution of Falun Gong in 1999, Ms. Geng went to Beijing to appeal and was arrested. After she was sent back home, the textile factory fired her after being pressured by the authorities.

Local police and residential committee staff often harassed her from then on. Her husband couldn’t endure the stress and divorced her.

Shortly after that, she was arrested for talking to people about Falun Gong and given a three-year term at Shijiazhuang Forced Labor Camp.

The police continued to harass her after she was released. She was forced to move from place to place to avoid further persecution.

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