Authorities Harass and Deduct Pensions from Three Elderly Women for Their Faith
(Minghui.org) Four plainclothes officers entered a 79-year-old woman’s home on September 9, 2020 and confiscated her cash and belongings related to her belief. Ms. Dong Zhuying is a practitioner of Falun Gong, a spiritual meditation practice that has been persecuted in China since 1999.
Prior to the latest harassment, Ms. Dong, a resident of Kunming City, Yunnan Province, was sentenced to three years in prison in 2014 because she distributed videos about Falun Gong and the persecution. After she was released, the authorities claimed that Ms. Dong, a retiree from the China Industrial and Commercial Bank, was not entitled to her pension during her imprisonment. They therefore arbitrarily deducted money from her later pension payments to “pay back” the benefits that had been dispensed to her when she was in prison.
On October 21, 2014, officers from the Haikou Police Station arrested Ms. Dong and three other practitioners who were with her at the time distributing DVDs to people in a local park. The three other practitioners were Ms. Duan Xuying, then 62 year old, Ms. Wang Guiying, then 59, and Ms. Wu Lanying. The police later released Ms. Wu, but put Ms. Dong, Ms. Duan, and Ms. Wang in the Kunming City Detention Center. A prosecutor from the Xishan District Procuratorate indicted them.
The Xishan District Court held two hearings, first on March 25 and then on June 16 in 2015, before sentencing Ms. Dong to 3 years, Ms. Duan to 3.5 years, and Ms. Wang to 3 years on July 9.
Two months later in September, the three practitioners were taken to the Yunnan Province 2nd Women’s Prison, where they were subjected to brainwashing and forced to do unpaid labor.
After Ms. Dong was released in 2017, her former employer requested the Social Security Bureau to take back the pension issued to her while she was imprisoned. From then on the bureau has deducted part of Ms. Dong’s pension every month, leaving her with only basic living expenses. This continued until she paid off the pension she had allegedly owed, which totaled 102,000 yuan.
The authorities have also started to suspend the pensions of Ms. Duan and Ms. Wang, both retired from the Yunnan Cement Factory, since August 2020.