72-year-old Woman Stands Trial for Her Faith in Falun Gong
(Minghui.org) A 72-year-old woman in Maoming City, Guangdong Province, was tried on November 24, 2020, for her faith in Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.
Ms. Luo Ji was giving out informational materials about Falun Gong at a farmers’ market on August 10, 2020, when she was noticed by a plainclothes officer. Agents from the 610 Office, an extralegal agency created to persecute Falun Gong, arrested Ms. Luo and took her to the Hedong Police Station. The police took photos of Ms. Luo and searched her bag. They confiscated 35 yuan in cash and another 27 yuan in banknotes that had information about Falun Gong printed on them (as a creative information distribution channel to overcome the strict censorship in China).
In the afternoon, someone from the residential committee told Ms. Luo to sign three statements to renounce Falun Gong. She refused to comply. The officers then said they would take her to the hospital for a physical exam, but she was adamant in her refusal to cooperate.
The officers ransacked Ms. Luo’s home late that evening and released her the following day around noon. When her son picked her up at the police station, the police gave him a notice that she would be under “house arrest.”
The Maonan District Procuratorate indicted Ms. Luo on November 11, 2020. Prosecutor Luo Guangsen accused Ms. Luo of being a repeat offender, citing a ten-day detention given to her in June 2020.
Ms. Luo argued that she had indeed been arrested and had her home ransacked around mid-June after being reported for distributing Falun Gong materials, but she was released that same day and wasn’t detained.
Three days after she was indicted, the police made another attempt to pressure Ms. Luo into signing statements to renounce Falun Gong, but she insisted that she wouldn’t sign anything.
Shortly after Ms. Luo appeared in court on November 24, she had a headache, dizziness, and difficulty walking.
Ms. Luo started to practice Falun Gong in 1998. After the communist regime ordered the persecution in 1999, she was arrested five times between 2000 and 2008 and served one year and nine months in Sanshui Forced Labor Camp. While in custody, she was tortured, force-fed, and injected with unknown drugs.
She was arrested for the sixth time on November 19, 2015, and held in custody until November 23.
Her next arrest was on May 4, 2019, for distributing Falun Gong materials. The police searched her bag and confiscated 40 Falun Gong keepsakes and 60 yuan worth of banknotes that had Falun Gong messages printed on them. She was released that evening.