(Minghui.org) A woman in Tianjin was sentenced to seven and a half years in December 2018 for refusing to give up her faith in Falun Gong, a meditation practice currently persecuted in China. Ms. Gao Jianling, in her 50s, has become unrecognizable since she was transferred to Tianjin Women's Prison in January 2019. 

Arrested in a Mass Police Raid

Two dozen police officers forced their way into a local Falun Gong practitioner’s home and arrested Ms. Gao and three other practitioners on December 28, 2017. The police confiscated 43,500 yuan from Ms. Gao and put her in Wuqing District Detention Center. 

Another 36 Falun Gong practitioners were also seized that day in Tianjin. Among them, 14 were officially arrested and 8 have been sentenced to prison, with the longest term being 11 years. 

Force-fed and Shackled in Detention Center

As soon as Ms. Gao was put in the detention center, she was forced to wear shackles. She went on a hunger strike and five days later the guards pepper-sprayed and force-fed her. This went on for about 20 days and the brutality of force-feeding damaged her internal organs. She became emaciated and barely had the energy to speak. 

The detention center kept the heavy shackles on her for nearly one month, until her lawyer visited her on January 30, 2018, and protested about it.

Given 7.5 Years and Brutalized in Prison 

A judge in Wuqing District Court held a trial on November 15, 2018, to hear Ms. Gao’s case. Ms. Gao was given 7.5 years one month later and sent to Tianjin Women’s Prison in January 2019.

In January 2020, the guards tortured Ms. Gao as a punishment for her telling other inmates why the persecution of Falun Gong was wrong. Someone who was released from the prison witnessed an inmate, instigated by the guards, beat Ms. Gao until her nose and mouth bled and she was covered in bruises. 

Past Persecutions 

Ms. Gao took up Falun Gong in 1998. Her bronchitis, nervousness and back pain soon disappeared. After the persecution started in 1999, she suffered multiple arrests, detentions, and harassment. 

The local police and 610 Office agents arrested Ms. Gao and a dozen other practitioners in February 2000 for gathering and doing the Falun Gong exercises. A police chief slapped her so forcibly that her face bled and swelled up. She was arrested again one month later, and detained for 11 days. 

The officers from Douzhangzhuang Police Station arrested Ms. Gao on December 6, 2000. She was given 3 years in Banqiao Women’s Forced Labor Camp. The guards tortured her by pouring boiling water on her. Still, she remained steadfast and refused to renounce her faith or cooperate with the authorities. The guards arbitrarily extended her sentence for another year. 

Ms. Gao continued to tell people the facts of the persecution after she was released. The police arrested her on March 15, 2008, and put her in the same labor camp for 1.5 years. 

Related report:

37 Tianjin Falun Gong Practitioners Arrested in One Day: 3 Jailed, 5 Awaiting Verdict, 6 Facing Indictment