(Minghui.org) Shortly after her arrest in April 2019, Ms. Dong Yanjun was sentenced to two years and ten months for her faith in Falun Gong. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, she wasn’t transferred to the prison until July 2020.

Ms. Dong, 65, from Laishui County, Hebei Province, was arrested on April 12, 2019, by nearly 50 officers who came in three groups between 1 and 4 p.m. that day. They ransacked her home and confiscated her Falun Gong books and materials, seven printers, and three computers.

Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.

After Ms. Dong was taken to the Baoding City Detention Center later that day, one officer taunted her, “You don't need to think about how to get out now.”

Prior to her arrest, two government officials harassed her on March 31, 2019. They asked her questions and took her photo, claiming they needed to see if she met the criteria for the government's poverty reduction program. That same day, 15 other local Falun Gong practitioners also received uninvited visits from government officials who used the same excuse.

Ms. Dong was tried in the Laishui County Court on October 26, 2019, and later sentenced to prison. She was held in the local detention center until July 2020, before being transferred to Shijiazhuang Women’s Prison.

Her arrest and detention have left her family in dire straits. Her husband, Mr. Liu Chunyu, is in poor health and relied on her to care for him. The police frequently harassed her oldest son, adversely affecting his business.

Past Persecution

This is the eighth time that Ms. Dong has been targeted for practicing Falun Gong. In past arrests, she was subjected to intensive brainwashing and savage beatings.

Ms. Dong was first arrested in the fall of 1999. She was held at a brainwashing center and mentally and physically abused to force her to give up Falun Gong.

She was arrested again on August 10, 2000, when she went to Beijing to appeal for the right to practice Falun Gong. After she was taken back to Laishui County, the police held her at a Chinese Communist Party School and brainwashed her for 20 days. She was forced to kneel down, slapped in the face, whipped, and tied up. They also extorted 3,260 yuan from her.

Li Yamin, the director of Shiting Town in Laishui County, once held Ms. Dong and her husband in a garage and wouldn’t release them. Their three children were forced to drop out of school when they ran out of money. Their lack of education made things hard for them when they looked for employment after they grew up.

Seven officers broke into Ms. Dong’s home in April 2002 and asked whether she had put up any Falun Gong banners outside. When she refused to answer the question, they searched her home and arrested her and her husband after finding a couplet that said, “Saving myself and saving others.” Both husband and wife were tortured in the detention center.

Ms. Dong was arrested and tortured in the township detention center again in April 2003.

On August 14, 2006, she was arrested yet again after being reported for talking to people about Falun Gong. When she held a hunger strike at the Laishui Detention Center, the guards stepped on her head and force-fed her salt. Her mouth was injured.

Her next arrest was on June 22, 2007. A dozen officers carried her into the police car and later gave her one and a half years of forced labor.

While Mr. Liu had been selling out coal and escaped the arrest, the police waited at his neighbor’s home until midnight to arrest him. They also patrolled the major roads leading to his home. He was forced to live away from home to avoid arrest. Even so, the police waited outside his home every day to look for him. They also warned Mr. Liu's mother, who is in her 70s, telling her that they would arrest Mr. Liu as soon as he returned. The persecution of Mr. Liu and his wife has greatly distressed their children and elderly parents. Even their crops were left unharvested.

The couple was harassed again during the “Knocking on Doors Campaign” in 2017. Officials and/or police visited Falun Gong practitioners to try to make them renounce their faith.

Related reports:

Hebei Woman Targeted for Her Faith, Denied Family Visit

Laishui, Hebei Province: 8 Falun Gong Practitioners Arrested on Same Day in New 100-Day Campaign