Chinese name: 郭鸿雁Gender: FemaleAge: 51City: ShenyangProvince: LiaoningOccupation: Bakery OwnerDate of Death: April 30, 2020Date of Most Recent Arrest: April 24, 2014Most recent place of detention: Liaoning Province Women’s Prison
A bakery owner in Shenyang City, Liaoning Province passed away on April 30, 2020, years after she served two prison terms for her faith in Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.
First Prison Sentence
Ms. Guo Hongyan, who took up Falun Gong in 2004, was first arrested on September 9, 2009. Her savings, 30,000 yuan in cash for the bakery’s operation, and many other personal belongings were confiscated.
Ms. Guo’s father and one of her employees were also arrested and taken to the Erjingjie Police Station. Both of them were released in the evening. Her father was forced to sign two blank search warrants.
When Ms. Guo’s family returned to the police station days later to demand the return of their belongings, the police turned them away.
Ms. Guo was taken to the Zhangshi Brainwashing Center. The guards tried various methods to force her to renounce Falun Gong, but to no avail. Three days after she was transferred to the Shenyang City No.1 Detention Center on October 16, she started a hunger strike to protest the persecution.
The Shenhe District Court held a hearing on April 21, 2010. Only her mother and aunt were allowed to attend. She was sentenced to one year on May 31 and released on October 15, 2010.
Second Prison Sentence
Ms. Guo was just about to enter her bakery on April 24, 2014, when three men got out of a car without a license plate and ordered her to go with them. As she refused to comply, the officers dragged her to the car and took her to the police station.
Unable to manage the store following Ms. Guo’s arrest, her parents sold it at a very low price.
Ms. Guo was sentenced to three years by the Shenhe District Court on March 19, 2015.
While Ms. Guo never recounted the torture she suffered at the Liaoning Province Women’s Prison, some insiders provided limited information about her. They said that the guards instigated the inmates to beat, verbally abuse and humiliate her. She was often forced to squat under a table, usually for half a day, which caused severe injuries to her legs that she still limped after a long time.
As Ms. Guo refused to renounce Falun Gong, she was forced to sleep on a bare board without bedding. In the winter when the temperature was below freezing and inmates still felt cold with thick comforters and bottles filled with hot water to keep warm, Ms. Guo was still left on the bare bed.
The inmates also barred her from taking showers or washing her hair. Her hair got all tangled and covered with thick dirt and oil. When she was occasionally allowed to take a shower, the inmates forbade her from using hot water, even in the winter. Once when she was taking a shower, the inmates poured basin after basin of ice-cold water on her, while laughing at her, “You are as filthy as a beggar. You’d better wash yourself hard. You are such a lunatic.”
Shortly after Ms. Guo was released in April 2017, she was dealt another blow when her husband divorced her. Her health began to deteriorate since. She passed away on April 30, 2020. She was 51.
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