(Minghui.org) Ms. Zhou Yuzhu, nearly 80, from Yitong County, Jilin Province, has been practicing Falun Gong for over 20 years. Even though she moved out of the county several years ago, county officials still tried to force her to renounce her faith as part of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)’s nationwide “zero-out” campaign, which targets every practitioner on the government’s blacklist. Her son stood up for her and resisted the harassment.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a spiritual and meditation practice that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime for the past 22 years.
Ms. Zhou got the first phone call from Yitong County Police Station at the end of June 2021. She hung up after she realized that it was the local authorities harassing her.
When Ms. Zhou’s son went back to Yitong County on a business trip in July 2021, he stayed at her empty apartment. Within an hour after he arrived, at around 10 p.m., a group of people knocked on the door. They first claimed that they were from the residential committee and then said they were from the local police station. Ms. Zhou’s son didn’t open the door. When the officers left around midnight, two stayed outside overnight.
At 8 a.m. the next morning, when Ms. Zhou’s son opened the door, two police officers rushed in, taking pictures and searching every room. They thought Ms. Zhou was back and tried to get her signature on a statement to renounce Falun Gong.
The son argued with the officers for over an hour that they shouldn’t harass his mother. He proposed to sign the statement on his mother’s behalf, but the officers insisted on securing Ms. Zhou’s signature.
Finally, the officers agreed to let the son talk to his mother before contacting them again.
Ms. Zhou’s son said the police knew what they were doing was illegal. As he had a pack of cigarettes in his pants, the police thought it was a recorder and insisted on making sure that he wasn’t recording the conversation.
Persecution of Falun Gong Has No Legal Basis
After Ms. Zhou’s son told her what had happened, she said that practicing Falun Gong had cured her many diseases and saved her life. She would never sign the statement, nor should anyone sign it on her behalf, she said.
The son consulted some lawyers and learned that there is no legal basis for the persecution of Falun Gong and that freedom of belief is protected by the law.
He also learned that it was the police who had violated the law by breaking into his residence, searching it, and taking pictures of it without a warrant.
The local authorities kept calling Ms. Zhou and ordered her to renounce her faith. As Ms. Zhou remained undeterred, the officials then said if she didn’t sign the statement, they had to videotape her with her lying in bed. Suspecting that the officials were planning to use the video to smear Falun Gong, Ms. Zhou rejected again. The officials then asked to take her photo or have her son sign the statement for her. She refused to comply.
In the meantime, the authorities threatened to suspend Ms. Zhou’s pension. Her son said to them, “If her pension is suspended, we will sue you!” The authorities dropped their pursuit of Ms. Zhou.
While they failed to force Ms. Zhou to comply, the officials lied to practitioners who were held in the local brainwashing center that she had signed the statements, in order to influence other practitioners to give in.
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