(Minghui.org) Ms. Liu Xiaoping, a native of Zhuhai City, Guangdong Province, was arrested in her temporary residence in Kunming City, Yunnan Province on December 20, 2012. The 65-year-old woman was targeted for talking to people about Falun Gong, a spiritual and meditation discipline also known as Falun Dafa, that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999. After two hearings by the Lufeng County Court, she was sentenced to ten years. When she was released from the Yunnan No. 2 Women’s Prison on November 1, 2013, she was devastated to learn that her pension had been suspended during her term.

Benefits from Falun Gong

Ms. Liu took up Falun Gong in 1998. Not long afterward, all of her diseases, including neuropathic headache, stomach disease and lower back pain, disappeared completely. She became healthy and energetic.

The practice also improved her moral character. She followed the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance and became more considerate of others. As a business owner, she no longer accepted gifts from her clients even though it was prevalent in her industry. She also no longer lied when doing business and earned trust from her clients and business partners.

On July 20, 1999, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) launched an unprecedented persecution against Falun Gong and its practitioners. The CCP manufactured systematic propaganda to demonize Falun Gong, including the infamous Tiananmen Square Self-immolation hoax.

In order to let people know the truth, Ms. Liu and countless practitioners risked their lives speaking up and were targeted by the CCP.

Early Arrests and Detention in a Brainwashing Center

On December 20, 1999, Ms. Liu and another practitioner were on the way to Beijing to speak out for Falun Gong, when they were stopped at Guangzhou Train Station and taken to Jida Police Station in Zhuhai City in the evening. They were then taken to Zhuhai Detention Center late in the night.

During her 15 days of detention, Ms. Liu and other practitioners were forced to crack open pistachio nuts with pliers every day, from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. Their hands became blistered and oozed yellow pus.

They were given stale rice, a few vegetable leaves, and a small piece of pork with hair still on the skin. The beddings were not washed and were stained with blood. They exuded a pungent odor that made it hard for Ms. Liu to fall asleep. She was extorted out of 680 yuan by a guard, who lied that the money would be used to buy daily necessities such as bathroom tissues and powder detergents for other prisoners. The money was never returned.

The cell was very small and crowded with almost 20 people. Everyone had to sleep on their side. The washing room was also very crowded at night. Ms. Liu always let other people do the washing first. By the time she finished her washing, it was almost 1 a.m., and they had to get up at 6 a.m. Ms. Liu again let others do the washing first, and she used this time to make her bed and prepare the tools needed for the day’s labor.

One day in July 2001, six officers from Jida Police Station, the 610 Office, and Guancun Village Committee broke into Ms. Liu’s home when she was making lunch. They insisted on bringing her to a brainwashing center. Ms. Liu said there was no way she would give up Falun Gong.

After some struggle, she was forcibly taken to a brainwashing center located inside a hotel in Zhuhai City. A dozen Falun Gong practitioners were detained there already. Each practitioner shared their room with one person assigned to monitor them. Ms. Liu was monitored by a person from Guancun Village.

The director of Zhuhai City Political and Legal Affairs Committee was in charge of the brainwashing center. He called on a soldier to carry out military-style corporal punishment on the practitioners and expose them to the scorching sun for almost two hours. Some older practitioners could not bear the abuse and almost passed out.

Ms. Liu was detained in this brainwashing center for three months.

Arrested for Giving Out Informational Materials

Ms. Liu later moved to Kunming City, Yunnan Province. She and three practitioners distributed Falun Gong information at a village in Lufeng County in Yunnan on December 20, 2012. They were reported, arrested and taken to a police station.

All four practitioners were interrogated separately. Ms. Liu was forced to squat while being questioned by the police chief surnamed Wang. She did not answer the questions but instead told him about Falun Gong and the persecution.

The officers from Lufeng County Domestic Security Office later came and body searched Ms. Liu and the three other practitioners. All Falun Gong materials they had with them were confiscated. The police didn’t provide the practitioners with any food or allow them to use the restroom. They were handcuffed behind their backs and whisked into a police car at midnight, cold and hungry.

Arbitrary Detention

The practitioners arrived at the Lufeng County Police Department at around 6 a.m. the following day. The police took their photos before taking each of them to an individual room and questioning them for the whole day.

As none of the practitioners told the police their names and addresses, the officers mobilized cadres of village committees to conduct a door-to-door search in places where the practitioners gave out the materials. Anyone who received the materials was forced to turn them in and name the person who gave it to them.

After spending a day at the police department, the practitioners were taken to the hospital for a physical examination in the evening and taken to Lufeng County Detention Center at 11 p.m.

On December 24, the captain of the Domestic Security Office and his subordinates took Ms. Liu’s key and ransacked her home without the knowledge of her family. They took away the photo of Master Li (the founder of Falun Gong) and Falun Gong related materials, computer, printer, video player, recorder, television, and 4,200 yuan in cash. They did not give Ms. Liu a list of the confiscated items as promised, and they submitted it as prosecution evidence. They also deceived Ms. Liu that her sister was present during the raid, even though the latter had no idea when it happened.

Court Hearing

At the end of April 2013, the Lufeng County Court held a hearing of the four practitioners. Before the court date, the lawyer retained by Ms. Liu’s family tried a dozen times to see Ms. Liu. But the court, the Lufeng County 610 Office, and the detention center prevented him from meeting with Ms. Liu.

On her court date, Ms. Liu refused to wear the prison uniform in protest of the persecution. She grappled with three or four female guards who attempted to force the uniform on her and was injured in her elbow. The practitioners were then escorted to the courtroom, walking through intense security around the court.

All the way into the courtroom, Ms. Liu shouted, “Falun Gong has been wronged, and the propaganda on television is fake. We are persecuted because we told people the facts about Falun Gong!”

Ms. Liu saw her lawyer in the courtroom for the first time. Her lawyer and the other practitioners’ lawyers all protested the authorities’ blocking them from visiting their clients, and they were pushed out of the courtroom. One lawyer was almost pushed down to the ground. This court session then ended.

A few days prior to the second hearing on May 31, several judges came to the detention center and tried to persuade the practitioners to retain different lawyers, claiming that their current lawyers would not be able to defend them. The practitioners refused.

Ms. Liu’s lawyer demanded to have witnesses appear in court to accept cross-examination, but none of them showed up. He and the other lawyers requested to broadcast materials confiscated from the practitioners in court, but the judge refused.

The judge sentenced Ms. Liu to ten years, two other practitioners to eight years each, and the fourth practitioner to seven and a half years. He charged the practitioners with violating Article 300 of the Criminal Law, accusing them of “using a cult organization to undermine the implementation of law,” the standard pretext used by the communist regime to sentence Falun Gong practitioners.

Ms. Liu challenged the lengthy sentence, and the judge said to her, “You should feel lucky that I didn’t give you 13 years.”

Ms. Liu appealed her case to the Chuxiongyi Autonomous Prefecture Intermediate Court in June 2013. The court dismissed the appeal and upheld the original verdict on October 10. She was taken to Yunnan No. 2 Women’s Prison on November 1, 2013.

Persecution in Yunnan No. 2 Women’s Prison

The Yunnan No. 2 Women’s Prison was the only facility designated to imprison female practitioners in Yunnan Province, with the No. 9 Ward being the worst.

As soon as Ms. Liu arrived at the prison, she was stripped naked. The guards then forced her to spin in circles twice before squatting with her hands on her head. They threw away all her clothes except for her underwear and forced the inmate uniform on her. Two inmates brought her to the Strict Management Team at the No. 9 Ward.

Once entering the Strict Management Team, every Falun Gong practitioner was forced to sit on a small stool with an uneven surface. The torture would usually result in swelling in the legs and the buttocks. Pus also oozed from her buttocks.

Ms. Liu was often forced to sit on the small stool for 15 or 16 hours a day. She was not allowed to talk, move, or close her eyes while sitting. She had to be escorted to the restroom at night. She was provided with only one pot of water a day to brush her teeth and wash her face, and she could only have one shower a week. The guards deprived her communication rights and family visits. She had to admit that she had committed a crime in order to get permission from the guards to purchase necessities.

Each practitioner was closely watched around the clock by two inmates, who were instigated by guards in exchange for term reductions. The inmates were specially selected, usually drug dealers with suspended death sentences or those serving life in prison.

The inmates assigned to monitor Ms. Liu treated her harshly. They and Ms. Liu became a de facto group of three. When one person was at fault, the other two would also be punished. To protect themselves, the inmates watched Ms. Liu closely and stripped her of the freedom of movement. One of the inmates would have to do all the trifles such as fetching water, preparing food, and drying the clothes for all three of them. This person would then vent his anger on Ms. Liu. Her day would be worse if any of the inmates were punished by guards.

On one occasion, inmate Xu Shaoying forced Ms. Liu to sit upright and still on the small stool. She was not given water until the dinner time, resulting in chapped lips and a dry throat.

Guards in the supervisory post would come to check on Ms. Liu when she was asleep at night. If Ms. Liu bent her knees, they would think she was meditating. They either verbally abused her or lifted the quilt to pinch her feet. At night, she was not allowed to go to the restroom by herself and had to be escorted by inmates.

As a result of the brutal persecution, Ms. Liu developed hypertension. She was forced to take medication for a long time.

Ms. Liu suffered this kind of brutal abuse for one year.

Persecution in No. 7 Ward

Ms. Liu was then assigned to No. 7 Ward, where she had to make bead embroidery. She was also monitored by inmates around the clock. She was not allowed to talk to others, especially other Falun Gong practitioners. The inmates recorded Ms. Liu’s activities such as taking medication, compliance with prison rules, family phone calls, visits, and other miscellaneous things and reported them to the guards.

One day in early 2014, the ward announced a physical examination of dozens of selected Falun Gong practitioners, and Ms. Liu was one of them. Before the examination, they were forced to take off their clothes and do five squats. When asked the reason for her arrest, Ms. Liu responded that she did not commit any crime and was arrested because she told people the facts about Falun Gong. The guards stopped her and ordered her to do ten more squats.

At the end of May 2016, all the prison guards suddenly were fully armed and told all the prisoners to line up on a big stage in the courtyard. They forced the prisoners to look at propaganda posters that slandered Falun Gong. The person in charge of the poster explanation was prison guard Chen Zhuo. She slandered Falun Gong and asked the prisoners to write their understandings after the brainwashing session.

Forced Labor in No. 5 Ward

Ms. Liu was moved to No. 5 Ward afterwards, where she was assigned to operate electric sewing machines in the workshop. The sewing machine moved very fast and full coordination was needed between her eyes, hands, and feet. Because of her age (she was in her 60s), Ms. Liu sometimes missed the target and hurt her fingers.

Operating the high speed-sewing machines was a hard job, and the operators easily got tired. On one occasion, Ms. Liu squinted to take a nap. She was beaten and reprimanded by a guard.

In early 2021, the workshop started to make electronic products. Ms. Liu was assigned to coil electric resistance wires, which were even thinner than a hair and needed to be done with tweezers. Because of her poor vision, she could not clearly see the wires, even with bifocal eyeglasses. She could not stop tearing up under the strong light. She asked to change to a different job many times but got no response.

There were 600 people laboring in the workshop. Since there were only seven toilets, it took almost three hours to have a turn. Each practitioner was only allowed at most three minutes for defecation. Ms. Liu drank less water than needed and held her urine almost two-thirds of the time. She was very thirsty most of the time.

Ms. Liu was scheduled to be released from Yunnan No. 2 Women’s Prison on June 20, 2021. On that day, a guard called her sister and son to have a talk in Education Department before allowing Ms. Liu to leave the prison.

Financial Persecution

At the end of June 2021, Ms. Liu returned to Zhuhai City, Guangdong Province, which is the place of her registered residence. She was told by officers from Jida Police Station and Jida Community Office that she would be put on “helping-and-teaching” for five years. They collected her fingerprints and took her photo. Upon learning that Ms. Liu would still settle in Kunming, Yunnan Province, the officers threatened to flag her ID and call her from time to time.

On June 28, Ms. Liu went to Zhuhai City Social Security Bureau to apply for the reinstatement of her pension. She learned that her pension was fully discontinued during her incarceration from October 2013 to June 2021. The authorities claimed that a new policy ruled that Falun Gong practitioners serving time for their faith aren’t entitled to any pension benefits, even though Chinese labor laws didn’t have such a stipulation.

While the social security bureau said they would reinstate her pension starting in July 2021, the amount would be based on the pension benefit she last received from ten years ago, meaning that Ms. Liu would not receive any pension increases during her imprisonment that were available to other retirees.

Persons Responsible for the Persecution:
Wang Jinzhong (王进忠), prosecutor, Lufeng County Procuratorate: +86-878-4122224
Li Liangsheng (李良升), presiding judge, Lufeng County People’s Court: +86-878-4122937Dong Bo (董波), presiding judge, Chuxiongyi Intermediate Court: +86-878-3394653