(Minghui.org) When 53-year-old Ms. Liu Junmao finally returned home after spending nine years in prison for her faith in Falun Gong, she was devastated to learn that her parents had passed away one year apart between 2017 and 2018, and that her only daughter had become too scared to acknowledge her.
Ms. Liu’s family tragedy is a sad but cruel reality that many Falun Gong practitioners in China have been facing since July 1999, when the Chinese communist regime began to persecute Falun Gong, an ancient spiritual and meditation discipline. Day in and day out, numerous practitioners and their family members live in fear. Some have eventually succumbed to the pressure and passed away.
Ms. Liu has not only lost her parents and close bond with her daughter in the persecution, but she has also spent a total of 13 years of her life serving two prison terms and lost her job as an elementary school teacher. In addition, her husband divorced her while she was half-way through her first four-year prison term.
The prison terms and constant harassment of Ms. Liu, as well as the demonizing propaganda against Falun Gong spread by the communist regime left her daughter traumatized and depressed. After Ms. Liu was released from her latest imprisonment, her daughter has distanced herself from her mother.
Ms. Liu, a Chishui City, Guizhou Province resident, was first arrested in 2001 for writing “Falun Dafa is good” on a utility pole. She was sentenced to four years in Guizhou Women’s Prison by the Chishui City Court. Her husband divorced her in March 2003.
After Ms. Liu was released in 2005, having been fired by the school she worked at, she moved to the nearby Xishui County (about 60 miles from Chishui) to teach at a kindergarten. It didn’t take long for the police to find her and bring her back to Chishui.
Even though Ms. Liu later found a part-time job at a local restaurant in Chishui, she was still forced to move away in 2006, due to constant police harassment.
After a few years of displacement, in 2012 Ms. Liu found a job at an aluminum alloy factory in Guiyang City in the same province. Although the salary wasn’t very high, it was enough for her to get by.
But such a life didn’t last very long either. At around 7:00 p.m. on April 12, 2012, a group of officers broke into Ms. Liu’s apartment, shared with two other Falun Gong practitioners, Ms. Zhao Mingli and Ms. Yuan Xueli, where they printed informational materials in their spare time for distribution to raise awareness about the persecution.
Without a search warrant, the police confiscated their 11 printers, paper cutters, DVD burners, over 400 Falun Gong books, one computer, 8,000 yuan in cash, and many other office supplies. The police also took away Ms. Zhao’s ID and used it to withdraw 20,000 yuan from her bank account shortly after her arrest.
After spending hours ransacking the practitioners’ home, the officers took them to the local police station at around 11:00 p.m. The practitioners were transferred to a local lockup the next day and to a detention center ten days later.
All three of them were sentenced to ten-year prison terms in late September 2012. They appealed, but the Guiyang City Intermediate Court ruled to uphold their verdicts. On March 13, 2013, they were taken to the Guizhou Women’s Prison in the southwest suburban area of Guiyang City.
The prison, upgraded from the Yang’ai Forced Labor Camp, is one of the major prisons used to house sentenced Falun Gong practitioners in the province. At least 130 practitioners were confirmed to have served time in the prison, with seven of them persecuted to death.
Although both Ms. Liu and Ms. Zhao, who developed severe leg problems and has difficulty walking, were released ahead of time, Ms. Yuan is still serving time, despite her serious medical condition.