(Minghui.org) A 79-year-old woman sentenced to 7.5 years for practicing Falun Gong was released nine months ahead of time after she developed symptoms of amnesia.

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

Ms. Wei Shaomin, of Fushun City, Liaoning Province, had a stroke while serving time and became wheelchair-bound and incapacitated as a result. The prison informed her family twice that she was in critical condition.

When Ms. Wei’s daughter visited her in early 2020 before the pandemic broke out, Ms. Wei said that the prison guards put her in the same cell as an inmate with a mental disorder who verbally abused her around the clock. But when Ms. Wei demanded that the guards move her to another cell, they responded that her other option was to stay with an inmate with HIV.

The prison guards initially refused to release Ms. Wei and also denied her family visits. But as her condition kept deteriorating, they released her on March 19, 2021, nine months before her term was set to end on December 19, 2021. She suffered from severe memory loss and couldn’t recognize people when she returned home.

While Ms. Wei’s condition improved after she resumed studying Falun Gong teachings and doing Falun Gong exercises after being released, she was dealt a blow upon finding out that the local social security office had suspended her pension. The officials claimed that a new policy prohibits all Falun Gong practitioners serving time for their faith from receiving any retirement benefits, and they ordered Ms. Wei to pay back the funds she had received during her imprisonment before they could resume her pension payment.

In the past two decades of persecution, Ms. Wei has been arrested four times. Her latest arrest was on June 20, 2014, when she was studying Falun Gong teachings with four other practitioners. She was sentenced to 7.5 years in prison in March 2015. She appealed with the Fushun City Intermediate Court. Although the judge agreed that the term was too heavy, he still ruled to uphold the original sentence, as the term was determined by the Political and Legal Affairs Committee, an extra-judiciary agency overseeing the persecution.

Ms. Wei’s latest arrest came less than 100 days after her husband suddenly passed away. While she was serving time, her father in his 90s also died.

Related reports:

Imprisoned Woman, 79, Becomes Wheelchair-bound after 6.5 Years of Abuse, Has 11 Months Left On Her Sentence

53 Older Falun Gong Practitioners Still Held in Liaoning Women's Prison for Their Faith

Snapshot of Falun Gong Practitioners' Lawsuits Against Jiang Zemin Received by Minghui on October 1, 2015

Seven Falun Gong Practitioners in Fushun Illegally Tried in Detention Center

Ms. Wei Shaomin, in Her 70's, Forced to Leave Home to Avoid Persecution

Ms. Wei Shaomin, Ms. Liu Shiqin, and Other Practitioners Brutally Persecuted in Masanjia Forced Labor Camp

Gross Abuse and Mistreatment at the Masanjia Forced Labor Camp, Liaoning Province

Chinese version available

Category: Accounts of Persecution