(Minghui.org) A 46-year-old disabled woman in Harbin City, Heilongjiang Province is suffering a quick decline in her health after nearly two months of detention for her faith in Falun Gong, a spiritual and meditation discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.

Ms. Niu Xiaona, who hasn’t had much contact with the outside world in the past two decades due to her disability, struggled to cope with the pressure from constant police interrogation and had a relapse of her condition that had been cured by practicing Falun Gong.

When her lawyer recently visited her, she was unable to walk on her own and had to be carried around by inmates. Unable to walk up the few steps in the restroom, she was forced to relieve herself in her pants a few times, and she dared not eat or drink. At the same time, she also has chest tightness and extreme pain all over her body, including in her head and eyes. Her hands are deformed, and she is emaciated.

When she was still a college student in the 1990s, Ms. Niu developed progressive rheumatoid arthritis, the same disease that killed her grandfather. Tormented by the disease, she became emaciated and lost almost all her hair. Her knees were extremely swollen and bent nearly 90 degrees. Her arms were also swollen and crossed in front of her chest. Her finger joints were deformed from the swelling as well. Confined to bed, she bore constant excruciating pain all over her body.

After trying various medicines, her disease wasn’t cured, but the side effects damaged many of her internal organs. Spending many nights sleepless, she developed thoughts of suicide.

Ms. Niu’s mother was a college professor. One of her students who also became a college professor after graduation had to quit her job due to a severe heart condition. That student later took up Falun Gong and soon recovered. When she returned to work, Ms. Niu’s mother was impressed to see Falun Gong’s health benefits, and she encouraged Ms. Niu to practice it as well.

Unable to stand up, Ms. Niu sat in bed and followed the hand movements of the Falun Gong exercises. Soon, the pain disappeared and the swellings subsided. But as her joint periosteum, the membrane that covers the outer surface of bones and provides attachment for muscles and tendons, had already rotted, she couldn’t fully stand up on her feet anymore.

After the Chinese communist regime began its persecution of Falun Gong, Ms. Niu, her mother and her father (a non-practitioner) were all arrested. She was forced to stop practicing Falun Gong, and the bone pain recurred.

Her family later moved to Harbin to avoid the persecution, and she started to do the Falun Gong exercises again. By 2005, she could walk a few steps with a walker. Then she could walk a few meters while half squatting. Then she could walk bigger steps. Her deformed fingers also recovered. Her heart and liver that were damaged by the medicine regained their function as well.

Upon finding out about her and her mother’s practicing Falun Gong, the police arrested them on April 19, 2021. While her mother was later released, the authorities approved Ms. Niu’s arrest 37 days later and held her at the Harbin Detention Center, where she now struggles with her relapsed condition.

Extremely worried about her, Ms. Niu’s family is calling on the international community, including the United Nations and organizations campaigning for the rights of disabled people, to speak out and help secure Ms. Niu’s release.

Perpetrators’ contact information:
Harbin City Domestic Security Office: +86-451-86434438
Harbin City Detention Center: +86-451-84305458

Chinese version available

Category: Accounts of Persecution