(Minghui.org) Ms. Zhang Lifang, a Falun Gong practitioner in Guyuan City, Ningxia, was sentenced to three years for upholding her faith in 2020. She was recently taken to the Ningxia Women’s Prison, after her appeal was rejected by the intermediate court.

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

Ms. Zhang, 61, used to suffer severe gynecological disease and rhinitis that caused blindness in her left eye. In June 1998, she was introduced to Falun Gong by a friend. After two years of practicing, all of her diseases disappeared. She became a more cheerful person and her family became harmonious.

After the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) launched the persecution of Falun Gong in 1999, Ms. Zhang served three forced labor camp terms for a total of five years. The CCP’s slanderous propaganda, intimidation and threats also left Ms. Zhang’s husband and children under tremendous pressure.

Summary of Persecution

Ms. Zhang was first arrested in 2001, after the police suspected her of making Falun Gong informational materials. The police interrogated her and slapped her in the face when she refused to answer their questions. In November 2001, Ms. Zhang was given one and a half years of forced labor.

In the Ningxia Women’s Forced Labor Camp, the guards arranged for two drug addicts to monitor and “transform” Ms. Zhang. They forced her to watch the videos slandering Falun Gong and its founder every day. She did not cooperate. The inmates then beat, kicked and verbally abused her. They did not allow her to sleep and sometimes forced her to stand for a long time to punish her.

Upon seeing her greeting another Falun Gong practitioner, the inmates kicked Ms. Zhang on her calf and she fell. Ms. Zhang had pain in her calf for months and the bruise also took a long time to go away.

Ms. Zhang was arrested again in March 2005 and give another 1.5 years of forced labor camp one month later. In the labor camp, she worked from morning to night without pay. While doing the work of peeling the bean skins, her ring finger nails were worn away, and her thumbs were worn out with calluses. She was verbally abused and beaten by drug addicts if she couldn’t complete the assigned work. She was not allowed to sleep and had to continue to work overtime.

Ma Wenjun, former head of Yuanzhou District Domestic Security Office, along with several policemen, arrested Ms. Zhang in early 2008. She was released after about 1.5 months of detention.

Ms. Zhang was arrested at her daughter’s home in Yinchuan City (the capital of Ningxia), by officer Ma Wenjun and agents of Ningxia 610 Office on July 16, 2009. She was then taken directly to Ningxia Women’s Forced Labor Camp. The police already had the paperwork for a 2-year labor camp term when arresting her.

Ms. Zhang talked to people about Falun Gong while taking a train back home from visiting relatives in Shanghai in July 2014. She was arrested again and detained in the Yinchuan Railway Police Department Detention Center for five days. Her home was ransacked and her desktop computer, Falun Gong books and other materials were taken away. The police didn’t return her computer until a year later.

After Ms. Zhang filed a lawsuit against Jiang Zemin (the former head of the Chinese Communist Party who ordered the persecution of Falun Gong) in June 2015, Yang Fuchun, the head of Yuanzhou District Domestic Security Office, harassed her son and daughter, who were working out of town. Yang also led a group of officers to knock on Ms. Zhang’s door on April 8, 2016. Ms. Zhang did not open it for them. They then left.

Ms. Zhang was arrested again and had her home ransacked on September 29, 2019. The authorities detained her at the Guyuan City Detention Center and kept her family in the dark regarding her case status. It’s recently learned by her family that she was sentenced and her appeal was rejected. But details of her case remain unclear at the time of writing.

Ms. Zhang isn’t the only family member who has been persecuted for her faith in Falun Gong. Her three sisters and one niece have suffered persecution for upholding their faith in Falun Gong.

Her oldest sister, Ms. Zhang Yufang, was tortured into disability in a labor camp and remains bedridden to this day. Ms. Zhang Yufang’s husband, Mr. Xu Yaozhen, died as a result of the persecution. Their daughter, Ms. Xu Yan, was once sentenced to three years in prison.

Ms. Zhang’s two other sisters, Ms. Zhang Shufang and Ms. Zhang Lanfang, have also lost their lives to the persecution.

Chinese version available

Category: Accounts of Persecution