(Minghui.org) After persecuting Falun Gong for 22 years, the authorities in Kunming City, Yunnan Province, have not loosened their grip on the local practitioners. One recent example was the arrest of 80-year-old Ms. Yang Huilan for handing out Falun Gong informational materials. 

Since the Chinese communist regime began to persecute Falun Gong, a meditation exercise that improves physical and mental fitness, in July 1999, Ms. Yang has been arrested nine times, held in a brainwashing center twice for 20 days, and sentenced to three years with four years of probation. 

On August 20, 2021, the day of her most recent arrest, the police ransacked her home and seized the cellphones of her daughter, Ms. Yang Li, and her son-in-law to prevent them from recording the raid. When her son-in-law attempted to retrieve his phone, the police twisted his arms and held him down. Ms. Yang was taken to the local police station, interrogated, and released after midnight. 

The Latest Arrest 

When Ms. Yang Huilan handed Falun Gong fliers to the clerks at the store where she was shopping on the morning of August 20, 2021, the clerks reported her to the police after she left. The police caught her on her way home and took her to Wenlin Police Station. 

During the interrogation, Ms. Yang insisted what she did was legal and refused to cooperate with the police. Through facial recognition technology, the police obtained her name and address. 

Nine officers took Ms. Yang with them to search her home. When Ms. Yang refused to reveal the code for her digital lock, the police called her daughter. When she heard what had happened, her daughter said that her mother did not do anything wrong and refused to go home to open the door for the police. 

The police continued to call Ms. Yang’s daughter and son-in-law. Eventually, the daughter came and let the police in. They ransacked the home and confiscated the Falun Gong materials. Believing that the search was illegal, Ms. Yang and her daughter refused to sign the list of items confiscated. 

When the police ordered Ms. Yang to go back to the police station for more paperwork, she refused. After 20 minutes of a standoff, four of the officers grabbed her and tried to drag her outside. Two other officers fended off her daughter and son-in-law when they tried to prevent the police from taking Ms. Yang away. When the couple took out their phones to record the incident, the officers took both phones. Two officers then twisted the son-in-law’s arms and forcibly held him down when he tried to retrieve his phone. 

When the police videotaped Ms. Yang’s son-in-law, her daughter yelled, “You ransacked our home, kidnapped my mother, and robbed us. Why don’t you record your illegal conduct?” 

Ms. Yang was carried into a police vehicle before she had time to put her shoes on. Her daughter followed them to the police station and waited there from 6 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. before she could take her mother home. The police indicated that they were planning to pursue the prosecution of Ms. Yang.

Past Persecution

The most recent arrest was only one of the many hardships Ms. Yang suffered since the persecution started in 1999. The following is a chronological list of what she went through in the past 22 years.

Arrested on the Day the Persecution Started

Ms. Yang was arrested on July 20, 1999, at another practitioner’s home. At Taihe Police Station, the police interrogated her and forced her to sign the interrogation record. She was released two days later. 

Detained 15 Days after Speaking Up for Falun Gong

While Ms. Yang gave out Falun Gong fliers near a hospital on December 5, 2000, the chief of the hospital and a group of people grabbed her, held her in the hospital security division, and called the police. The officers brought her to Taihe Police Station and sent her to Panlong District 2nd Detention Center the same day. She was released 15 days later and had to pay 150 yuan for the food. 

Tortured in Brainwashing Center

Ms. Yang’s former employer, Kunming Wood Furniture Company, called her to the company in February 2001. She went there, only to be taken to a brainwashing center against her will. The local Political and Legal Affairs Committee and the 610 Office, two agencies tasked with overseeing the persecution, ordered her arrest. 

The authorities ordered the brainwashing center to arrange a coworker or a family member of each practitioner to accompany them during the 10-day brainwashing session. The practitioners or their employers must pay for their food during the period. Officers from the Panlong Police Department also stayed there and assisted in the brainwashing.

Ms. Yang wasn’t allowed to contact anyone while she was held there. The police forced her and other practitioners to watch videos slandering Falun Gong and had former practitioners who had renounced their faith to persuade the steadfast practitioners to give up their faith as well. Before the practitioners could leave, their family members had to make a public speech to defame Falun Gong while the police recorded it. 

Although Ms. Yang had already retired, her former employer called a meeting and asked all current employees not to have any contact with her or it would affect their salaries. Ms. Yang lived in the company-allotted housing and her grandson was bullied when he played outside. Other children yelled, “Don’t play with the one who practices Falun Gong!” Ms. Yang had to sell her house and rented an apartment elsewhere. 

Because of the persecution, Ms. Yang moved from place to place over the years. Since 2004, her former employer has never issued her any holiday-related employee benefits (such as free food and holiday subsidy). However, it dispatched people to keep harassing her family, wanting to know her whereabouts.

Another Brainwashing Session that Causes Family to Suffer

The security personnel from Ms. Yang’s former employer broke into her home with the police and local officials on June 6, 2006. When asked if she still practiced Falun Gong, Ms. Yang told them that it was none of their business. Two officers grabbed her arms and carried her outside, and then down five floors into a police vehicle. She still had her slippers on and her wrists were swollen and bruised from the brutality. She was taken to a brainwashing center located in a hotel.

This time the secretary of Taihe Community accompanied her in the brainwashing center to monitor her around the clock. She went on a hunger strike and her blood pressure surged to a dangerously high level.

During the ten-day brainwashing session, the police kept her family in the dark of her whereabouts. Worried about her, her daughter went around town to look for her from morning to midnight. Her five-year-old grandson, who was left at home, cried himself hoarse and his eyes were swollen. He developed a high fever and the family fell into despair.

Because the police constantly harassed Ms. Yang’s family over the years, her oldest son feared being implicated in the persecution and dared not talk to her again.

Victim in Another Mass Arrest 

The police arrested Ms. Yang again on October 16, 2007. Another three dozen practitioners were arrested around that time. Two of the practitioners were later sentenced to prison. Ms. Yang was interrogated and photographed in the Taihe Police Station and released at midnight.

Health Decline after a Month of Detention 

The police in the Guandu District and agents from the 610 Office broke into Ms. Yang’s home on the morning of May 20, 2008. Without identifying themselves, one of them ordered her to sign an arrest warrant. Ms. Yang refused to sign, but the police proceeded to search every room in the house. They took her computer, Falun Gong books, and cash without issuing a list of items confiscated.

The police took her to Guandu District Domestic Security, interrogated her, and sent her to the Guandu Detention Center that night. Three days later she developed a fever and had diarrhea. She couldn’t hear and her vision became blurred. Her lower legs were swollen. She suspected that people at the detention center poisoned her.

She was released on bail 29 days later. Still, now her eyes, ears, and legs haven’t fully recovered.

Arrested for Handing out Falun Gong Fliers 

Ms. Yang and a practitioner went to a market near Kunming East Railroad Station on December 24, 2014, and talked to others about Falun Gong. The market security seized them and took them to Juhua Police Station. 

The police searched their bags and found their keys and addresses. They took them to each of their own homes and ransacked their places. The police confiscated the Falun Gong books and informational materials and did not issue a list of confiscated items. 

Sentenced to Three Years 

Ms. Yang went sightseeing in Chengjiang County, Yuxi City, with her daughter and two other practitioners Ms. Liu Yan and Ms. Yuan Yiqun. Police in Chengjiang arrested the four of them on January 8, 2015, for handing out New Year calendars that contained information about Falun Gong. Ms. Yang was made to sit in a metal chair for two days.

While Ms. Yang was released on bail on January 9, and the other three were transferred to Hongta District Detention Center. Two days later, officers of the Domestic Security Office ransacked all of their homes. 

The Chengjiang County prosecutor indicted them on May 6, 2015, on charges of “using cult organizations to sabotage law enforcement,” the standard pretext used by the authorities to criminalize Falun Gong practitioners. 

When they appeared at the Chengjiang Court on July 29, their lawyers argued that the New Year calendars could in no way sabotage law enforcement and that the Falun Gong materials they distributed to expose the persecution didn’t cause harm to anyone or society. The lawyers demanded that the practitioners be acquitted.

During the four-hour-long hearing, the police kept the local practitioners who came to show their support for those on trial in a room and didn’t allow them to attend the court session. They were only released after the hearing ended.

The court sentenced Ms. Yang and her daughter to three years with four years of probation each on August 7. Ms. Liu and Ms. Yuan were each given three years at Yunnan 2nd Women’s Prison.

Ms. Liu and Ms. Yuan filed an appeal with Yuxi Intermediate Court and the judge withheld the original sentence on October 21. 

Probation Turns Into Forced Community Corrections

For Ms. Yang and her daughter’s probation, the Chengjiang Court ordered them to serve community correction programs from November 3, 2015 to November 2, 2019. They were ordered to report to the local judicial office every month and fill out a form describing their activities that month. They also had to clean the judicial office. 

Arrested and Home Ransacked Twice in 2020 

The police from Kunming Police Department surrounded Ms. Yang when she walked down the street on March 14, 2020. They searched her bag and claimed that someone reported her for giving out Falun Gong fliers. The police coerced her to go with them to Yongchang Police Station and promised to let her go if the surveillance video showed that she did not hand out fliers.

At the police station, instead of examining the surveillance video, the police interrogated and photographed her, as well as collected her fingerprints and blood sample. Then they went to her home and ransacked it without her presence. 

Officers from Panlong District Domestic Security knocked on Ms. Yang’s door around 9 a.m. on June 29 and asked to get inside, with the excuse that the water pipe in her apartment was leaking. She refused to open the door. Soon, her power went out. Her daughter called the property management and learned that it wasn’t them who turned off the power. 

At around 10 a.m. her grandson, who had turned 20, left home for work and was surrounded by four police officers. They forced him to open the door and rushed into the apartment wanting to search the place. Ms. Yang’s daughter asked them why they were searching their home, but the police refused to provide any explanation. When her daughter photographed the warrant, the police forced her to delete the picture. 

The officers searched every room in the apartment and even inside the refrigerator, washing machine, and vases. They found nothing and eventually took a keepsake and two Falun Dafa charms they cut off from the wall without giving a list of confiscated items. 

Perpetrators’ contact information:
Fan Zhengkui (范正奎), officer, Wenlin Police Station: +86-18687133900
Liang Qi (梁琪), officer, Wenlin Police Station: +86-15912428262Ran Yulong (冉玉龙), officer, Chengjiang City Domestic Security Office: +86-15087722212

(More perpetrators’ contact information is available in the original Chinese article.)

Chinese version available

Category: Accounts of Persecution