(Minghui.org) After being diagnosed with breast cancer, a woman in Kaifeng City, Henan Province, sold her house to pay for her surgery and therapies. Ms. Xin Chunting’s health didn’t recover until she started to practice Falun Gong, a mind-body practice, in 1997. She often told others how she recovered.
After former Chinese head Jiang Zemin launched the persecution of Falun Gong in July 1999, Ms. Xin refused to renounce the life-saving practice. The authorities arrested her many times and put her in a forced labor camp, prison, and brainwashing center. After years of relentless harassment and threats, her husband’s health deteriorated and he passed away. The police continued to harass her for her faith after her husband died.
Zhao Penghui, deputy chief of Beijiao Township Police Station, arrested Ms. Xin in December 2020 and stole her keys. Zhao secretly installed tapping devices on her electric scooter and tricycle and broke into her home when no one was home. Zhao brought in three local prosecutors to interrogate Ms. Xin in January 2022. Zhao also harassed the in-laws of Ms. Xin’s daughter to further pressure her to give up Falun Gong.
The following is Ms. Xin’s account of what she has endured during the persecution.
I live alone and have no pension, so I sell clothes on the street to earn a living. After I moved to the Longting District in Kaifeng in November 2018, Zhao Penghui, the deputy chief of Beijiao Township Police Station, began to harass me. He and other officers arrested me at home and ransacked the place on December 16, 2020. They stole my keys. After that, I often felt something was wrong after I got home; it was either something wasn’t working or things were misplaced.
One day I went out to sell clothes, Zhao and another officer entered my house with my stolen keys to look for “evidence” that I practiced Falun Gong. I later found out that he installed a GPS on my electric scooter and the tricycle I used for work. Fearing for my safety, I had to spend hundreds of yuan to switch to fingerprint locks, believing that they would keep me safe.
I left home at around 2 p.m. on December 27, 2021, and came home at 4 p.m., only to find my door open and the lock broken. A bag was missing, and the new switchboard was broken. Some of my Falun Gong books were gone but showed up a few days later. When I asked the property manager to show me the surveillance video for that day, the video stopped at around 3:10 p.m. I suspected that Zhao had ordered the property manager to delete the video of him entering my home. I later discovered that, to monitor me, Zhao had wiretapped my room and had my community’s surveillance videos streamed to his device. He knew exactly what time I left and returned home.
At my wits’ end, I wrote letters to the local police departments, appeal offices, procuratorates, and courts, explaining why practicing Falun Gong was legal. Zhao called me on January 12, 2022, and accused me of propagating freedom of belief. I told him that the only thing that was illegal here was him wiretapping and breaking into my home. Freedom of belief was a citizen’s constitutional right. Six days later, Zhao and three men from the local procuratorate came to interrogate me on the morning of January 18. They went to my daughter’s home to intimidate her family and in-laws in an attempt to pressure me into giving up my faith. Her family was worried sick and couldn’t spend the Chinese New Year holiday in peace.
I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1996. My family was poor and I had to sell my house to afford the surgery and various therapies. My health continued to worsen until I took up Falun Gong in 1997. Not only did my cancer disappear, but my frozen shoulder, arthritis, and uterine tumor also went away. I couldn’t be more grateful to Falun Gong and its founder.
Because of the persecution, my family had a hard time renting a place to live. The local authorities tried to intimidate us and forced us to move away. We had no choice but to move to another street in the Longting District. The police continued to harass us and put me in a brainwashing camp for eight months in 2002.
Before I was released, the police forced my husband to move to a different district in 2003. Still the local police and community officials in the Nanguan District harassed and pressured us to move away. They would come to our home in the middle of the night and dump feces on our doorstep a few times a week.
We were forced to move again in 2004. In the process of moving to Shunhe District, the police tracked us down. A few days after we settled, Zhu Mingliang from Pingguoyuan Police Station came and told us that they didn’t want us in their jurisdiction.
I knew that the harassment would never end and didn’t want to move again. I explained to the local authorities that the persecution was baseless and illegal but they wouldn’t listen. A few days later Zhu had me and my husband go to the police station and arbitrarily took us to a forced labor camp. Because the guards at the labor camp refused to take us, we went home.
A few days later Zhu instigated people with government subsidies to smash our windows and doors with bricks at midnight. My husband’s bed sat next to the window and his heart nearly failed. The people smeared our door with feces and threw bricks covered in feces into our home. The fecal matter splashed everywhere. This happened twice. Based on their model of harassment, I believe that each time we moved, the police from the previous jurisdiction would inform the police of our current location to threaten us the same way.
My husband did not practice Falun Gong but suffered the same treatment I did. He lived his life in bitter fear and had no one to turn to and nowhere to seek justice. If I came home later than usual, he would go outside and pace back and forth, worrying about my safety. The harassment, day after day, year after year, took a toll on his good health. He died of a terminal illness.
The laws in China in fact protect the practice of Falun Gong. The 14 religious cults listed in the official notices from China’s Ministry of Public Security in 2000 and 2005 do not include Falun Gong. The State Council General Administration of Press and Publication issued the No. 50 Document on March 1, 2011, with Articles 99 and 100 nullifying Jiang’s two orders to ban publication of Falun Gong literature shortly after the persecution started.
Falun Gong practitioners speaking about the values and ideology of Falun Gong teachings and telling others about the persecution are within their right of freedom of speech. The freedom of publication guarantees their right to publish Falun Gong books and materials. Practitioners can get together to study and do the exercises because they have the right to freedom of assembly. The rights to personal freedom, freedom of cultural activity, and freedom of communication allow them to choose or help others to listen to or watch any form of media from anywhere.
All of the mentioned freedoms are listed and protected by China’s Constitution and Criminal Law.
Article 35 in China’s Constitution: “Citizens of the People’s Republic of China enjoy freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly, of association, of procession, and of demonstration.”
Article 36: “Citizens of the People’s Republic of China enjoy freedom of religious belief. No State organ, public organization or individual may compel citizens to believe in, or not to believe in, any religion; nor may they discriminate against citizens who believe in, or do not believe in, any religion.”
Article 40: “Freedom and privacy of correspondence of citizens of the People’s Republic of China are protected by law.”
Article 47: “Citizens of the People’s Republic of China have the freedom to engage in scientific research, literary and artistic creation and other cultural pursuits.”
China’s Criminal Law provides for the punishment of those who violate the rights of people's freedoms.
Article 251: “Any functionary of a State organ who unlawfully deprives a citizen of his or her freedom of religious belief or infringes upon the customs and habits of an ethnic group, if the circumstances are serious, shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not more than two years or criminal detention.”
Article 243: “Whoever invents stories to implicate another person with the intention of having him investigated for criminal responsibility, if the circumstances are serious, shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not more than three years, criminal detention or public surveillance; if the consequences are serious, he shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not less than three years but not more than 10 years. Any functionary of a State organ who commits the crime mentioned in the preceding paragraph shall be given a heavier punishment.”
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