(Minghui.org) Seven days after Ms. Zheng Jinping was released from serving a wrongful term for practicing Falun Gong, she was told that she must return the 50,000 yuan pension she had received during her term.
Ms. Zheng, a 62-year-old Jixi City, Heilongjiang Province resident, was arrested on August 30, 2017 for hanging up banners along a main road on August 18 about Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999. Her arrest dealt a heavy blow to her father, who passed away three days later.
The Jidong County Court held a secret hearing on March 28, 2018 and sentenced Ms. Zheng to four years and four months with a 50,000-yuan fine on April 17, 2018.
Ms. Zheng was admitted to the Heilongjiang Province Women’s Prison on May 16, 2018, even though she was found to have concerning images in her chest X-ray and extremely high blood pressure.
The guards forced her to sit on a small stool without moving for long hours and slapped her in the face. In order to force her to renounce Falun Gong, they forced her to watch propaganda videos and carried her to the room to watch it, when she refused to comply.
In September 2018, two court staff members visited Ms. Zheng in the prison and ordered her to pay for the 50,000 yuan fine. They threatened to impose more fines if she failed to pay it and bar her from “high end spending,” including booking a hotel or buying train or flight tickets. The court later forcibly withdrew 50,000 yuan from her bank account.
Ms. Zheng was released on December 29, 2021. When she went to her bank to process her pension paperwork, she was told to return the 50,000 yuan pension she had received during her term. She is now paying back nearly 700 yuan each month and has 1,000 yuan in monthly income left to cover her basic living cost. The payment is scheduled to end in 2028. Although the social security bureau claimed that a new policy bars people serving time from receiving any retirement benefit, there is no such stipulation in Chinese labor law.
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