(Minghui.org) A 59-year-old Chongqing resident serving a 3.5-year term for telling people about the health benefits of Falun Gong has been denied family visits for nearly a year because she wouldn’t renounce her faith.

Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a mind-body practice that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.

Ms. Zhang Xiaoqin was arrested on June 30, 2020 for talking to people about Falun Gong. Shortly after the police submitted her case to the procuratorate in late September, she was indicted and had her case moved to the Nanchuan District Court. 

Ms. Zhang stood trial on December 22, 2020. Except for her daughter who attended the hearing as her family defender, no other family members were allowed at the hearing.

Ms. Zhang testified that she didn’t violate any laws in telling people about Falun Gong and how she had benefitted from it. She also gave a few examples of her friends and family members receiving blessings from reciting the phrases “Falun Dafa is good” and “Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance is good.”

Ms. Zhang’s daughter added in her defense statement that her mother used to suffer from many ailments in her 30s, but she completely recovered after taking up Falun Gong. Despite her age, she can still climb the stairs quickly and sleeps soundly. She was also known for her work ethic and honesty. The judge didn’t allow Ms. Zhang’s daughter to read her defense in court but asked her to submit hard copies.

Ms. Zhang was later sentenced to 3.5 years. She was taken to the Zouma Women’s Prison in April 2021 and has been denied family visits since. Her family said they are kept in the dark of her situation and they worry whether she has been tortured in the prison.

Related report:

Sharing Health Benefit of Her Faith Results in 3.5-Year Sentence for Chongqing Woman