(Minghui.org) A police officer visited Ms. Zhao Hongyan at home in early July 2022 and informed her that she had been sentenced to a three-year prison term for practicing Falun Gong.
The officer only allowed Ms. Zhao, a Jiaohe City, Jilin Province resident around 66 years old, to take a quick look at the verdict before taking it back. He said she had seven days to appeal the verdict. It’s not clear whether a trial ever took place before Ms. Zhao was sentenced.
On July 6, the second day after Ms. Zhao mailed her appeal, the police showed up at her home with a formal arrest warrant and took her to a hospital for a checkup. As she was found to have severe heart failure and dangerously high blood pressure, the police’s attempt to send her to jail failed. They had to keep her in the hospital to receive treatment. She remains hospitalized at the time of writing.
Ms. Zhao’s ordeal stemmed from her previous arrest on September 14, 2021 for talking to people about Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999. She was put in criminal detention, and her arrest was approved twelve days later.
Ms. Zhao suffered a heart attack during lunch time on November 20 while being held at the local detention center. She was taken to the hospital for resuscitation. The doctor said her heart was blocked and that she also had very high blood pressure. The detention center immediately informed the Minzhu Police Station that she was being released, as they refused to bear any responsibility for her medical condition. Ms. Zhao was released on bail the next day.
In addition to the persecution Ms. Zhao suffered herself, her daughter, Ms. Qiu Lin, was arrested on July 9, 2020 for talking to a retiree about Falun Gong. When Ms. Qin’s lawyer was finally allowed to visit her at the Jilin City Detention Center on January 9, 2021, he learned that she had already been secretly sentenced to three years with a 2,000-yuan fine. She appealed the verdict, but the higher court ruled to uphold the original sentence.
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