(Minghui.org) A Beijing resident has been detained incommunicado for a year and a half for practicing Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.

Ms. Zhao Chunying, around 70, was arrested between March and May 2020 and her home was ransacked. Due to her high blood pressure, she was released on bail. The police arrested her again around December 10, 2020, and held her in the Chaoyang District Detention Center, where she has been ever since. Because her family doesn’t support her practicing Falun Gong, they didn’t actively seek her release and don’t know her current status. No friends are allowed to visit her, either.

Past Persecution

Ms. Zhao saw people doing Falun Gong exercises on her way home in October 1998. She became interested in the slow-moving exercises and got more information about the practice. After she learned it, the atrophic gastritis that had tormented her for years disappeared. She was full of energy and had a more positive outlook on life.

When the communist regime ordered the persecution a year later, her husband was terrified. He turned in her Falun Gong books and often beat her. Because she remained firm in her faith, he divorced her.

Ms. Zhao was reported for practicing Falun Gong in 2008, before the Beijing Olympics. The police broke into her workplace on June 30, 2008, and took her computer, Falun Gong books, and other materials without a search warrant.

Ms. Zhao was taken to the Xicheng Detention Center the next day. She was held in a room less than ten square meters that was shared by over ten people. All of their daily activities were restricted to that little room, including eating, sleeping, and using the restroom. Due to the limited space, everyone had to sleep on their sides and couldn’t move.

As soon as Ms. Zhao woke up every morning, she was forced to sit on a small stool and not move until bedtime. The daily necessities in the detention center were more than twice as expensive as similar products available outside. She got a used comforter for 180 yuan, which could have bought a brand new one outside the detention center.

A month later, Ms. Zhao was given a two-year labor camp term. She was first taken to a dispatch center, where she was forced to squat and place her hands on her head. Despite the heat, the guards didn’t let her change clothes for several days. She couldn’t raise her head when she walked anywhere, and her use of the restroom was very limited.

Ms. Zhao was taken to the Daxing District Women’s Forced Labor Camp a month later. She was deprived of sleep, denied restroom use, and forced to watch, read, and listen to things that slandered Falun Dafa and attempted to brainwash her. The guards also forced her to sit on a small stool without moving for long hours. A slight movement would result in a savage beating.

Because she refused to renounce Falun Gong, the guards didn’t allow her family to visit, write to, or call her. She was also barred from buying daily necessities or extra food. Later on, the guards forced her to do unpaid labor and the inmates would torture her if she couldn’t finish the daily quota.

When Ms. Zhao was released on June 29, 2010, the Haidian District 610 Office detained her for another two weeks. She was monitored around the clock and subjected to brainwashing during the day. Already very weak after serving two years in a forced labor camp, her health continued to decline as a result of the mental distress. She suffered from stomachaches, a cough, shortness of breath, and insomnia.

Fearing that she might die in the brainwashing center, the 610 Office finally released her. Yet the police continued to harass her on Falun Gong anniversaries every year.

Ms. Zhao filed a criminal complaint in 2015 against Jiang Zemin, the former head of the communist regime who ordered the persecution, only to face intensified harassment as a result.