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Elderly Couple Faces Prison Sentences for Their Faith

Aug. 30, 2022 |   By a Minghui correspondent in Shandong Province, China

(Minghui.org) A couple in their 70s from Dongying City, Shandong Province, was tried on July 25, 2022, for refusing to give up their faith in Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.

Ms. Li Xuerong, 73, and her husband Mr. Guo Yunfang were arrested at home in a police sweep on April 23, 2021, and later released on bail.

Four other practitioners and one of the practitioners’ relatives were arrested the same day. They, along with the elderly couple, were tried in the Dongying District Court on July 25, 2022. They denied the prosecution evidence and the charge that they “undermined law enforcement with a cult organization,” the standard pretext used to criminalize Falun Gong practitioners.

Defending herself, Ms. Li said, “Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is the most beautiful part of human nature and the most valuable universal values. It is the highest state of human morality; it is the noblest, greatest, and purest belief. It was Master Li and Falun Dafa that resolved the grievances between me and my mother-in-law and allowed us to have a strong bond!”

Benefiting from Falun Gong

Ms. Li moved to Shengli Oilfield in Dongying City, Shandong Province, in 1977 and worked in the rice fields in the agricultural and sideline production side. She woke up at 3 a.m. to get to work and returned home at around 7 or 8 p.m. At night, she still had to go to the field to drain the water, do the household chores, and look after her two young daughters. She had almost no time to rest. People called her a robot.

The workload devasted Ms. Li’s health. She suffered from a herniated lumbar disc and severe stomach problems. She couldn’t stand up when her back hurt. She couldn’t eat when her stomach was acting up. Her illnesses became worse over the years.

To make things worse, her mother-in-law despised her for not having a son and even tried to instigate her husband to divorce her. Ms. Li was so angry that she went into shock twice. Although she was out of danger after being taken to the hospital, she was diagnosed with neurosis. She couldn’t sleep at night and later had no strength to even cook.

In 1999, Ms. Li was drawn to the sight of over a hundred people doing the Falun Gong exercises together in a park. After practicing for less than two months, she recovered from all her ailments. She has been healthy and full of energy ever since.

Ms. Li used to smoke a lot but she quit after she started practicing Falun Gong. Formerly illiterate, she can now read the Falun Gong books on her own.

Following Falun Gong’s principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, Ms. Li let go of her hatred for her mother-in-law and treated her parents-in-law well. Her father-in-law often bragged to his friends that he had a good daughter-in-law.

Arrests and Detentions

After the persecution of Falun Gong began in July 1999, Ms. Li was arrested at least eight times and given two forced labor camp terms. The police extorted funds from her family in exchange for her release. Her husband was locked up for 24 hours.

Ms. Li was first arrested in June 2003 for telling people about Falun Gong.

On March 27, 2005, Ms. Li was arrested by Binhai Police Station officers, and her home was ransacked. When she was held in a brainwashing center, she went on a hunger strike for weeks.

A few months later on June 15, Ms. Li was arrested again. Her home was ransacked and the police confiscated many of her personal belongings. She was taken to a brainwashing session at the Shengli Oilfield Law Training School.

In September 2006, Ms. Li was taken to Wangcun Forced Labor Camp, also known as Shandong No. 2 Women’s Forced Labor Camp, to serve a term of one year and seven months. Because she refused to renounce her faith, she was forced to stand every day until midnight for more than two weeks.

Ms. Li was taken to Wangcun Forced Labor Camp again on August 6, 2009, to serve a term of three years. To resist the persecution, Ms. Li, who was in her 60s at the time, went on a hunger strike and her health deteriorated. She was sent home on January 25, 2010.

Ms. Li was arrested at home on January 14, 2012, and taken to Shengcai Training School on February 23. She was placed in a brainwashing session and beaten.

On July 18, 2012, Ms. Li and six other practitioners were arrested at a market and taken to a brainwashing center again.

On November 13, 2013, Ms. Li was arrested at home and taken to Shengcai Brainwashing Center. She went on a hunger strike to resist the persecution. For nearly a month, she was denied visits.

In early 2021, Binhai Police Department officers monitored the local practitioners before carrying out a mass arrest. Ms. Li was arrested on April 23 with at least 20 other practitioners. Her home was ransacked and she was indicted.

Related report:

Four Female Falun Gong Practitioners and One of Their Husbands Tried, One Practitioner’s Friend Barred from Defending Her