(Minghui.org) Ms. Zhu Fangxia, in her 70s, from Maoming City, Guangdong Province was sentenced to five years and fined 10,000 yuan in early November 2023 for practicing Falun Gong, a mind-body practice that has been persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party since July 1999.

The same Maonan District Court that sentenced Ms. Zhu Fangxia, previously sentenced her to five years in December 2013.

Ms. Zhu filed an appeal against her latest prison sentence. She is currently held at the Maoming City First Detention Center. According to her family, she fell in the detention center and broke her left hand. She also developed high blood pressure and diabetes. It is unclear whether she is receiving proper medical treatment.

Latest Arrest in March 2023

Ms. Zhu was arrested at a residential complex around 8 p.m. on March 6, 2023, by around ten agents from the Maonan District Police Department and the Guandu Police Station. One of the officers surnamed Huang was from the police department. It was unclear whether Ms. Zhu was visiting that complex or distributing Falun Gong informational materials there.

The police took her home and confiscated her printer, computer, and Falun Gong books without showing their IDs or a search warrant. They brought her and her husband (who does not practice Falun Gong) to the Guandu Police Station. Her husband was released the next day after their son signed a pledge to promise he would not practice Falun Gong.

On the night of March 7, the police drove Ms. Zhu to the Maoming City First Detention Center but she was denied admission due to her poor health. They took her back to the police station but managed to make the detention center admit her the next day.

Ms. Zhu’s family hired a local lawyer in April 2023 to represent her. The lawyer visited her in the detention center and learned that she fell and suffered a comminuted fracture of her left hand. She also developed high blood pressure and diabetes just one month after she was detained.

Sentenced to 5 Years in November 2023

The Maonan District Procuratorate issued a formal arrest warrant against Ms. Zhu in early May 2023 and indicted her afterwards. She stood trial at the Maonan District Court on July 31, 2023. For some unknown reason, her lawyer dropped her case before the court hearing, and her family did not dare to hire another lawyer due to pressure from the police.

Ms. Zhu thus had no legal representation and was also barred from defending herself in court. The judge ended the session in less than 30 minutes.

Ms. Zhu was moved to a special ward within the detention center on August 4, 2023. Ms. Wu Youqing, a 56-year-old practitioner who is serving six years for her faith, was also in that ward. Thanks to Ms. Wu’s care, Ms. Zhu’s condition improved somewhat.

The Maonan District Court sentenced Ms. Zhu to five years with a 10,000-yuan fine in November 2023.

This is not the first time that Ms. Zhu has been targeted for her faith. She was repeatedly arrested and served two forced labor terms and a five-year prison term prior to her latest sentencing.

Given Two Forced Labor Terms Between 1999 and 2002

Multiple Falun Gong practitioners in Maoming City and its subordinate counties were arrested between July 22 and 23, 1999. Ms. Zhu was one of them and was detained for several days.

After she was released, she decided to go to Beijing to appeal for Falun Gong, only to be intercepted on the way there and taken back to Maoming. She was given an unknown length of forced labor term and held at the Sanshui Woman’s Labor Camp until the end of 2001.

In May 2002, Ms. Zhu was arrested again and given a second forced labor term (exact length unknown). While serving time at the same Sanshui Woman’s Labor Camp, she was held in solitary confinement, humiliated, and forced to watch videos smearing Falun Gong.

Held in Brainwashing Center in 2005

On December 5, 2005, Ms. Zhu and two other local practitioners, Ms. Cen Shaozhen, and Ms. Shi Xiuping, all received a call inviting them to Ms. Kang Shaozhen’s home to read a new article written by Falun Gong’s founder. The caller was not Ms. Kang or her family. Ms. Zhu, Ms. Cen, and Ms. Shi did not realize that it was a trap set up by the police. They went to Ms. Kang’s home, only to be arrested there along with Ms. Kang. The police raided their homes and took them to a brainwashing center.

Police Attempt to Send Ms. Zhu to Labor Camp for a Third Time

Ms. Zhu was released from the brainwashing center around January 10, 2006, only to be arrested shortly afterwards. The exact time of her arrest was unclear. She was again taken to the same brainwashing center and threatened with a prison sentence if she didn’t renounce Falun Gong.

On January 15, 2006, the police transferred Ms. Zhu to the Sanshui Women’s Labor Camp, which refused to admit her after she failed the required physical examination. The police released her.

A group of officers, led by Peng Jian, pried open Ms. Zhu’s door around 9:30 p.m. on February 10, 2006. They said they needed to ask her some questions ahead of some important political conferences. They took her away and it’s unclear how long she was in custody before she was released.

Denied Passport Application in 2011

Ms. Zhu applied for a passport in August 2011 as she had plans to vacation abroad. The police department refused to process her request. According to insiders, many Falun Gong practitioners who were repeatedly arrested for their faith were blacklisted from leaving the country.

When Ms. Zhu demanded to see whatever policies barred her from applying for a passport, the police had nothing to show her.

Officer Wu Jinyou from the Maonan District Police Department arrested Ms. Zhu around 10 a.m. on December 28, 2011, while she distributed Falun Gong informational materials at a local market. She was held at the Hedong Police Station until 5 p.m. that evening.

Arrested in 2012 and Sentenced to 5 Years in 2013

Ms. Zhu was arrested on August 28, 2013, while talking to people about Falun Gong at the local A’shui Hotel. The arresting officers from the Zhanqian Police Station took her to a local detention center but she was denied admission due to her poor health. The police asked for instructions from their supervising agencies, the Maonan District 610 Office and the Domestic Security Office, which pressured the detention center to admit Ms. Zhu.

The Maonan District Court held a hearing of Ms. Zhu’s case on November 15, 2013. She and her lawyer both refuted the allegations against her and demanded she be acquitted. Presiding judge He Songfu still sentenced her to five years on December 19, 2013. Judges Feng Yongjian and Li Weiming, as well as clerk Chen Zetao, were also present at her trial.

Ms. Zhu was brutally tortured while she was incarcerated at the Guangdong Province Women’s Prison. Under pressure, she gave up her belief in Falun Gong. After she was released, she remained weak and struggled to get out of bed. She recalled how she became healthy when she first took up Falun Gong and decided to resume practicing. Her health was soon restored and she began to raise awareness of the persecution again, only to be arrested in 2023 and sentenced to prison again.

Related report:

Maoming City, Guangdong Province: At Least 13 Falun Gong Practitioners Incarcerated for Their Faith