(Minghui.org) Having lost his father to the persecution of Falun Gong, Steven Wang, a principal dancer with Shen Yun Performing Arts, was dealt a heavy blow when his mother was recently given a third prison sentence, also for practicing Falun Gong.
This is the eleventh time that Ms. Liu Aihua, a 69-year-old Shaoyang City, Hunan Province resident, has been arrested for her faith, a spiritual discipline that has been targeted by the Chinese communist regime for the past 24 years.
Ms. Liu’s latest arrest on July 7, 2022, came only two years after she finished serving a previous three-year term. She is being held at the Changsha City No. 4 Detention Center. The Liuyang City Court, which has been designated to handle all Falun Gong cases in the region, sentenced her to four years on March 10, 2023.
Steven Wang and his sister Lydia Wang, both U.S. citizens, suspect that the sentencing of their mother is an attempt by the communist authorities to deter Steven’s dance career in Shen Yun.
Shen Yun is a New York-based dance company with the mission to revive 5,000 years of traditional Chinese culture. The story piece that exposes the persecution of Falun Gong is a consistent part of its production, which highlights the modern-day suppression of spirituality in communist China.
When Steven’s father died from health complications due to torture in prison in late 2009, Steven had just started a new touring season with Shen Yun. He didn’t know about his father’s death until a month later when he called home. Due to the ongoing persecution in China, he couldn’t go back to attend his father’s funeral.
When Steven got married in 2017, he invited his mother to the U.S. to attend his wedding, only to be told that she was arrested before she could leave China. That arrest led to a three-year prison sentence.
After having endured years of incarceration and torture, Ms. Liu is suffering many ailments including high blood pressure and diabetes. Steven and Lydia said they are very worried about their mother. They are calling on the international community to rescue her.
Now a father himself, Steven looks forward to the day when he can reunite with his mother and have a place he can call a complete home.
Ms. Liu’s Eleven Arrests
Ms. Liu has been repeatedly targeted for upholding her faith since the onset of the persecution in 1999. In addition to the above-mentioned two prison sentences, she also served a labor camp term and another four-year prison sentence. Below are the details of her 11 arrests.
Ms. Liu was arrested in June 2001 and held in custody for 48 hours.
Officer Chen Weimin of the Xinshao County Police Department seized Ms. Liu on March 31, 2002, and detained her for 24 days at the Xinshao Detention Center. Her husband and oldest daughter were arrested at the same time, although they were released several hours later.
Ms. Liu was arrested on April 27, 2002, and taken to the Shaoyang City Second Detention Center. She was given an unknown term at the Baimalong Forced Labor Camp on November 4, 2002. She was released on August 9, 2003.
Ms. Liu was taken to a local brainwashing center following her 4th arrest on October 11, 2007.
Ms. Liu was arrested again early on the morning of May 18, 2008. Her home was ransacked and her Falun Gong books confiscated. Her family wasn’t allowed to visit her at the Shaoyang City Second Detention Center. The police attempted to give her another forced labor term with the excuse of “stability maintenance” during the 2008 Beijing Olympics, but they had to release her after she failed the required medical exam.
Ms. Liu was arrested on April 18, 2009, even though her husband was in serious condition due to previous torture in prison and needed her care. Her Falun Gong books and informational materials were confiscated. The police again attempted to take her to Baimalong Forced Labor Camp, but due to her high blood pressure, she was released after 65 days.
Ms. Liu was caring for her younger daughter, who had just had a c-section, on August 20, 2011, when the police arrested her. Her newborn grandchild was still in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) and her daughter hadn’t yet awoken from the anesthesia at the time.
Her older daughter went to look for her three days later, but the young woman was held overnight after she refused to sign Ms. Liu’s case document. The police also changed the date of Ms. Liu’s arrest.
Ms. Liu was given a year at the Baimalong Forced Labor Camp two months later, but she again failed the medical exam and was later released.
8th Arrest and 4-year Prison Sentence
Ms. Liu was arrested on November 10, 2012, while staying at the home of practitioners Mr. Chen Xiaojun and his wife in Zhuhai City, Guangdong Province. She stood trial on June 25, 2013, and was sentenced to four years in prison. She was admitted to Guangdong Province Women’s Prison in August 2014.
Due to the torture while in custody, Ms. Liu developed high blood pressure, diabetes, a tumor on her thyroid, and gallbladder stones. When her family traveled from Hunan to Guangzhou to visit her, the guards only allowed her daughter to meet with her and stopped all her other relatives at the prison entrance. The guards claimed that they provided “love and care” to Ms. Liu, even though she was emaciated and very weak.
9th Arrest and 3-Year Prison Sentence
Ms. Liu was released in November 2016, only to be arrested a 9th time on August 29, 2017, before she could travel to the U.S. to attend Steven’s wedding. She was first held at the Yangjialong Detention Center and later transferred to the Shaoyang City Second Detention Center.
After prosecutor Sun Weihong of the Shuangqing District Procuratorate approved her arrest, they threatened her family not to expose his personal information online. Ms. Liu stood trial at the Shuangqing District Court on February 28, 2018, and was sentenced to three years. She was released in late August 2020.
A group of officers broke into Ms. Liu’s home on May 14, 2021, and threatened her, “You shouldn’t live in my district, as it brings trouble for me. [If you do anything to promote Falun Gong,] we will come to harass you every day.” Ms. Liu tried to explain to them that she didn’t do anything wrong, and the officer replied, “I’m a member of the Chinese Communist Party and I only listen to the Party.”
11th Arrest and 4-Year Prison Sentence
Ms. Liu was arrested again on July 7, 2022. The police didn’t inform her family of her arrest and it took them days to confirm that she had been detained. She has appealed the four-year verdict that was handed down on March 10, 2023.
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