(Minghui.org) Ms. Liu Chunxia, of Xi’an City, Shaanxi Province, is being held at a local Ankang Hospital for her faith in Falun Gong, a mind-body practice that has been persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party since July 1999. Her arrest came two years after she finished serving a second prison term for her faith.

Ankang Hospitals across China are psychiatric hospitals overseen by their local police departments. They are used to detain people who have caused harm to individuals or society but not held criminally liable due to their mental illnesses. In the persecution of Falun Gong, these hospitals have often been used to hold mentally healthy practitioners and subject them to involuntary administration of psychiatric drugs, which can result in long-lasting damage to the practitioners.

Ms. Liu was seized at work at around 5 p.m. on May 6, 2023, thirteen days before the inaugural China-Central Asia Summit was to be held in Xi’an, attended by Communist Party leader Xi Jinping. 

According to the arresting officers, the local authorities were carrying out an operation dubbed “net-tightening” ahead of the summit. Usually before major events or political meetings to be held in a certain city, the authorities often ramp up the arrests and harassment of Falun Gong practitioners, in order to prevent them from raising awareness of the persecution and “causing trouble” to the regime.

Those involved in Ms. Liu’s arrest included Yuan Xing and another officer surnamed Ma, both of the Eyi District Domestic Security Office, deputy chief Yang Yingbo and officer Weng, both of the Huiminlu Police Station, and another officer from the Xi’an City Domestic Security Office. 

The officers took Ms. Liu back to her home after arresting her and ransacked her residence. They next drove her to the Lianhu District Detention Center in Xi’an City, where they interrogated her. They questioned her as to whether she had visited an older woman surnamed Zhou and whether Zhou had taken her to Xijing Hospital to visit a patient surnamed Yang. The police said they suspected Zhou of holding an “illegal gathering” of Falun Gong practitioners. 

The detention center later refused to keep Ms. Liu after her blood pressure reached an extremely high level. The police then moved her to the local Ankang Hospital. Her son said she was totally healthy before her arrest, and he suspected her hypertension was a result of the abuse she suffered in detention.

Ms. Liu’s lawyer said the police had no legal basis to detain her, as visiting a friend in a hospital has broken no law whatsoever.

This is not the first time that Ms. Liu, an engineer by training, has been targeted for her faith. She was sentenced to five years in prison after she was arrested in October 2001 for attending an experience sharing conference held by local Falun Gong practitioners. Her term was extended by 70 days and she wasn’t released until December 9, 2006. 

Her employer at the time, Huibang Company of the Huian Group in Shaanxi Province, terminated her after she was released. She had to do odd jobs to make a living. She was arrested again on March 21, 2017 and sentenced to four years in prison on January 4, 2018. Her sister, an Australian citizen, called for her immediate release, to no avail. Ms. Liu’s husband divorced her during her imprisonment, and she moved in with her son after she was released in March 2021. She landed a job at a property management company and her hard work earned her the respect of her boss and colleagues. 

Ms. Liu’s mother, Ms. Li Yuhua, has also been repeatedly arrested and harassed for practicing Falun Gong. 

Related Reports:

Sydney, Australia: Falun Gong Practitioners Call for Release of Family Members at Rally Outside Chinese Consulate

The Persecution of Ms. Liu Chunxia, a Practitioner from Hu County, Shaanxi Province

Mother and Daughter Persecuted for Their Faith

Daughter Overseas Calls for the Release of Mother and Sister Imprisoned in China