(Minghui.org) A 74-year-old resident of Daqing City, Heilongjiang Province was sentenced to six years and ten months with a 30,000-yuan fine on May 31, 2023 for her faith in Falun Gong, a mind-body practice that has been persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party since July 1999.
Ms. Shi Jianhua, a retiree of Daqing Petroleum Administration Bureau, was arrested at home on the night of June 6, 2022, after being reported for distributing Falun Gong informational materials days earlier.
While the arresting officers from the High-tech Development Zone Police Department released Ms. Shi on bail shortly afterwards, they submitted her case to the local procuratorate. The High-tech Development Zone Court held a hearing on May 24, 2023 and announced the prison sentence against her on May 31.
Ms. Shi filed an appeal and is currently still out on bail.
This is not the first time that Ms. Shi has been targeted for practicing Falun Gong, which she credited for lifting her out of despair.
Taking up Falun Gong
Ms. Shi’s husband divorced her decades ago. She hated being abandoned and often dreamed of fighting her ex-husband. After she took up Falun Gong in April 1997, she came to understand that there is a reason behind everything and gradually let go of her resentment towards her ex-husband. As she rekindled hope in life, she found joy again and her health improved as well.
Her mother in her 80s fell gravely ill around 2010 and remained bedridden in her final years. The elderly woman not only suffered from poor hearing and vision, but also developed mental disorder. Her screams frightened those near her. Ms. Shi hired a homecare aide for her mother and made sure everything was well taken care of.
Her sisters all thanked her for doing the lion’s share of the caregiving of their mother. Her relatives and friends were also amazed that she, then in her 60s, still maintained such good health and cheerful spirit despite the burden of caring for her elderly ill mother. She said Falun Gong gave her strength. One person was so touched that he said, “I’ll practice Falun Gong too after the persecution ends!”
Ms. Shi went to Beijing to appeal for Falun Gong in November 1999 and was arrested. After being escorted back to Heilongjiang, she was held at the Daqing City Detention Center for one month before being transferred to the Dulitun Lockup, where she was detained for an additional 15 days.
The Tiananmen Police Station in Beijing arrested Ms. Shi in December 2000, after she unfurled a banner reading “Falun Dafa is good” on Tiananmen Square. They took her to a detention center in nearby Tianjin. The Daqing police picked her up on January 18, 2001 and took her straight to the Harbin Women’s Labor Camp to serve a one-year term.
As soon as she was admitted to the labor camp, the guards searched her and cut her hair short. During her detention there, they forced her to read, watch or listen to materials slandering Falun Gong on a regular basis. They also ordered her to sit on a small stool motionless for extended periods of time, with her hands on her lap and her back straight. She also had to do hard labor without pay, including gluing paper boxes and making counterfeit books.
The Ranghulu Police Station kept harassing Ms. Shi at home after she was released.
Ms. Shi was arrested at home by the Daqing City Domestic Security Office agents on September 13, 2011. Her Falun Gong books, printer, laptop, desktop computer and other valuables were confiscated.
The Ranghulu Court held a hearing of Ms. Shi’s case on January 10, 2012 and sentenced her to eight years in prison. Her appeal was rejected by the Daqing City Intermediate Court. She was transferred to the Heilongjiang Province Women’s Prison on June 6, 2012. After eight years of brutal torture, Ms. Shi was released on September 12, 2019, only to be arrested again on June 6, 2022.
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