(Minghui.org) Ms. Liu Guohua’s family was finally allowed to visit her in person on September 9, 2023, for the first time in more than two years since her arrest for her faith in Falun Gong, a mind-body practice that has been persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party since July 1999. Prior to that, the only communication she was allowed to have with her family was a brief virtual meeting.
Ms. Liu, 55 and of Binchuan County, Yunnan Province, was arrested on May 14, 2021 and later secretly sentenced to four years in prison. The local police, the procuratorate, and the court had kept her family in the dark regarding her detention location, indictment, trial, and sentencing. They only notified them of her verdict around early March 2022, but refused to reveal where she was being held.
Her loved ones kept inquiring about her whereabouts, and the local Gong’an Police Station lied that she had been taken to the Qujing Prison in Yunnan Province. The family went to the prison but was told she was not there.
It wasn’t until March 15, 2022 that Ms. Liu’s family learned about her location. She was allowed to make a phone call that day and she told her family that she was being held at the Yunnan Province Second Women’s Prison.
Her family went to the prison many times since but was denied visitation with her. They later turned to the local judicial bureau, which helped arrange a virtual meeting with her.
Ms. Liu’s loved ones kept requesting in-person visits with her and were finally granted one on September 9, 2023. They noted that she looked fragile and under a lot of pressure. They suspected that she must have been ordered to renounce Falun Gong in prison.
Ms. Liu previously served 3.5 years in the same prison (from 2012 to 2016), also for her faith in Falun Gong. She was tortured and drugged. Her family worries that she will be subjected to similar abuse again this time around.
Ms. Liu was about to go to work in the family’s farm field on May 14, 2021, when the police suddenly pounded on the door, threatening to smash it if she didn’t let them in.
As soon as Ms. Liu’s husband opened the door, over twenty officers barged in, including the deputy township mayor Huang Chengxing. Yang Yu, the head of Binchuan County Domestic Security Office first showed a summon request. Then officer Xiang Yongxiang handcuffed Ms. Liu, after showing his ID, and ordered two armed officers to drag Ms. Liu to the police car.
To protest the arbitrary arrest, Ms. Liu shouted, “Falun Dafa is good! Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance is good! Heaven will eliminate the Chinese Communist Party! Quit your memberships to protect yourself!” For this, the police accused her of being against the Chinese Communist Party and issued an arrest warrant against her.
During Ms. Liu’s arrest, several officers searched the over ten rooms in her three-story home without a warrant. The search continued after Ms. Liu was taken away. Over 50 Falun Gong books, dozens of Falun Gong information cards, a laptop, a tablet, a DVD, over ten MP3, multiple audio players, an e-book, and a cellphone were taken away. Before leaving, Yang threatened her family, “Don’t report this to the Minghui website!”
One officer said to Ms. Liu’s family, “We don’t want to do this, but it’s an order from above. We were given a quota to arrest five practitioners.”
Following Ms. Liu’s arrest, the police refused to provide her family with any updates. It took nearly two weeks for them to find out she was held at the Dali Prefecture Detention Center. When her family asked why they were not given a copy of her detention notice, the police claimed that they didn’t know their address.
Ms. Liu’s arrest terrified her mother-in-law, who was nearly 80. She suffered a heart condition and was hospitalized. As Ms. Liu’s husband also suffers from some medical condition himself, the family who relied on Ms. Liu for most of the household chores is now left in a dire situation.
The police later submitted Ms. Liu’s case to the Binchuan County Procuratorate. She was then indicted and secretly sentenced to four years by the Binchuan County Court.
Previous Prison Term
Ms. Liu began to practice Falun Gong in 2007. Her gallstones and downward displacement of the stomach caused by gastric ulcers were both cured. She lives by Falun Gong’s principles Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance and her relationship with her mother-in-law also improved.
For giving out informational materials about Falun Gong, Ms. Liu was reported by Ye Yong, the secretary of Qiaodian Town Political and Legal Affairs Committee, and arrested on July 24, 2012.
Over ten officers ransacked her home in the afternoon without her presence, confiscating her Falun Gong books, photos of Falun Gong’s founder, an embroidery with the words “Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance,” over 100 DVD cases, over 400 Falun Gong information cards, an MP3, and two speakers. She was taken to the Binchuan County Detention Center on the next day, after being held at the Domestic Security Office overnight.
Ms. Liu appeared in the Binchuan County Court on January 24, 2013. Her lawyer entered a not guilty plea for her. The judge sentenced her to 3.5 years two months later. She was then taken to the Yunnan Province No. 2 Women’s Prison, without her family’s knowledge. It took them over six months to find out her whereabouts.
Ms. Liu wrote a motion to reconsider her sentence and mailed it home for her family to deliver it to the court. But her family never received it. The authorities also refused to provide a copy of her verdict, but only did so when her family repeatedly asked for it.
Ms. Liu suffered various torture methods in the prison. The guards didn’t allow her two sons to visit her, until she only had a few months left on her term.
Her older son Zou Yongfeng recalled, “I felt so sad upon seeing my mother. She was emaciated and her eyes were swollen. She initially hesitated to tell us what she had endured. As we kept asking, she told that us because she refused to renounce Falun Gong, the guards sprayed her eyes with some kind of spicy water. They were wearing gas masks themselves. She felt enormous pain and her vision quickly declined afterwards. Now she can’t even see us clearly.”
Ms. Liu also told her sons that the guards kept her handcuffed for so long that they weren’t able to open it, but had to use a chainsaw to remove it. Her wrists were severely injured and the scar was very deep. She was also forced to sit on a small stool for long hours. Her buttocks festered. Her feet were so numb that she was unable to walk downstairs by herself.
Her sons also noticed that Ms. Liu’s teeth were loose and asked her what happened. She began to cry, but without answering the question.
She then told her sons that the guards didn’t allow her or other inmates to use toilet paper, but put Falun Gong books in the restroom and forced them to use paper from the books to clean themselves. While Ms. Liu and other Falun Gong practitioners refused to do so, it pained her so much to see others tearing up the books.
“The half-hour visit soon passed. We had so many questions, but our mother was very sad and couldn’t tell us everything. Our hearts were very heavy when we left the prison.” Mr. Zou said.
To seek justice for Ms. Liu, he wrote letters to the provincial justice department but was told they were too busy to review her case. He also reached out to the provincial procuratorate and prison administration bureau, which claimed that the abuse in prison would be permissible if she refused to renounce Falun Gong. They claimed to have legal documents to support the abuse but refused to provide a copy of it. In another attempt, Mr. Zou contacted the Provincial People’s Congress, which told him that they would only review wrongful cases and Ms. Liu’s case wasn’t qualified for it.
When the Supreme Court of China issued a new policy on May 1, 2015, that every complaint filed by citizens would be accepted and reviewed, Mr. Zou filed a complaint against Jiang Zemin, the former head of the Chinese Communist Party, for launching the persecution of Falun Gong. His complaint was accepted by both the Supreme Court of China and the Supreme Procuratorate of China.
“After my mother started to practice Falun Gong, she benefited from it both physically and spiritually. She didn’t do anything wrong in choosing her own faith or practicing Falun Gong. We all support her. Through the persecution she has suffered all these years, we have seen clearly who the real criminals are.” Mr. Zou said.
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