(Minghui.org) A mother and daughter in Beijing both had their health severely damaged after being detained for about seven months for practicing Falun Gong, a mind-body practice that has been persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party since July 1999.

The once healthy Ms. Chen Lifang, 50, was severely ill and emaciated by the time she was released around October 1, 2023. She could not even walk to the restroom without help. Her 71-year-old mother Ms. Zhang Heyu’s pre-existing slight hunchback became pronounced after months in detention. Pressured and intimidated by the police, their family did not allow them to have any contact with other Falun Gong practitioners. It is unclear what kind of abuse the mother and daughter may have suffered in detention that resulted in their damaged health.

Latest Arrest and Past Persecution

Ms. Zhang and Ms. Chen, who share a home in Chaoyang District, Beijing, suddenly went missing before the communist regime’s “two sessions” in early March 2023.

China’s legislative body, the National People’s Congress (NPC), and its top political advisory body, the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), both hold their annual meetings (known as “two sessions”) around the same time every year (though separately). The 2023 CPPCC meeting began on March 4, and the NPC meeting started the following day. Many Falun Gong practitioners across China were harassed prior to the “two sessions.”

The women’s family later learned that they were arrested for practicing Falun Gong. Officers from the Xiaohongmen Police Station raided their home and confiscated all their Falun Gong books. After the mother and daughter were released around October 1, 2023, the police threatened their family with consequences if they failed to closely watch them. They were unable to get in touch with other practitioners.

The latest persecution of Ms. Zhang and Ms. Chen was preceded by multiple incidents of arrests and harassment in the past for their faith in Falun Gong.

Ms. Zhang was previously twice given forced labor terms and detained for a total of more than four years. She was forced to do hard labor without pay and was subjected to various forms of torture, including electric shocks, force feeding, and being handcuffed and shackled.

Ms. Chen was fired from her job and had to move in with Ms. Zhang.

Around October 1, 2022, officers from the Chaoyang District Police Department and the Xiaohongmen Police Station broke into Ms. Zhang’s home and questioned her and her daughter if they still practiced Falun Gong or went out to tell people about the persecution. They said they did and the police stationed people outside their apartment building to monitor and follow them every day.

The police also worked with the property management office of Ms. Zhang’s apartment complex and installed a surveillance camera facing her door to monitor her.

Ms. Zhang’s son was also harassed because his mother and sister practice Falun Gong. He said he felt helpless and hopeless.

Related report:

Reported in the First Half of 2023: 3,133 Falun Gong Practitioners Arrested or Harassed for Their Faith