(Minghui.org) An 81-year-old woman was sentenced to two years and three months on August 27, 2023, three weeks after she was arrested for talking to people about Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party since 1999.
Ms. Miao Xianmin, of Jining City, Shandong Province, was arrested on August 8, 2023, while talking to people at the Caoqiaokou Wholesale Market. She was taken to the Jining Detention Centre the next day and made to appear in the Rencheng District Court on August 26.
During the hearing, her daughter noticed that she was unable to walk on her own, suspecting that she might have been tortured by the detention centre guards. The judge sentenced her to Jinan Second Prison with a fine of 4,000 yuan ($547.00) the following day. It’s not clear whether she has been transferred to the prison at the time of writing.
Prior to sentencing Ms. Miao, the Rencheng District Court convicted another 15 Falun Gong practitioners on July 25, 2022. Among them. Ms. Mi Jinying was given seven years with a 10,000 yuan fine ($1,368.00). Another 14 practitioners, including Ms. Xie Yugong, Ms. Li Hongxia, Ms. Chu Fuhua, Ms. Wang Xiling, Ms. Li Xuxia, Ms. Hou Chengqin, Mr. Hou Chengfu, Ms. Li Yuegui, Ms. Li Huiping and Ms. Huang Qingrong, received terms from two and a half years to five years, and fines from 4,000 to 8,000 yuan.
All these practitioners were above 60, with the eldest being over 80. They were targeted in a group arrest of at least 35 practitioners on October 28, 2021. Officials said that they had been monitoring the practitioners’ phone calls and daily activities for months before the arrests.
Past Persecution of Ms. Miao
Ms. Miao had suffered severe tracheitis since childhood. She received penicillin and streptomycin injections every now and then. At school, she always kept licorice slices in her pencil box. When it got a little colder, her condition would get worse. She breathed so loudly that everyone around her could hear it, and she coughed so much that her head ached and she had trouble falling asleep.
Ms. Miao’s bronchitis and heart disease were gone after she began to practice Falun Gong in 1996. Following the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, she also became kinder and more considerate of others. Once when she was shopping, she found that the cashier had charged her 100 yuan less. She gave back the money and the cashier was very thankful, saying there were very few honest people like her these days.
After the persecution began in July 1999, Ms. Miao continued practicing Falun Gong. Because of telling others about the practice, she was arrested many times and her home was ransacked.
Three-year Labor Camp Term
When Ms. Miao visited another practitioner on June 19, 2001, she was arrested by Guo Hongtao and other officers of the Jining City Central District Domestic Security Office. The police pushed her into a police van and took her to the Fuqiao Police Station. She was handcuffed and kept in a metal cage for 24 hours. The police ordered her to renounce her belief and force-fed her. She was taken to Jining City Lockup days later. Guards there removed all her clothes and forced her to squat in a corner to humiliate her.
The police gave Ms. Miao a three-year term at Jinan Women’s Forced Labor Camp. The guards ordered her to sit on a small bench motionless. She would be kicked and verbally abused if she moved a little. She was also forced to work long hours without pay, with only five minutes or less a day to keep herself clean. Other than forced labor and brainwashing, her sleep and access to the restroom were also restricted.
Harassed by Police
When Ms. Miao was walking on the street on June 9, 2020, two men and a woman suddenly grabbed her and pushed her down onto a bench by the curb. Claiming to be from the Rencheng Police Department, they said that Ms. Miao’s case was not over yet.
“What do you mean?” Ms. Miao asked. “I did not violate any laws.”
“You are a Falun Gong practitioner,” one of the officers said.
“Falun Gong improves physical health and moral character and makes our society better. Isn’t that good?” Ms. Miao explained.
The officers pushed her into a police van and took her to the police station. One officer surnamed Shao interrogated her and repeated hate propaganda from the communist regime that slandered Falun Gong. Ms. Miao talked to them about what Falun Gong is and did not yield. The police did not release her until 1 a.m. the following day.
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