Ms. Lin, a 60-year-old housewife from Sichuan Province, was sentenced to three years in prison for passing out Shen Yun Performing Arts DVDs on April 8th.
Shen Yun Performing Arts is a New York-based company established by Falun Gong practitioners. The company presents traditional Chinese culture through classical Chinese dance and music. Shen Yun's performances also expose the persecution of Falun Gong under the Communist regime.
Police arrested Ms. Lin outside a farmer's market on July 14th, 2014, for “spreading Falun Gong propaganda.” As of this writing, she is detained at the Dayi County Detention Centre.
This is not the first time Ms. Lin has been held by police. She has been detained at least five times since the Chinese regime started the suppression of Falun Gong in 1999.
“I spent almost the entire year of 2000 in a detention centre,” Ms. Lin recalled. “And that's just what's on the police record. I was once detained in the parking garage of the Wujin government building. I was forced to sit on a bench for six days, and this was completely off-record.
“At first, I thought the police just didn't know about Falun Gong and how good it is. So I patiently explained to them how my family and I had benefited from practising Falun Gong. But what I got was repeated threats and abuse.”
Ms. Lin decided to visit the Chinese government's Petitions and Appeals Office in Beijing to protest her treatment by the local police. However, she was brought back and sent to a detention centre before she even reached Beijing.
Witnessing the unfair treatment of her mother, Ms. Lin's sixteen-year-old daughter went to Beijing alone to appeal for her mother. She was caught and brought back home by the police, and was expelled from high school.
Despite the pressure on herself and her family, Ms. Lin remains steadfast in her belief in Falun Gong.
“After I started practising Falun Gong, I became healthy and in good spirits. It has given me a new life,” she said.
Ms. Lin was in terrible health before she began practising. She almost always had a cold; minor exercise resulted in dizziness and difficulty breathing. Doctors had told her that she would not live to age 48 due to rheumatic heart disease. But that all changed in 1998 when she started practising Falun Gong.
“My physical condition got better; I had a better complexion and smoother skin compared to before,” said Ms. Lin. “Not only did I become healthier, but I found myself becoming friendlier and more altruistic as well.”
Ms. Lin credits Falun Gong with making her a better person.
“My mother-in-law was bedridden and developed Alzheimer's in her later years. I carried her to the toilet twice an hour. I washed and cleaned her. I took care of her 24/7. I got less than 4 hours of sleep a day in those years. But I didn't complain a bit. I only felt sympathy for her,” said Ms. Lin.
That was hard to imagine, as before, the two women never got along. Ms. Lin said that her mother-in-law had been verbally abusive to her for years because she didn't have a son in order to carry on the family name.
Telling people about Falun Gong and the persecution has become part of Ms. Lin's life.
“Falun Gong has completely changed me and given me a new life. Yet it is being slandered, so how could I remain silent?! My conscience does not allow me to stay silent. I must tell people about Falun Gong and the persecution,” said Ms. Lin.
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