A woman was diagnosed with late-stage cervical cancer in 2013 and told she had three months to live. When nothing else helped, she turned to Falun Gong and saw her conditions miraculously cured.
Ms. Xia Meixian was illness-free for the next five years until her arrest in June 2018 for refusing to renounce her faith. Her health deteriorated as a result of the mental pressure, and she died on March 18, 2019. She was 55.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a mind-body self-improvement practice that has brought tremendous health benefits to millions of its practitioners. Out of fear for its-ever increasing popularity, the Chinese communist regime launched a campaign against the practice in 1999. Many practitioners have since been targeted for holding firm to their faith.
Ms. Xia, a resident of Kunming City, Yunnan Province, was arrested on June 6, 2018 by officers from Xishan District Domestic Security Division. The officers deceived her into opening the door by pretending to be property management who came to fix her leaking sewer pipe.
Upon breaking into her home, one officer confiscated all of her Falun Gong books and other related materials. Another officer showed her a video and asked whether she was one of the people in the surveillance footage putting up informational posters about Falun Gong at Xishan Park on May 16, 2018.
Ms. Xia refused to answer their questions. They took her to the park and attempted to force her to admit to having put up the posters. She remained silent and was taken to the local police station.
The police initially planned to send her to the local detention centre, but they relented upon seeing her cancer record shown by her daughter. Ms. Xia was released on bail at around midnight after her daughter paid a 3,000-yuan bail bond.
On the same day, three other practitioners who put up the posters with Ms. Xia, including Ms. Zhu Cuifen, Ms. Zhou Huifen and Ms. Yang Gongxiu, were arrested as well. While 74-year-old Ms. Yang was also released on bail after paying the police 3,000 yuan, the other two practitioners were taken to Kunming City Detention Centre and have been kept there since.
Both Ms. Xia and Ms. Yang were summoned by Xishan District Court on March 1, 2019 and told that they were scheduled to appear in court five days later.
On Ms. Xia's way home, however, she received another call from the court saying that they had just cancelled the March 6 hearing and would reschedule it for a later date.
The fear of being imprisoned left Ms. Xia and her family in tremendous distress. Her health deteriorated so quickly that she became bedridden and was unable to walk. She lost consciousness at home on March 13, 2019. She passed away five days later despite resuscitation efforts at the hospital.
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