Shandong Woman Sentenced to Four Years for Her Faith, Dies Six Months into Prison Term

A Heze City, Shandong Province resident died about six months into her imprisonment for her faith in Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999. She was in her 70s.

It was reported that Ms. Chen Yuhua’s body had been cremated on September 25, 2019. More details about her case remain to be investigated.

Ms. Chen, a retired businesswoman, was arrested together with Ms. Cheng Panyun, a retired prosecutor also in her 70s, and Ms. Li Zhenhuan, a 66-year-old retired TV station manager, on March 29, 2018 after they were found by the police for distributing informational materials about Falun Gong.

After being confined for one year at Heze City Detention Centre, the three women appeared in Juancheng County Court and were sentenced to prison. Ms. Chen was given four years, Ms. Cheng got three and a half years, and Ms. Li was sentenced to three years.

They were taken to Shandong Province Women’s Prison.

It was reported that about 120-130 Falun Gong practitioners are currently incarcerated in the 11th ward in the prison. They are subjected to constant brainwashing and coercion as the prison authorities attempt to force them to renounce their faith.

Those who hold firm to their belief are taken to solitary confinement, forced to sit on a small stool for long hours, limited in access to the restroom, and not allowed to take showers or sleep.

A guard named Xu Yumei ordered inmates to put drugs into the practitioners’ meals. Some elderly practitioners began to have high blood pressure, heart problems, blurred vision, and reduced mobility after eating the drug-laced food. The younger practitioners, however, reported anaemia, low blood sugar and gynaecological conditions.

It is unclear whether Ms. Chen was drugged during her imprisonment.

Because she refused to renounce her faith after the communist regime began to persecute Falun Gong in 1999, Ms. Chen was arrested a total of eight times and given two labour camp terms.

She was arrested on October 14, 2007 while taking care of her bedridden husband. She was then sentenced to Shangdong Women's Prison and suffered a lumbar fracture after being tortured there.

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