An 80-year-old woman died of a heart attack after being constantly harassed by the authorities for her faith in Falun Gong since late last year.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is an ancient spiritual and meditation discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party since 1999.
Ms. Sima Shufen, of Luoyang City, Henan Province, was arrested on December 13, 2019. The police ransacked her home and confiscated her Falun Gong books, computer, and printer. Although she was released soon afterward, the police threatened to throw her in jail if she didn’t renounce Falun Gong.
A group of plainclothes officers returned to Ms. Sima’s home on February 27, 2020, and videotaped and searched her home again.
In March, the director of the local residential committee used the epidemic as an excuse to prevent Ms. Sima from going out. She had to report to them whenever she went out for grocery shopping and had to return within a certain time. The officials also checked the things she bought before letting her go home.
The harassment and home-ransacking deeply traumatized Ms. Sima. She suffered a heart attack in mid-March and died on March 25, 2020.
Ms. Sima used to work at a factory that made metal hoses. The long term intensive labor left her struggling with many ailments. After she took up Falun Gong in 1996, she experienced a quick improvement in her health.
Because of appealing for the right to practice Falun Gong in Beijing, she was arrested on December 30, 2002. The police attempted to extort 10,000 yuan from her. After she refused to pay it, they submitted her case to the procuratorate, and she was later sentenced to four years in prison.
The police searched her home again on June 28, 2013. Her Falun Gong books, computer, and printer were confiscated. She was held at the police station for five hours.
The police harassed her two more times, first in September 2015 and then in May 2017. They forced her son to monitor her and prevent her from studying Falun Gong books, doing the exercises or contacting local practitioners.
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