Belated News: Heilongjiang Woman Dies after Repeated Arrests and Harassment for Upholding Her Faith

A Jiamusi City, Heilongjiang Province resident passed away on September 6, 2019 due to declining health after repeated arrests and harassment for her faith in Falun Gong, a mind-body practice that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999. She was 75 years old.

She wrote he following account one year before she died:

My name is Shi Zhenhua. I used to work at a shopping mall in Jiamusi. Due to years of hard work, I suffered several ailments, including heart problem, stomach ulcer, thickening brain arteries, and lumbar disc herniation. I began to practice Falun Gong in 1996 after a friend introduced me to the practice, and my health soon recovered.

Forced to Sign Renouncing Statement
After the communist regime ordered the persecution of Falun Gong in 1999, we lost the environment where we could study the Falun Gong teachings and do the Falun Gong exercises with fellow practitioners.

My manager at work demanded that all employees who practised Falun Gong sign a statement to renounce our faith. I was forced to sign the statement against my will.

First Arrest
I went to Beijing to appeal for the right to practice Falun Gong on November 27, 2000 and was arrested at Tiananmen Square. I was locked in a metal cage at Qianmen Police Station. More than forty practitioners were taken there in the morning. The police searched our bags, took our photos, and asked for our names and addresses.

I initially refused to report my name, but was later forced to do so, after a female officer ripped all the buttons off my top and pants.

After I was taken back to Jiamusi on December 5, 2000, the authorities forced me to sign a statement promising to not go to Beijing again. I was detained at Jiamusi City Detention Centre for 16 days and my family was forced by the police to sign a statement to renounce Falun Gong on my behalf. They were also forced to pay a 2,000 yuan bail bond.

Second Arrest
I was arrested for the second time on November 22, 2001 while distributing informational materials about Falun Gong in a subdivision. The police searched my bag and took the materials from me.

They locked me onto a metal chair at the police station, then interrogated and verbally abused me.

I was taken to the Jiamusi City Detention Centre. I was so terrified after the arrest that my body began to twitch and my hands and feet were cold. I had difficulty breathing and kept sweating. Fearing that I might die in the detention center, the police sent me to the hospital and the doctor found that I had coronary artery disease. The police decided to release me that evening.

Third Arrest
After being reported for hanging up a banner about Falun Gong, I was arrested for the third time on May 12, 2006. The police forced me to take them to my temporary residence. I warned them that I stayed with a relative who was in her 80s, and had a heart condition and high blood pressure, and that the officers shouldn’t talk too loud at my home. But they didn’t listen. They broke into my place and searched everywhere for Falun Gong related materials. Some of my Falun Gong keepsakes and a few booklets were taken.

The police brought me back to the police station and continued the interrogation. They then put me into a police car, drove to a random location, then stopped and dumped me on the street. I had to find a taxi to return home myself. By the time I arrived at home, it was 2:00 a.m. My relative was so traumatized by the police raid that she began trembling whenever she heard people knocking on the door.

Fourth Arrest
My last arrest was on November 4, 2010, for seeking justice for another practitioner, Ms. Sun Libin, who later passed away as a result of the persecution in March 2019.

I was taken to Jiamusi City Detention Centre in the evening. I started a hunger strike to protest the persecution on the fourth day. I also refused to let a nurse take a blood sample on the fifth day.

By the eighth day, I began suffering from a severe medical condition and the authorities released me. The detention centre and police each extorted 1,000 yuan from my family.

Pension Suspended and Non-stop Harassment
I’ve been attempting to renew my ID since 2009, but the police have used all kinds of excuse to turn me down. The social security office later began checking IDs when issuing retirement pension payments. As I had trouble getting my ID renewed, they stopped my pension. I didn’t have any other income and the suspended pension left me in a destitute situation.

After I filed a criminal complaint in 2015 against Jiang Zemin, the former head of the Chinese Communist Party, for ordering the persecution of Falun Gong, the police harassed me, forcing me to live away from home to avoid further persecution.

I kept requesting an ID after I returned home. In 2016, after many attempts and my sister-in-law being my sponsor, the police finally issued a next-generation ID to me.

But when I was about to buy a train ticket in May 2017 to attend a relative’s funeral in another city, the ticket salesperson told me that my ID was flagged and I wasn’t allowed to leave town. Only then did I realize that I had been put on the police’s black list.

After years of persecution and harassment, I lived in fear every day. The mental pressure took a toll on my health. I began to have some health issues, and the condition was getting worse.

I moved to my sister’s place in early 2018, as she offered to take care of me. The police looked for me everywhere and harassed several of my family members. They finally found me at my sister’s home.

Shao Kunhai, head of the Xilin Police Station, harassed me on June 12, 2018 and attempted to take a photo of me. I had become bedridden and incapacitated at the time. After I refused to let him take my photo, he asked for my sister’s number and called her several times afterwards to harass her.

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