After previously being arrested twice and sentenced to forced labour twice, Ms. Zhao Chunyan, in her 60s, was sentenced to five years in prison by Hengshan District Court on October 28th, 2013. She has already been through so much and her family is extremely worried about her.
To protest the persecution Ms. Zhao went on a hunger strike while she was detained and was obviously very debilitated during the trial. This did not keep the court from sentencing her to five years in prison.
Ms. Zhao is from the Hengshan District in Jixi City and has practised Falun Gong since the autumn of 1997. Her rheumatism, heart disease, and neurosis all disappeared. Even though she hasn't broken any laws, she's been persecuted and harassed many times.
On June 29th, 2000, Ms. Zhao was arrested by Fendo Police Station head Sun Mengshan and officer Xu and detained for 24 days. She was detained again in November 2000 for 52 days. Three days after she was released, police head Sun Mengshan took her to Wanjia Forced Labour Camp. She was held there and made to do forced labour for another year.
On November 28th, 2008, exercising her constitutional right as a citizen, Ms. Zhao attempted to attend the hearing of a Falun Gong practitioner in Mudanjiang Court. Police from the Hengshan Domestic Security Division arrested her. She was sentenced to one and half years of forced labour and taken to Heilongjiang Women's Drug Rehabilitation Forced Labour Camp. Her term was extended by six months and nine days.
Before she was sentenced on October 28th, 2013, Ms. Zhao was arrested at home. The police searched and ransacked her home while no one was there.
In the past 14 years, under the direction of the Jixi City Political and Legal Affairs Committee and the 610 Office (an organisation of special agents just for persecuting Falun Gong), about 1250 local practitioners have been arrested and imprisoned. 240 of them were sentenced to forced labour, 156 were sentenced to imprisonment, and 96 were forced to attend brainwashing sessions. At least 50 practitioners died as a result of being persecuted. Some died because their organs were removed while they were alive, and some died from brutal force feeding. Others died due to the severe mistreatment (beatings and starvation) in detention centres, forced labour camps, and brainwashing centres, as well as extreme torture. Some were given unknown or experimental drugs and died. Others suffered mental collapse. Some died due to the stress of frequent arrests, harassment, and intimidation.
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