Ms. Zhang Chengjun, 75, was taken away by two women in uniform on the afternoon of February 18th, 2014. Her niece went to the Shahekou District Court in Dalian City to inquire about her situation. Li Bianjiang, the judge handling her case, directed her to the Yaojia Detention Centre.
When Ms. Zhang's niece went to the detention centre, she was told that there was no person there by that name, and was told to check the drug rehabilitation centre on Jinnan Street. The guards there made inquiries in to the situation and informed her that Ms. Zhang had been sentenced to three years' imprisonment, and was still being held at the detention centre.
Ms. Zhang is a retiree from the Third Hospital of Dalian City. She lives by herself near Zhongshan Park in Dalian, as her daughter lives abroad.
Below is an account of the persecution that Ms. Zhang has been subjected to over the years.
Tried without prior knowledge
After being tricked into going to the Shahekou Court earlier in the year, Ms. Zheng was escorted from her home to the court again on August 19th, 2013. The judge told her that she would be on trial at 1 p.m. on August 22nd.
However, Ms. Zhang received a phone call at 6:30 a.m. on August 22nd, informing her that her elder sister was seriously ill, and that she should go to the hospital right away. It wasn't until 12:30 that afternoon that she remembered she was supposed to be in court. She immediately called the Wuyi Square Police Station in Shahekou to explain her situation.
Li Bianjiang, presiding judge at the Shahekou Court called Ms. Zhang in November 2013 and told her to go there the following day to speak with several government officials. Ms. Zhang agreed to go. When she arrived at the court Judge Li had already decided to try Ms. Zhang there and then.
Officials from the Dalian Procuratorate accused Ms. Zhang of committing two crimes: practising the Falun Gong exercises outside and mailing letters containing information about Falun Gong and the persecution.
Ms. Zhang calmly explained the benefits she had received both mentally and physically from practising Falun Gong, and informed the officials that the practice has been warmly welcomed around the world. She also told them that freedom of belief is not a crime. However, she was given a sentence of three years, to be served outside of prison.
Ms. Zheng was taken away again on February 18th, 2014.
Subjected to physical examination and blood drawn against her will in 2012
A group of plainclothes officers from the Wuyi Square Police Station broke into Ms. Zhang's home on the afternoon of November 1st, 2012. They confiscated Falun Gong books, a computer, over 16,000 yuan1 in cash and other personal belongings.
Ms. Zhang was taken to the medical school where she was given a physical examination and had her blood drawn against her will. She was found to have severe blood disease but they still took her to the Dalian Detention Centre that night. However, the officials there refused to accept her because she was ill. The police had no choice but to take her home.
Officials from the Wuyi Square Police Station and Shakouhe Procuratorate worked together to continue to persecute Ms. Zhang. When they harassed her at her home, one officer said: “You've mailed a lot of letters about Falun Gong and the persecution. You won't have any problems if you stop practising.” Ms. Zhang refused to comply with their requests.
Given Three-year Sentence in 2005, but Too Ill to be Accepted
Ms. Zhang was arrested in October 2005 by officers from the Hutan Police Station in the Zhongshan District, and was taken to the Dalian Detention Centre. She was later prosecuted by the Zhongshan Procuratorate and was given a three-year sentence. However, due to her high blood pressure and systemic symptoms of jaundice, prison officials refused to take her. Ms. Zhang continued to practise the Falun Gong exercises outside for the next 6 years and had no problems with her health, even in extreme weather conditions.
Ms. Zhang has been arrested and persecuted many times because she practises Falun Gong. Officials from the Dalian Procuratorate have had her sentenced to forced labour twice over the past 13 years.
1. "Yuan" is the Chinese currency; 500 yuan is equal to the average monthly income of an urban worker in China.
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