Liaoning Woman Imprisoned for Three Years for Attending Court Trial
(Minghui.org) Ms. Meng Xiu’e, a 68-year-old Falun Gong practitioner in Fushun City, Liaoning Province, was released from prison on October 14, 2019.
Ms. Meng was arrested on October 14, 2016, for planning to attend two other practitioners’ trial. She was sentenced to three years in Liaoning Women’s Prison, which she said was “like a living hell.”
Falun Gong, also known as a Falun Dafa, is a meditation system based on the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) began to suppress the practice in July 1999 and a large number of practitioners have been detained, imprisoned, and tortured since then.
Integrity and Kindness
Ms. Meng started practicing Falun Gong in 1995 and she strove to be a better person according to Falun Gong's principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. When working at Liaoning Power Plant Hospital before retirement, she was responsible for purchasing medicine and medical devices. In this potentially lucrative position considered by many people as a place for receiving kickbacks, Ms. Meng always turned down adulterated or low-quality products and refused any gray income.
The hospital offered Ms. Meng an opportunity to purchase a subsidized apartment for 2,000 yuan per square meter. At that time, the market price of such apartments was above 3,000 yuan per square meter. Upon hearing that one coworker, who didn't qualify for a subsidized apartment, badly needed an apartment but could not afford the market price, Ms. Meng transferred her opportunity to the coworker for free. Actions like this of Ms. Meng's earned her the respect of hospital officials.
Arrest and Detention
After learning that two elderly practitioners, Ms. He Lizhong and Ms. Zhao Jing, were scheduled for trial on October 14, 2016, Ms. Meng decided to attend. The trial was in a courtroom outside Nangou Detention Center.
Shortly after she got off the bus near the detention center, however, several plainclothes police officers surrounded Ms. Meng. One of them grabbed her handbag and took her to the Guchengzi Police Station.
After obtaining her ID and keys, Wei Zhenxing and several other officers from the Fushun Domestic Security Bureau took Ms. Meng to her apartment. They ransacked her home and confiscated her Falun Gong books, a computer, and a cache of over 9,000 yuan that was hidden in a piano. They sent her to Nangou Detention Center later that day.
Trial and Sentence
To frame Ms. Meng and charge her, the officers tortured her during interrogation. One one occasion, she was prohibited from sleeping for three consecutive days. Officer Wei also tried to deceive her and said, “If you sign the paperwork here, we will immediately buy you an air ticket to travel abroad [and meet your daughter overseas].” Wei also extorted 20,000 yuan from Ms. Meng's family.
During the trial at the Shuncheng Court on February 28, 2017, Attorney Yu Wensheng defended Ms. Meng and pleaded not guilty on her behalf. “My client did not violate any law or cause any harm to society,” said Yu, “All the charges against her are groundless.”
Although there was no evidence against Ms. Meng, court officials sentenced her to three years with a fine of 5,000 yuan. Her pension was also discontinued. Ms. Meng appealed her case, but the Fushun Intermediate Court upheld the primary verdict.
Torture in Prison
After being sent to Liaoning Women’s Prison on November 1, 2017, Ms. Meng was first kept in the Correction Division (often referred to as the "Demon Division" by inmates due to its brutality). The guards tried to force Ms. Meng to give up her belief; when she refused, she had to stand motionlessly for a long time without sleep.
From 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., Ms. Meng was forced to stand on a brick-sized tile with no access to food or toilet. An inmate brought her a little food during mealtime. “If you do not renounce Falun Gong, we will torture you to death,” threatened an inmate assigned to watch her. Whenever division officials came for their monthly inspection, inmates would urge Ms. Meng to give up her belief. “If you continue to stand here like this, you will die. Another one like you became paralyzed after standing here a long time,” said an inmate.
Because she remained firm in her faith, Ms. Meng was also deprived of sleep. The inmates would wake her up whenever she dozed off. Once, a guard held a fully charged electric baton and asked, “Will you stop practicing Falun Gong?” Seeing her not yielding, the cell head kicked Ms. Meng a few times and the guards later moved her to the First Division where inmates were forced to make uniforms.