70-Year-Old Beijing Woman Sentenced to 3.5 Years for Shouting “Falun Dafa is Good” at Tiananmen Square
(Minghui.org) A Beijing resident was sentenced to 3.5 years in prison for her faith in Falun Gong.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a mind-body discipline based on the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. It has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.
Ms. He Wen, 70, was arrested for shouting “Falun Dafa is good and Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good” at Tiananmen Square on July 12, 2018. The police ransacked her home and confiscated her Falun Gong books and related materials.
Although she was released on bail six days later, the police arranged for several people to stay outside of her apartment building and followed her wherever she went.
The prosecutor later charged her with “undermining law enforcement with a cult organization,” a standard pretext used by the authorities to frame Falun Gong practitioners.
Ms. He appeared in Dongcheng District Court on August 30, 2019. Her lawyer entered a not guilty plea for her and argued that her practicing Falun Gong didn’t cause harm to anyone, much less undermining law enforcement. He demanded Ms. He's acquittal.
Ms. He also testified in her own defense and said that she didn’t violate any law in upholding her faith. The judge frequently interrupted her testimony.
The judge announced the verdict against Ms. He on November 25, 2019. She is still detained at Dongcheng District Detention Center at the time of writing.
Ms. He began to practice Falun Gong in 1995. She credits the practice for curing her high blood pressure, asthma, and lumbar disc herniation.
Because of not renouncing her faith with the onset of the persecution, however, she was repeatedly arrested and harassed. She was given three forced labor terms in 2000, 2002 and 2009, respectively, for a total of seven years.
The labor camp guards subjected her to various forms of abuse, including beating, being restrained to a bed in a spread eagle position, force-feeding, and being made to sit on a small stool with her hands on her knees and two legs close together for more than 20 hours every day without moving.