Prosecuted Twice for the Same Charges, Liaoning Professor Incarcerated for a Decade for Her Belief (Part 1 of 5)
(Minghui.org) It was early fall 2019. The morning air was crisp in the suburb of Shenyang, capital of Liaoning Province in northeastern China. A few small groups had gathered and were waiting outside of Liaoning Women’s Prison.
The heavy metal gate cracked open and a woman’s frail figure appeared. Supporting a bandaged arm with her other hand, she paused to look at each group before locking eyes with a similar-aged man—her husband.
This woman was Ms. Liu Ronghua, a 56-year-old former associate professor from Dalian, another city in the same province. She had been incarcerated since 2009 and tortured relentlessly for her belief in Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, the core principle of a spiritual practice of the Buddha School called Falun Dafa.
A decade spent in the Chinese communist regime’s correctional facilities left her with more gray in her hair and deeper lines on her face, but more conviction in her eyes.
Ms. Liu was an associate professor at the Dalian Ocean University before she was targeted for her belief when the Chinese Communist Party ordered the persecution of Falun Dafa in 1999. She was put through forced labor at the notorious Masanjia Forced Labor Camp from 2001 to 2002 but never gave in. Ms. Liu was fired from her teaching job. Her ex-husband gave in to pressure from the authorities and divorced her.
Ms. Liu was arrested again in 2009 for her faith and was given two years of forced labor at Masanjia. Just as her family was excitedly counting down the days to her release in September 2011, they were shocked to find out that Ms. Liu had been taken out of Masanjia a few days prior and was facing trial. Despite the family’s protest, petition, and effort to hire defense lawyers, Ms. Liu was sentenced to 10 years of imprisonment for the same charge that had no legal basis.
Ms. Liu’s unfaltering faith, her higher-education background, and her influence among other Falun Dafa practitioners made her stand out to the authorities. They considered her the “tough cookie” and subjected her to more intense brainwashing and torture in Masanjia and Liaoning Women’s Prison.
After a nightmare of a decade, Ms. Liu was reunited with her family on September 22, 2019.
Starting to Practice Falun Dafa
Ms. Liu received a Master’s degree in Educational Theory and Practice from the Math Department of Liaoning Normal University in 1992, the highest achievable degree in the field in China at the time. After graduating, she became an associate professor at the Dalian Ocean University (formerly Dalian Fisheries College). She earned many awards and her papers were published in China Encyclopedia, a prestigious periodical in the educational field.
Ms. Liu’s mother, who had regained her health after taking up Falun Dafa, introduced the practice to her daughter in 1996. Ms. Liu was touched by the profound principles taught in Zhuan Falun, the main book of Falun Dafa, and began to cultivate herself by these principles.
When she did the Falun Dafa exercises for the first time in the summer of 1998, Ms. Liu felt the rotation of the Falun (law wheel) between her arms and between her eyebrows. After practicing for a while, the migraine that she had suffered from since she was a teen was gone, along with other health problems such as low blood pressure and dizziness. Her body was purified and felt light. She held herself to the standard of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance in everything she did and became a more pleasant person, which greatly benefited her family relations.
Ms. Liu also taught her young son to live by the same principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. The then-preschooler came home one day and told Ms. Liu that a classmate had hit him. Ms. Liu asked, “Did it hurt? Did you hit him back?” Her son said, “I don’t hit back when hit or curse back when cursed. Only when I value my morals can my energy increase.”
As a professor, Ms. Liu was hardworking and a great asset to the university. Her dean once said, “Her lectures are the best in our school.”
However, for hundreds of thousands of followers of Falun Dafa in China, things changed overnight when the communist regime launched its persecution of Falun Dafa in July 1999.
Sent to Forced Labor Camp for Speaking the Truth
While in the middle of a lecture on April 25, 2001, Ms. Liu was made to stop and meet with Officer Lin Hai and others from the Dalian City Heishijiao Police Station. When asked what she thought of the Tiananmen self-immolation incident (one of the major pieces of propaganda the communist regime fabricated to demonize Falun Dafa), Ms. Liu answered, “A true cultivator who follows the requirements of Falun Dafa will never self-immolate.”
However, the truth was not what the police was looking for. Ms. Liu was arrested on the spot. Although she refused to sign the detention paperwork, the university administration completed the paperwork with the school’s official stamp and sent Ms. Liu to criminal detention. Ms. Liu’s husband was on business travel at the time, and their five-year-old son had nobody to look after him.
Ms. Liu was held at the Yaojia Detention Center for two months before she was given one year of forced labor. She was taken to the notorious Masanjia Forced Labor Camp in June 2001. On the way there, Ms. Liu witnessed another practitioner getting caught when trying to escape. Lin Hai and other officers pushed that practitioner to the ground and stepped on the practitioner’s head.
Failed Attempts to “Transform” Ms. Liu
As soon as she arrived, Ms. Liu made it straight to camp director Su Jin’s list as one of the top targets for “transformation.” First they took away all the cash she had on her. Then a few former practitioners who were successfully “transformed,” meaning they had renounced Falun Dafa, were assigned to monitor Ms. Liu around the clock. From getting up at 5 a.m. until midnight, Ms. Liu was forced to sit on a small stool and listen to her former “fellow practitioners” repeat the communist regime’s lies slandering Falun Dafa.
Seeing that Ms. Liu was unyielding after a few weeks of intensive brainwashing, Director Su invited an expert in transforming Falun Dafa practitioners from a different province to join the effort, which also failed. The labor camp authorities then collaborated with a person named Niu Hong from the Ministry of Aerospace Industry to try to transform Ms. Liu.
When nothing worked to change Ms. Liu’s mind, the labor camp authorities put her in solitary confinement, one of the many brainwashing and torture methods used at Masanjia to make practitioners renounce their belief.
(To be continued.)