A 72-year-old Chinese woman was sentenced to prison for handing out fliers about a form of meditation that’s being persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
According to a recent report published on Minghui.org, Luo Shuzi, of Liaoning Province, was sentenced to five years in a notorious prison, the Liaoning Women’s Prison, which is known for its human rights abuses.
She practices Falun Gong, a type of slow-moving, qigong-like meditation exercise that has been a target for elimination by the CCP in a nearly two-decades-long campaign. Practitioners are routinely arrested on trumped up charges, pressured, harassed, beaten, abused, tortured, and worse—for about a decade, reports have surfaced of practitioners being systematically slaughtered for their organs in state-run hospitals across the country. The organs are then used for secretive—and lucrative—transplant operations. Over the past 15 years, it is estimated that up to 100,000 of these clandestine transplants may have been performed each year.
Luo was arrested for putting up a poster and handing out pamphlets about Falun Gong, which is also called Falun Dafa. Police then searched her home and seized her books on the practice.
Luo, according to the Minghui report, has been subjected to persecution since 1999. She was taken multiple times to various police stations for interrogation, going as far as breaking into her home to arrest her.
She says that Falun Gong helped deal with her leukemia after she was diagnosed with the normally fatal form of cancer in 1994. After starting the practice, Luo says she recovered.
But now, the septuagenarian will be taken to Liaoning Women’s Prison—a massive prison complex that has subjected countless Falun Gong practitioners to torture. Many have died at the prison, according to a 2014 Minghui report. The even more notorious Masanjia Forced Labor Camp was turned into a new ward of the Liaoning prison, but, according to the report, “the same staff continued the same tactics in the same exact facility.”
Last month, human rights organization Freedom House released a lengthy report on the communist party’s maltreatment and persecution of Falun Gong. The CCP’s persecution—the degree of which is described as “very high” by the report—has failed to eliminate the practice. In 1999, former Chinese Communist Party leader Jiang Zemin ordered law enforcement at all levels to “eradicate” Falun Gong, and practitioners are harassed, fired from their jobs, sent to slave labor camps, and tortured in attempts to get them to renounce their faith. Even elderly practitioners aren’t spared from the abuse. He also created a Gestapo-like, extralegal secret police called the “610 Office” specifically to target Falun Gong.
While there are some signs the persecution is abating, daily reports pour in about practitioners being arrested and detained, seemingly for no reason.
“And on a daily basis, large numbers of judges, prosecutors, and police play an active role in the arrest, imprisonment, and torture of Chinese citizens who persist in their devotion to Falun Gong,” Freedom House said.