Sichuan Woman Remains Detained During Mid-Autumn Festival for Distributing Flyers
The Mid-Autumn Festival on September 10, 2022, was meant to be a time of reunion and family, but it was the opposite for Ms. Wang Minghui’s family. While other families enjoyed time together, Ms. Wang’s loved ones worried and lamented in her absence. For the past two years, her husband and sons have been barred from seeing her after Chinese police arrested Wang for distributing flyers that contained information about Falun Gong and the CCP’s persecution of its adherents.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.
Ms. Wang (44) is a small business owner in Yaan City, Sichuan Province. She owns a quaint family restaurant with her husband and they have two sons who are both seniors in high school. On August 29, 2020, Wang was arrested at 10 p.m. while walking on the street. Afterwards, more than ten officers proceeded to raid her home and confiscated her Falun Gong books, photo of Falun Gong’s founder, and phone.
Ms. Wang’s husband was summoned by the police on September 18, 2020, to sign her arrest approval notice. The Tianquan County Detention Center also told him to open a commissary account for her at the detention center so that she could buy daily necessities.
The police interrogated Ms. Wang several times in the detention center and attempted to force her to plead guilty for distributing Falun Gong informational materials. She refused to comply under duress each time they attempted, though. Even Lan Kaichi, the Party secretary of Yaan City, came to interrogate her himself, indicating how Falun Gong is a priority for CCP officials.
The Mingshan District Court held the first hearing for her in January 2021 and the second on July 16, 2021. Ms. Wang was represented by court-appointed lawyers, who were instructed to plead “guilty” on her behalf.
Ms. Wang was sentenced to 7 years, 4 months and fined 10,000 yuan (or $1,430 USD) on September 26, 2021. She appealed with the Yaan City Intermediate Court. While the higher court never announced its decision regarding her appeal, she was still taken to the Sichuan Province Women’s Prison on June 15, 2022, to serve time.