Daughter Calls for Immediate Release of Mother Imprisoned by the CCP Over Her Belief

By Sarah Lu
Sarah Lu
Sarah Lu
December 16, 2021 Updated: December 16, 2021

At noon, on Dec. 10, 2021, Gao Hongmei held a blue banner while standing across from the Chinese regime’s Consulate General in New York. She stood motionless, looking straight ahead, while thinking about her mother who has been in a Chinese prison for over a year for her spiritual beliefs.

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) arrested Gao’s mother for the fourth time in 20 years in May. Her mother, Hu Yulan, 76, had been under constant police surveillance before her arrest, Gao said. China’s widespread net of security cameras identified Hu handing out information fliers that describe the CCP’s ongoing persecution of Falun Gong practitioners.

Falun Gong is a peaceful spiritual practice first introduced in China, teaching followers to apply the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance in their daily lives. However, the CCP has attacked the practice since 1999, violating practitioners’ human rights through arrests and torture, and even causing deaths.

Human Rights Day falls on Dec. 10 and has ben observed globally since 1948 when the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) that “proclaims the inalienable rights that everyone is entitled to as a human being.”

Seventy-three years have passed since the establishment of Human Rights Day, but in communist China, persecution of religious believers has been happening across the country, targeting all religious groups, including Tibetans, Uyghurs, Christians, and Falun Gong practitioners.

“The police said to my mom, ‘you know very clearly [the reason for your arrest is] that you believe in Falun Gong,’” Gao said. Her mother’s retirement pension has been suspended, according to Gao. CCP courts sentenced Hu to 5 years in prison in August 2020.

For over a year after her mother’s latest arrest, Gao hasn’t been able to speak with her. She has previously tried to get her mother out of China, but was unsuccessful because the regime would not issue her mother a passport.

“My mother is now 76 years old. How is she now in prison?” Gao’s eyes filled with tears as she spoke with The Epoch Times. But she wiped her eyes and resolutely stood with a banner, emblazoned with the words “Release Falun Gong Practitioner Hu Yulan ASAP,” and allowed reporters to take her picture.

She hoped the words on the banner would be seen in China.

Gao said that her mother is being held in Changchun Women’s Prison in Jilin Province. The Chinese regime sentenced her to five years of imprisonment last year, alleging that she “undermined law enforcement.”

“How can an elderly lady giving out pamphlets of truth undermine law enforcement?” Gao asked.

She said the prison authorities did not allow her mom to answer her call when she phoned the prison. Her relatives in China can only visit her mom once a month under the watch of prison guards, according to Gao.

She was worried about her mother’s physical condition, as the prison authorities have been pressuring her to denounce her beliefs.

Gao has reason to worry about her mother’s wellbeing in the prison. According to reports on Minghui.com, an information website of Falun Dafa adherents, Changchun women’s prison is notorious for using brutal tortures to force the incarcerated Falun Gong practitioners to give up their beliefs.

Epoch Times Photo
Falun Gong practitioners’ hands are handcuffed behind their backs with one hand crossed over a shoulder. (Minghui.org)

“Falun Gong teaches people to be good, so how can someone give up a belief that teaches people to be good? Doesn’t the Chinese regime force people to be bad people?” Gao said.

In Gao’s eyes, Hu has always been a good mother, a good wife in the home, and became an even better person through practicing Falun Gong.

The CCP began its persecution of Falun Gong in July 1999 out of fear of Falun Gong’s rapid rise in popularity. To this day, it arrests Falun Gong practitioners across the country and tortures them to make them denounce their beliefs.

At the same time, to turn Chinese people against Falun Gong, the CCP has used all of its state apparatuses to smear and suppress the practice. One day, Gao and her family saw a video of her mom being taken by police on one of the regime’s TV programs.

“My mother said that Falun Gong tells people how to be good, but many people don’t know Falun Gong has been framed by the regime,” Gao said. “So she wanted to hand out pamphlets containing [factual] information about Falun Gong,” Gao said.

She said that during the past 20 years, her mother has been detained four times and was kept in a labor camp for one year. When her mother was arrested in 2018, her father passed away not long after. “One day he fell down from heatstroke and broke his leg, but there was no one to take care of him … my dad passed away in 2019,” Gao said.

She said her mother’s imprisonment meant there was no one there to take care of her father in his final days.

Daniel Holl and Sophia Lam contributed to the article.

Sarah Lu