Human rights organization Amnesty International has issued an “urgent action update” for a Falun Gong practitioner who is facing life imprisonment.
Chen Huixia, who is around 60 years old, was arrested under dubious conditions and is now facing three years to life in prison. A previous report from The Epoch Times says she was arrested for practicing Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa.
Falun Gong is a traditional meditation discipline that was practiced freely by tens of millions in China before former Chinese leader Jiang Zemin ordered the discipline suppressed in 1999. Jiang’s brutal persecution campaign against the practice involves forced labor, brainwashing, torture, and even death.
The Chinese regime is also harvesting and selling practitioners’ organs for a profit, according to researchers. A 680-page report from a Canadian human rights lawyer, a former Canadian parliamentarian, and an American investigative journalist released last summer suggested that as many as 60,000 to 100,000 practitioners may have been killed for their organs each year since 2000.
According to Amnesty’s urgent action, posted on Feb. 21, Chen’s family has been unable to visit her at the detention center she is being held at since June of last year.
Amnesty said her lawyer has requested a case file and claimed “that it had yet to verify Chen Huixia’s relationship with her daughter, who had hired the lawyer from abroad.”
Her lawyer also said that her condition is now stable—she was reportedly suffering health problems—and she’s no longer being subjected to torture or brainwashing to get her to renounce her belief.
But her family has “no further details, as the lawyer assumed their communications were being monitored and therefore only passed on limited information.”
Chen was first taken away by police in June 2016. In custody, she was subjected to extreme forms of torture, as is the norm for Falun Gong practitioners in detention centers and labor camps across China. She was strapped to an iron chair for a month at an unofficial detention center. Later, she was taken to the Shijiazhuang Municipal No. 2 Detention Centre in Hebei Province in July of last year.
Chen had no lawyer until November 2016, as many lawyers her family approached refused to take up the case because they believed the authorities would not allow it.