Heavy Prison Sentences for Falun Gong Practitioners Show Sharp Upward Trend
(Minghui.org) The 14-year-long brutal persecution of Falun Gong by the Chinese Communist Party is completely illegal. Simply for practicing their faith, countless families have been destroyed as their loved ones suffered imprisonment, torture, and death. The deaths of at least 3644 Falun Gong practitioners have been verified on the Minghui website, and this is only the tip of the iceberg. Investigations into organ harvesting crimes in China estimate that as many as 60,000 Falun Gong practitioners have been killed for their organs.
The Practice Has Been Persecuted Since 1999
In the early days after the persecution started, the CCP illegally arrested Falun Gong practitioners and sent them to forced labor camps, where they tried to force them to give up their belief by using torture and brainwashing.
The Minghui website has published a total of 8,109 reports, commentaries, and periodicals documenting and discussing the brutal persecution suffered by Falun Gong practitioners in Masanjia Forced Labor Camp alone.
Chinese Fed up with Forced Labor Camps
Recently, on the evening of April 7, 2013, major Chinese news portals including 163.com, Sohu.com, and QQ.com prominently featured a lengthy report titled “Masanjia Forced Labor Camp in Liaoning Province: Tiger Bench, Death Bed, Electric Shock, Pregnant Women Forced to Do Heavy Labor.”
This report has provided powerful evidence and corroborates the numerous reports exposing the horrific crimes taking place in Masanjia Forced Labor Camp that the Minghui website has published over the last almost 14 years.
Practitioners Moved from Forced Labor Camps to Prisons, Longer Sentences
The illegal activities and human rights violations taking place inside Chinese forced labor camps has been widely condemned both inside and outside of China in recent years.
With so much attention being placed on the forced labor system, the communist regime had to change its tactics. It never stopped persecuting Falun Gong, but instead began transferring practitioners from forced labor camps to prisons. And now, and more and more practitioners are being handed longer and longer prison sentences.
And all of this occurs in an environment where not a single law exists that outlaws Falun Gong. Practitioners have broken no laws, yet are sentenced to lengthy prison sentences in sham trials held by corrupt CCP authorities all across the country.
There has been a noticeable increase recently in the number of reports published on the Minghui website about these longer sentences.
From January 1 to April 7, 2013, Minghui received reports of 90 practitioners being sentenced to prison compared to 45 reports received during the same period last year. There are also 115 cases that have already been brought to trial or that the regime is working on.
The way things typically work is this:
The outcome of a case involving a Falun Gong practitioner is usually first determined by the local Political and Legal Affairs Committee (which is a powerful branch of the Party with offices in every jurisdiction and at every political level in the country) and the 610 Office.
Then, after these Party officials have already decided the outcome, the case is run through the court system as a mere formality. Some trials and sentences are even conducted in complete secrecy.
--- For example, Falun Gong practitioners Ms. Fu Guiying and Ms. Deng Liangcun from Linyi, Shandong Province, were arrested on June 6, 2012. They were secretly put on trial during the Mid-Autumn Festival, and over the “National Day” holiday. No defense lawyers were allowed in the courtroom. Ms. Fu was sentenced to 9 years in prison, and Ms. Deng to 7.
--- Mr. Ma Xiongde and Ms. Zheng Fengying, a couple from Ningxia, were followed and arrested on September 1, 2012. They were taken to Wuzhong City Detention Center and tried in secrecy at the end of 2012. Mr. Ma was sentenced to 7 1/2 years in prison and his wife to 7 years.
--- Mr. Hua Lianyou and his wife, Ms. Tian Zongli, from Tianjin were arrested on April 24, 2012. Beichen Court tried Mr. Hua on September 11 in the detention center clinic. Mr. Hua had been on a hunger strike for five months. His family did not receive any notice of court proceedings until October 9, when they were told that Mr. Hua had already been sentenced to 7 years in prison.
--- Coordinated by the Political and Legal Affairs Committee, more than 100 Falun Gong practitioners in 15 cities in Hebei, Liaoning, and Shandong Provinces were arrested on the same day, February 25, 2012, and many of them were given heavy sentences.
--- Mr. Zheng Xiangxing, an honest businessman from Tanghai County, Tangshan City, Hebei Province, was reduced to just skin and bones as a result of persecution. Near death, he was sent to Ankang Hospital (a drug rehabilitation center) for treatment on April 6, 2012. On May 29, Tanghai County Court put him on trial and sentenced him to 10 years in prison on July 26. He was transferred to Baoding Prison on August 8.
--- Ms. Bian Lichao, an excellent high school teacher from Kailuan No. 10 High School in Tangshan, was sentenced to 12 years in prison. During this mass arrest, Li Yushu was sentenced to 10 years in prison; Gu Youwen to 7 years; Yang Guoguang, 4 1/2 years; He Suying, 4 years; Wang Xiwen, 4 years; Jia Yuanfeng, 3 years; Zhang Weizhong, 2 years; Ling Yun, 3 years; Xujie Zhang, 7 years; Ming Feng, 3 years; Zhang Guizhi, 4 years; and Deng Xiuyan, 4 1/2 years. Their families were not notified.
The authorities are fabricating charges against an increasing number of arrested Falun Gong practitioners to justify their heavy sentences.
--- On September 27, 2012, Ms. Yang Lirong from Chifeng, Inner Mongolia, was sentenced to 8 years of prison; her mother, Li Yuzhi, was given 3 years. They were both taken to Inner Mongolia Women's Prison.
--- In late March 2012, Ms. Wang Zhenxiu from Zibo, Shandong Province, was sentenced to 7 years in prison. Her family inquired about the judgment many times, but were turned away each time. It was not until April 1 that they finally learned that Ms. Wang had been sentenced to 7 years. When her family went to the courthouse for a copy of the judgment, the judge refused to provide one.
--- On March 10, 2013, Yuanbaoshan District Court in Chifeng, Inner Mongolia, sentenced Mr. Jia Guanglin from Jianchangying Village in the Yuanbaoshan District to 3 1/2 years in prison, without notifying his family. By the time his family received the judgment, the appeal period had expired.
--- On January 4, 2013, five practitioners--Li Wenbin, Shenxie Hedai, Yang Jiuhe, Cai Shuilan, and Jiang Miao--were all sentenced to prison: Li Wenbin was given 6 years; Shenxie Hedai, 4 years; Yang Jiuhe, 4 years; Cai Shuilan, 3 years; and Jiang Miao, 3 years.
--- Ms. Zhou Huijuan, 50, and her younger brother, Zhou Chenghao, 43, were arrested on September 12, 2012. They were sentenced to prison on March 6, 2013, by Pudong New District Court, Shanghai. Mr. Zhou Chenghao was given 4 years and Ms. Zhou Huijuan, 3 1/2 years.
And the list goes on and on.
The CCP preaches “rule of law” but in fact completely disregards the law in its treatment of tens of millions of Falun Gong practitioners, even as it lies to and deceives the international community.
In fact, some judges in China have openly stated, “We don't follow any laws in dealing with Falun Gong.”
China's communist regime has committed innumerable atrocities in its persecution of Falun Gong. Practitioners both inside and outside of China will continue raising awareness and clarifying the facts about the brutal persecution to bring it to an end. We shall thoroughly investigate and bring all perpetrators to justice