(Minghui.org) Six Falun Gong practitioners from Huludao were tried on September 21, 2015, and given prison terms ranging from 15 months to six years few days later.

The six were charged with “undermining law enforcement using a cult organization,” which is often used as an umbrella charge against anyone who practices Falun Gong in China.

The trial was held in the Lianshan District Court on September 21, without issuing a public notice of the trial three days prior, as required by the law. Only two family members of each practitioner were allowed in the court room.

During the trial, four defense lawyers argued that the evidence presented by prosecution, which includes Falun Gong books and materials confiscated from the practitioners homes, only prove that the defendants were believers of Falun Gong. Since the Chinese Constitution guarantees freedom of religious belief, the evidence does not point to a crime.

The lawyers also submitted the practitioners' criminal complaints against former Chinese president Jiang Zemin to the court. They argued that Jiang was directly responsible for launching the violent suppression of Falun Gong, which is illegal under existing Chinese law.

The practitioners asked that the charges be dropped and that they be released unconditionally.

The trial adjourned at 4 p.m. without a verdict.

The practitioners were given their sentences on September 25.

Ms. Zhu Yun was sentenced to six years to prison; Ms. Wang Yingzi to four-and-a-half years; Ms. Xing Jiaqiu to three-and-a-half years; Ms. Zhang Xiuying to three years; Ms. Gu Fengli to one-and-a-half years; and Mr. Gao Zuokui to 15 months.

Authorities Fish for Evidence

Falun Gong practitioner Ms. Wang Yingzi, Ms. Gu Fengli, Mr. Gao Zuokui, Ms. Zhang Xiuying, Mr. Xing Jiaqiu and Ms. Zhu Yun were arrested separately on July 24, 2014 in Huludao City, Liaoning Province.

They had been detained at the Huludao Detention Center since their arrests. Although their cases were returned to the police for further investigation several times, authorities insisted on bringing charges against them.

Families Placed Under Tremendous Stress

The families of the practitioners have been under tremendous stress. Ms. Gu Fengli's husband passed away while she was in detention.

After Mr. Xing Jiaqiu and his wife Ms. Zhang Xuying's were arrested, their elderly parents and child were placed in financial jeopardy.

Participants in the persecution of the six practitioners:Li Qingyang (李清艳), prosecutorLi Fushan (李福山), chief judge: +86-429-2164525 (office), +86-15642963172 (cell)Kang Cuiping (康翠平), judge: +86-429-2164505 (office),+86-429-2164517 (office), +86-15642963175 (cell)