(Minghui.org) Nine Falun Gong practitioners from Dengta City, Liaoning Province were recently sentenced to prison, and are being held at a local detention center.

Only two months earlier, the local Procuratorate had refused to issue indictments of the practitioners, citing insufficient evidence. However, the local Political and Legal Affairs Committee (PLAC) pressured the agency to reverse course and move forward with the prosecution.

The arrest of the nine practitioners took place on July 14, 2014, with both the Liaoyang City Police Department and the Dengta City Domestic Security Division taking part. Police officers broke into the practitioners' homes and confiscated many personal belongings.

Blood samples were taken from all nine practitioners on the day of their arrests, before they were transferred to local detention centers.

The Dengta City Procuratorate at first approved the arrest on August 13, but returned the case to the police department one month later due to insufficient evidence.

The police, however, refused to release the practitioners. Instead, the case was resubmitted without any additional evidence. According to an insider, the local PLAC drove this decision.

This time the Procuratorate caved in and issued indictments for the nine practitioners, who were subsequently tried at Liaoyang City Detention Center on December 23, 2014.

Guo Zhenju, Li Xuepin, Hong Xiuyan, and Zhang Xueyan each received six-and-a half year prison terms; Wang Qingzhong and Zhao Xiuyan each five years; Liu Xingbao, Xin Xiuqing, and Zhu Shuping received three to five years.

People responsible for the persecution:Guo Qingfeng, director of Dengta City Police Department, +86-419-8582901 (office), +86-13904190023 (cell)Zhang Qicheng, head of Dengta City National Security Division: +86-419-8181626 (office), +86-13604193459 (cell)Xu Guanglong, party secretary of the Procuratorate: +86-419-8582701 (office), +86-13841906666 (cell)

(for more names, please refer to the Chinese version)