(Minghui.org) Mr. Zhu Zhiyong was illegally sentenced to five years of imprisonment for his belief in Falun Gong in December 2014 by the Lulong County Court in Qinhuangdao City, Hebei Province. The trial was conducted secretly, and nothing about it was known until two months later. His attorney requested to visit him but was denied and told “The appeal period has expired.”

Mr. Zhu is now being held in the Lulong County Detention Center. His condition is unknown, as no one is allowed to visit him, not even his attorney.

Mr. Zhu is an orphan, and lives in Sige Village, Yinzhuang Township, Lulong County of Qinhuangdao City. He accompanied practitioner Ms. Ma Fengzhen to visit her husband Mr. Liu Mi at the Lulong County Detention Center on April 8, 2014. During the visit Bai Jie, head of the Lulong County Domestic Security Division arrested him and sent him to the detention center without any legal proceedings.

Ms. Ma requested to visit Mr. Zhu multiple times afterwards, but all her requests were denied. The detention center officials told her that no one was allowed to visit him unless they were his immediate family.

The Lulong County Court secretly sentenced Mr. Zhu in late December 2014. The trial and verdict were not known until February 6, 2015 when Ms. Ma requested to visit him. She was told by the head of the detention center, Bai, that Mr. Zhu was sentenced to five years of imprisonment, and her request was denied again.

Ms. Ma went to the Lulong County Legal Assistance Centre and asked for help from Dong Junxue, Mr. Zhu’s attorney designated by the authorities. Dong said, “Although Mr. Zhu’s case was assigned to me, the court has already conducted the trial and made the final verdict. I cannot do anything. You have to get help elsewhere.”

Ms. Ma then went to law firms for help. However, no one dared to take the case when they were told it concerned Falun Gong. The fourth lawyer Ms. Ma approached agreed to defend Mr. Zhu.

The lawyer went to the detention center and requested to visit Mr. Zhu. However, officers denied his request and told him that, “The appeal period has expired.”

Mr. Zhu was repeatedly persecuted prior to this by the communist regime. He was sentenced to one year in prison in 2008, and two years of forced labor in 2010. During both imprisonments he was severely tortured.