(Minghui.org) Falun Gong practitioner Ms. Yu Jingtao was sentenced to four-and-a-half years in prison on July 10, 2015 for the crime of “criticizing the leaders of the state and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).”

She was reported when putting up a sticker that read “CCP high officials Zhou Yongkang, Xu Caihou, and others were disgraced one after another” on October 6, 2014. The officials mentioned were also responsible for carrying out the Communist Party's violent campaign to eradicate Falun Gong in China.

Ms. Yu was tried on June 1, 2015, eight months after she was arrested and detained.

Show Trial

Ms. Yu argued that since the officials mentioned in the post are no longer state leaders, the charge of criticizing state and Party leaders is baseless.

The prosecutor continued attacking Falun Gong based on Party propaganda, but did not cite any laws to support his statements. The judge also interrupted the lawyer throughout his defense presentation.

Ms. Yu's lawyer asked that her handcuffs and the shackles be removed on the grounds that she was a suspect, not a criminal, before a verdict was announced. The judge denied his request.

The trial adjourned without a verdict. However, when the defendant's father called the court a month later on July 13, he was told that the verdict had been issued on July 10. The court claimed to have informed the defense lawyer, but the lawyer said that he had not received any notification of the verdict.

The defendant is preparing her appeal and hiring another lawyer.

Detained and Home Ransacked

Ms. Yu, 45, was reported for posting the sticker on October 6, 2014 by officers from the Rushan Commercial Street Police Station and Domestic Security Division. Police took her to the Rushan Detention Center without notifying her family.

Officers then ransacked her home and confiscated a mobile phone, a printer, a bicycle, and other personal belongings.

In 2006, Ms. Yu was sentenced to three years of forced labor for distributing informational materials about the persecution of Falun Gong. After she was released in 2009, local police harassed and followed her, and even cut off her electricity. To escape further persecution, she left her home in 2011 to work in Yantai City.