(Minghui.org) Six Falun Gong practitioners from Wusu City, Xinjiang Autonomous Region, were illegally sentenced to prison in late March. They were tried on February 26 in the Wusu City Court, charged with “sabotaging the implementation of state laws,” a specious charge routinely used against Falun Gong practitioners.

The practitioners' families hired four attorneys from Beijing to defend them. The attorneys pled not guilty on their clients’ behalf and pointed out that the charge has no legal grounds. The practitioners also defended themselves and stated that it was not a crime to practice Falun Gong or to follow the principles of Falun Gong that teach people to be a good.

All the practitioners are local farmers who were arrested between March 20 and July 22, 2015.

Mr. Zhang Mengsheng, in his 60s, was sentenced to six years imprisonment; Mr. Feng Zhengjian to five years; Mr. Li Hongfu, 70, to four and half years; Ms. Xiao Naixiang, in her 60s, to four years; Ms. Li Fengli, to two years; Ms. Zhang Guiying, in her 60s, to a year and a half.

Ms. Li Fengli and several other practitioners have already appealed their sentences to the Tacheng Regional Intermediate Court.

Ms. Xiao Naixiang was arrested on March 26, 2015, and detained in the Wusu City Domestic Security Team’s station. The officers interrogated her nonstop for 13 days and used torture to attempt to force a false confession. They did not let her sleep, drink, or eat as they beat and swore at her. During those 13 days, Ms. Xiao slept less than an hour in the interrogation room chair. The police falsified the record, saying that she was interrogated in the Wusu City Detention Center.

Ms. Li Fengli was arrested the same day and taken to the same place. She was interrogated for eight days. The record was altered in her case, too, again claiming that she had been interrogated in the Wusu City Detention Center. She was then taken to the Dushanzi District Detention Center in Kelamayi City.