(Minghui.org) Five Suining City residents were secretly tried and sentenced to prison on December 22, 2016 for practicing Falun Gong. Their families were not notified. The trial was held in Chuanshan District Court without the presence of a defense attorney.

The five practitioners were charged with “using a cult organization to undermine law enforcement,” a generic charge used by the Chinese Communist Party to imprison Falun Gong practitioners.

Falun Gong books and printed truth-clarification materials taken from the practitioners' homes were used as evidence.

Ms. Fang Zhengrong, 66, was sentenced to seven years in prison and fined 4,000 yuan. Mr. Zhang Zhonghua, 64, was sentenced to three years in prison and fined 3,000 yuan. His wife Ms. Chen Guanglan, 63, was sentenced to three years and six months in prison and fined 3,500 yuan. Mr. Yang Zelin, 65, was sentenced to two years in prison and fined 2,000 yuan. Ms. Deng Zhongqun, 51, was sentenced to two years in prison and fined 2,500 yuan.

Ms. Chen, Mr. Yang, and Ms. Deng were each given a one-year probation earlier this year, and these terms had just ended. They were then given the above sentences.

Ms. Fang and Mr. Zhang were initially tried on October 14, 2016. Ms. Fang's attorney pleaded not guilty on her behalf. The court did not reach a verdict in that trial.

The five practitioners were arrested a year ago on December 22 and 24, 2015.

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