(Minghui.org) Four residents of Wuhan City, Hubei Province, were sentenced to prison for distributing materials exposing the Chinese communist regime’s persecution of Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline based on the Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.

Ms. Chen Huan, Ms. Zhou Hongyan, Ms. Huang Haiying, and Ms. Wang Yini were arrested on November 6, 2016. They appeared together in court on August 22, 2017. The judge adjourned the hearing without issuing a verdict.

The Hongshan District Court divided the women's case into two parts when it ordered them to appear in court again. Two back-to-back hearings were held on September 5, with a new judge assigned to each. The same prosecutor appeared at both hearings, but he failed to present any of the evidence he alleged the four practitioners had used to “commit crimes.”

An unidentified man in his 50s sat next to the prosecutor during all three hearings. He never said anything, and the judges and the prosecutor never explained who he was. By law, those not involved in the case are not supposed to sit at the prosecutor’s desk.

Ms. Chen was later sentenced to five years in prison, Ms. Zhou and Ms. Huang to three and half years each, and Ms. Wang to two years.

They are all appealing their sentences while being held in Wuhan City First Detention Center.