(Minghui.org) Falun Gong practitioner Ms. Liu Xiangju, from Xinliuzuo Village, Gaoyang County, Baoding City, Hebei Province, was arrested on August 3, 2016, for clarifying the truth about Falun Gong to people. She was sentenced to a 20-month prison sentence in the Gaoyang County Court on April 5, 2017. She has been held at the Shijiazhuang City Women’s Prison since June 2, 2017. Her family has not been allowed to visit her during the five months she has been held there.

Ms. Liu Xiangju, her sister Liu Xiangling, Mr. Li Jinying, and Mr. Feng Zhiyong went to east Gaoyang County town center to post and hand out Falun Gong flyers on the evening of August 3, 2016. They were reported to Xiaowangguozhuang Police Station and Chengguan Police Station. Police officers stopped the practitioners and arrested them.

The practitioners were first tried by the Gaoyang County Court on the morning of December 13, 2016. Ms. Liu pled not-guilty and stated that Falun Gong was very beneficial. She explained how the practice made her a healthier and better person.

Her attorney emphasized the legality of practicing Falun Gong, and that talking to the public about Falun Gong is in accordance with China's laws. He asked the court to release Ms. Liu. The court officials allowed the attorney to finish his arguments and did not refute anything he said. However, the court didn't reach a verdict during the first trial.

Ms. Liu and other three practitioners were re-tried on April 5, 2017, in the Gaoyang County Court. Ms. Liu and her sister were illegally sentenced to 20 months in prison. Mr. Li Jinying was sentenced to a two-year prison sentence. Mr. Feng Zhiyong was sentenced to 18 months followed by two years of probation. The court didn't notify Ms. Liu’s family about the second trial date, which violated their legal rights.

Ms. Liu’s family was notified by Shijiazhuang City Women’s Prison on June 2 that Ms. Liu was incarcerated at the prison. They went there but were refused entry to visit Ms. Liu with the excuse that prisoners can't have visitors during their first two months of imprisonment.

Two months later, the family revisited the prison but were still not allowed to see Ms. Liu. Oddly, the other two practitioners who were also imprisoned there were allowed family visits.

It has been over five months since Ms. Liu was sent to the prison and her family is still not allowed to visit her. They are extremely anxious and worry that Ms. Liu may have been tortured, or even worse, inside the prison.

Background Information

Ms. Liu Xiangju had a tumor in her belly for 20 years. She also had neurological headaches and appendicitis for a long time. Ms. Liu suffered from her illnesses for many years. She started practicing Falun Gong in 1999 and followed the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance to be a good person. Gradually all of her illnesses disappeared. She is very kind to the neighbors and villagers, and many people have praised her virtue.

Related articles:4 Practitioners in Hebei Province Sentenced to PrisonFive Falun Gong Practitioners Still Held in Shenyang No. 1 Detention Center