(Minghui.org) A woman sentenced for her faith recently filed a motion to have her case reconsidered after the local appeals court ruled to sustain her conviction without holding a required hearing.

Ms. Wen Ying was arrested on June 28, 2016, for refusing to renounce Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline being persecuted by the Chinese communist regime. One hundred more Falun Gong practitioners across Liaoning Province were also arrested that day during a large-scale police operation.

The Dalian City resident was tried on February 22, 2017. She was sentenced to seven years in prison and fined 10,000 yuan on March 31.

The lawyer who filed her appeal noticed that the electronic record of the police interrogation and court proceedings (including video recordings) were missing from her case file. He requested a public hearing, but judge Yin Chuanmao with the Dalian City Intermediate Court refused to allow it and ruled on August 16 that the original sentence was to be upheld.

Ms. Wen is determined to fight for her constitutional right to freedom of belief, as no law in China deems practicing Falun Gong a crime. She hired a new lawyer to file a motion to reconsider the case.

The new lawyer argued in the motion that both the trial court and the appeals court had no legal reason convict his client.

Ms. Wen was charged with violating Article 300 of the Criminal Law, which stipulates that those using a cult organization to undermine enforcement of the law should be prosecuted to the fullest extent possible.

Since the People’s Congress (China’s legislative body) has never enacted a law deeming Falun Gong a “cult,” former Chinese dictator Jiang Zemin directed the Supreme People’s Court and the Supreme People’s Procuratorate to issue a statutory interpretation of Article 300 in November 1999, which required that anyone practicing or promoting Falun Gong be prosecuted to the fullest extent possible.

A new statutory interpretation that replaced the 1999 version took effect on February 1, 2017. The new interpretation made no mention of Falun Gong and emphasized that any indictment against anyone engaging in a cult must be based on solid legal grounds. Since no law in China labels Falun Gong a cult, the indictment against Ms. Wen was without merit.

The lawyer requested that Ms. Wen be cleared of all charges and released.

Related Reports:

Woman Appeals Prison Sentence, Key Information Missing from Her Case File

Ms. Wen Ying Facing Prosecution for Her Belief

Liaoning Province: 101 Arrested in One Day