Seven Luzhou City Residents Sentenced to Prison for Their Faith in 2017
(Minghui.org) Seven practitioners of Falun Gong in Luzhou City were sentenced to prison for their faith in 2017. Their sentences range from two to five and a half years.
Six of these practitioners had been sentenced to prison before, and four were tortured in forced labor camps twice before their latest sentence. All but one have been transferred to prison facilities.
Falun Gong is a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted in China since 1999.
1. Ms. Zhang Lihui, in her fifties, was arrested on August 7, 2016, for telling a student about the persecution of Falun Gong. She was detained in the Naxi District Detention Center, and her arrest was made official 12 days later. She was tried in the Naxi District Court in 2017 and sentenced to a four-year prison term. Ms. Zhang has filed an appeal. She was transferred to prison in August 2017.
2. Four police officers broke into Ms. Liu Yunfang’s home on July 19, 2017, and arrested her. They tore down all her Falun Gong posters and photos. She has since been tried and sentenced to prison, but the prison authorities have refused to take her because of her dangerously high blood pressure. She is being held in a detention center.
3. Ms. Feng Deqiong was first seized in 2015 for refusing to renounce Falun Gong. The local police released her on bail, then re-arrested her on February 29, 2016, after she moved to live with her daughter and “violated the conditions of her bail.”
She was tried by the Lu County Court on April 1, 2017, and sentenced to two years in prison. She filed an appeal, but the Luzhou Intermediate Court upheld the original sentence on November 1, 2017. She’s been transferred to a prison.
4. Ms. Tang Tianmin, 62, went missing on April 10, 2017. Her family later learned that the police had arrested and detained her for telling people about the persecution. Her family couldn’t get any information about her from the authorities until after she was sentenced to a five-year prison term. She was transferred to a prison facility in October.
In the past, Ms. Tang had been held in forced labor camps twice for a total of three and half years, and in prison for three years. She almost died in prison due to the relentless torture.
5. The police arrested Ms. Liang Wende on December 25, 2015. She was detained for over six months before her trial on July 11, 2016. The Jiangyang District Court judge sentenced her to five and half years on December 13. She filed an appeal and the Luzhou Intermediate Court upheld the original sentence. She was transferred to Chengdu Women’s Prison in May 2017.
6. Ms. Luo Shuizhen, 62, was arrested and detained on March 17, 2016, for distributing Falun Gong literature. After being illegally detained for almost six months, the Jiangyang District Court tried Ms. Luo inside Naxi Detention Center. The judge wouldn’t allow Ms. Luo’s lawyer to enter the detention center with a computer, so Ms. Luo was tried without legal representation. The trial only lasted 30 minutes, and Ms. Luo was sentenced to a four-year prison term on March 29, 2017.
Ms. Luo filed an appeal, and the Luzhou Intermediate Court held a secret trial on August 5, 2017. None of Ms. Luo’s relatives or civilians were allowed to attend the trial, which took place inside the detention center. The intermediate court upheld the original sentence and Ms. Luo was taken to Chengdu Women’s Prison on September 20. She was wrongfully imprisoned for a total of ten years prior to this sentence.
7. A local official in Lozhou sized Ms. Zhang Guangxian on January 26, 2016, after she handed him a Falun Gong DVD. Ms. Zhang was later arrested and detained until she was tried on June 7. She was first sentenced to a one-year term, but the sentence was later changed to three years. Ms. Zhang appealed. Details on her appeal weren’t available. Ms. Zhang has been transferred to a prison.
Another local practitioner, Ms. Ding Guoqin, has been detained for over three months since September 2017. The police ordered some of the produce she was selling to trick her into going to the police station, where she was arrested.
The police so far haven’t told Ms. Ding’s family why she was detained, nor have they sent the many official documents regarding her detention. The family was only told that they could visit her in Naxi Detention Center.