72 Falun Gong Practitioners Sentenced for Their Faith in February 2017
(Minghui.org) According to information compiled by Minghui.org, the month of February 2017 recorded 72 new instances of Falun Gong practitioners sentenced to prison by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) court system.
The number of practitioners sentenced cannot always be reported in a timely manner due to the CCP’s information blockade, nor is all the information readily available. Exactly when the practitioners were sentenced remains to be investigated.
The sentenced practitioners are from 32 cities in 17 provinces and centrally controlled municipalities. Liaoning Province leads with 13 cases, followed by Shandong (7), Sichuan and Gansu (6 each), Hubei, Jilin, Guangdong, and Hebei (5 each), Henan (4), Jiangsu, Fujian, and Shaanxi (3 each), Chongqing and Heilongjiang (2 each 2), and Beijing, Shanghai, and Jiangxi (1 each).
Twelve of the practitioners were also given fines ranging from 3,000 to 20,000 yuan, for a total of 103,000 yuan.
Four residents of Chengde City, Hebei Province, were sentenced to prison on February 15, 2017, for talking to people about Falun Gong. Mr. Yu Dali and Mr. Bian Qunlian were each given 6 years and fined 20,000 yuan. Mr. Yu Hailong was given 4 years and fined 10,000 yuan. Ms. Jiang Yuhuan was given 3 years and fined 10,000 yuan.
They are appealing the verdicts.
Three Falun Dafa practitioners were sentenced for their belief on February 9, 2017.
Ms. Wei Zaihui and Ms. Wei Zaixiu, two sisters from Chengdu City, Sichuan Province, were each sentenced to seven years in prison. Ms. Wei Zaihui's husband, Mr. Chen Guangzhong, was given a three-year prison term.
The sisters had been illegally detained for 14 months before they were sentenced. Mr. Chen, who was arrested with them, was later placed under house arrest due to his poor health. He was taken from his home on February 9 to be sentenced.
All three said they would appeal, even though the police threatened them with longer sentences if they did.
Mr. Chen's mother, in her 80s, was left at home with her 12-year-old granddaughter. When Mr. Chen asked who would take care of them, the police said that the child could be taken to an orphanage if his grandmother could not cope.
The practitioners were arrested on May 27, 2015. After the arrest, a third sister, Ms. Wei Zaiqun, who lives in Denmark, called the police stations, detention centers, and brainwashing centers in Chengdu to find out where her sisters were, but she got nowhere. She also went to the Chinese Embassy in Denmark with other Falun Gong practitioners to protest the illegal detention of her siblings.
Henan Woman Sentenced to 3.5 Years for Suing Jiang Zemin
Ms. Yang Yanyue, 73, was arrested on August 25, 2016, for suing Jiang Zemin, the former head of the communist regime who initiated the persecution of Falun Gong. She was taken to the detention center and later secretly sentenced to three and a half years in prison. This is not the first time that Ms. Yang has been targeted for her faith. She was given an 8-year prison term back in 2007.
Two Yantai City residents were sentenced to prison for distributing information exposing the Chinese communist regime’s persecution of Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline based on the principle of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.
Ms. Guo Weixia and Ms. Sun Mingxia were arrested on January 29, 2016, and first appeared in court on October 24. During their sentencing hearing on February 17, 2017, the judge threatened to keep them incarcerated if they refused to admit their alleged wrongdoing.
Because no law in China criminalizes Falun Gong, both women defended their constitutional right to freedom of belief. The judge sentenced Ms. Guo to 13 months in prison, and Ms. Cui to one year and ten months.
Ms. Guo, who is about 30, was released when her term ended on February 28, 2017. Ms. Cui is appealing her sentence to the Yantai City Intermediate Court.