(Minghui.org) 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.

As no law in China criminalizes Falun Gong, both women defended their constitutional right to freedom of belief. The judge sentenced Ms. Guo to one year and one month in prison, and Ms. Cui to one year and ten months.

Ms. Guo, around 30 years old, was released upon finishing her term on February 28, 2017. Ms. Cui is appealing her sentence to Yantai City Intermediate Court.

Families’ Suffering

The police ransacked Ms. Guo’s home shortly after her arrest. They found two copies of truth-clarification DVDs and a few copies of materials about Falun Gong, which were later used as prosecution evidence against her.

Ms. Guo and Ms. Sun were transferred to Fushan Detention Center the second day after their arrest. As the guards there denied them family visits, Ms. Guo's family had to rely on her lawyer to find information about her. The family learned that she had been interrogated twice, but she confessed to no wrongdoing.

Ms. Guo's father made multiple trips to relevant departments before the 2017 Chinese New Year (in late January) to request her release, but no one listened to him.

Ms. Guo started a hunger strike after the Chinese New Year to protest the unlawful detention. She became extremely weak and could not even walk steadily.

Her parents became very worried about her condition, but they were denied visits with her time and again.

Ms. Sun's family also suffered greatly during her detention. Her husband, Mr. Zou Deyong, also a Falun Gong practitioner, is still serving a 3-year prison term following his arrest on April 12, 2015 for telling people about Falun Gong. The couple’s son, a middle school student, is now left to fend for himself.