(Minghui.org) Seven Falun Gong practitioners from Yichang City were illegally arrested in April 2016. Three of them were sentenced to prison. Four were tried in court, but a verdict has not been reached.

Three Practitioners Imprisoned

Ms. Gan Hongping, 45, was interrogated by officers from the Yiling District 610 Office and the Domestic Security Division. She was deprived of sleep for several days and was burned with cigarette butts in an attempt to get her to confess to a crime she did not commit.

She was tried at Yiling District Court on October 26, 2016. Ms. Gan’s attorney pleaded not guilty on her behalf, but she was sentenced to four years in prison and was taken to the Wuhan Women’s Prison. The court also lied to her family, saying that Ms. Gan did not intend to appeal to a higher court.

Ms. Chen Facui and Ms. Xiang Wenlan were tried by the Yiling District Court between October and December 2016. They were each sentenced to four years in prison and taken to Wuhan Women’s Prison. Their families were not aware of the trials until they received the sentencing documents from the prison.

Four Practitioners Tried; No Verdict Reached

Mr. Yang Weijun (40), Ms. Xu Qiaoling, 50; Mr. Zhang Yongsheng, 50; and his sister Ms. Zhang Yonghong, 55, were tried in November 2016 in the Gezhouba Court, which still has not delivered a verdict.

According to a staff member at the court, the judge does not want to close the case because two of the practitioners, Mr. Zhang Yongsheng and Ms. Zhang Yonghong, will not succumb to admitting to a crime that they say they did not commit. The police repeatedly interrogated Mr. Zhang and his sister in order to get them to “admit” to having committed a crime.

Three of the practitioners were not represented by a lawyer and chose to defend themselves. They informed the court that no law in China states that possessing Falun Gong informational materials is illegal.

Homes Ransacked

The police ransacked the pracitioners’ homes. They confiscated Falun Gong books, computers, printers, bank cards, cash, and other personal belongings.

Parties involved in the persecution of the practitioners:Court appointed lawyer : +86-717-18186797967Lai Pingzhe, president of Gezhouba Court: +86-717-6713293 (Office), +86-717-6722089 (Home), +86-13907202062 (Cell)Zhang Jianping, vice president of Gezhouba Court: +86-717-6713280 (Office), +86-717-6722016 (Home), +86-13986747117 (Cell)