Two Practitioners from Xingtai City Sentenced to Prison
(Minghui.org) Falun Gong practitioners Mr. Lu Gang and Mr. Cai Yun, from Xingtai City, were sentenced to prison in January 2017. Mr. Lu was sentenced to a five-year term, and Mr. Cai to a three-year prison term.
They were tried by the Guangzong County Court, and both appealed to the Xingtai Intermediate Court. The original verdicts were upheld, and they were taken to Shahe Prison on March 15.
Their families, who visited them on March 23, told them that they would continue to appeal to higher-level courts, because the sentences were unlawful.
Arrested and Sentenced
Mr. Lu was reported to the police by local village officials for displaying Falun Gong informational materials at Dongliji Farmers' Market on March 9, 2016.
Hetaoyuan County Police Station chief Wei Jianchao, along with several other officers, arrested Mr. Lu and took him to the police station, where he was beaten. He was later transferred to the Guangzong County Police Department's detention center.
When Mr. Cai and a few other practitioners went to Hetaoyuan Police Station to inquire about Mr. Lu, they were told that he had been transferred to a detention center. When Mr. Cai walked out of the police station, a police vehicle stopped in front of him. He was arrested and taken to Guangzong Police Department's detention center.
The Guangzong County Procuratorate approved the arrests of both practitioners on April 14, 2016, and put them on trial at the Guangzong County Court on June 3.
The two practitioners' families were informed of the verdict in early January 2017, and both families appealed to the Xingtai City Intermediate Court.
Xingtai Intermediate Court scheduled the appeals for February 15 at Guangzong County Court.
When Mr. Cai's family and attorney arrived, the court officials did not allow the family to enter. The attorney protested, given that it was a public trial. The police surrounded the attorney and pushed and insulted him. Someone recorded the incident on their cellphone, which was then confiscated by the police.
Mr. Lu's mother was also prevented from entering the courtroom.
Mr. Cai's and Mr. Lu's attorneys pleaded not guilty on behalf of the two practitioners and pointed out that the Guangzong County Court’s actions during the last few court sessions were illegal.
The judges from the intermediate court agreed that the practitioners' actions did not break any laws and that Falun Gong benefits society. The families asked that both practitioners be acquitted. However, they were told to apply for a decision by the collegial panel.
The families of both practitioners received the verdicts from the Xingtai City Intermediate Court on March 15, which indicated that the original judgment had been upheld.
The verdict was dated February 17, just two days after the trial. The families of both practitioners had contacted the court many times for information concerning the verdict but had not been told anything.