(Minghui.org) Mr. Wu Changqing from Huilai County, Jieyang City, Guangdong Province, was sentenced to eight years in prison for sending text messages about Falun Gong. His daughter was sentenced to two years in prison at the same time. Wu and his daughter, both Falun Gong practitioners, have requested to appeal.

The 56-year-old Mr. Wu, his wife Zheng Shaoqing, and his daughter were arrested by the domestic security police of Huilai County in March 2016. Their home was ransacked.

Ms. Zheng was released after being detained for seven months. Mr. Wu and his daughter have been detained in the Huilai County Detention Center ever since.

Mr. Wu and his daughter were tried on December 30, 2016. Three lawyers defended them. The lawyers illustrated how the persecution of Falun Gong is illegal. Mr. Wu said that the messages he sent were good for people and that he was innocent of any crime. Ms. Wu talked about how Falun Dafa benefits individuals, families, and society.

The trial lasted for five-and-a-half hours with no recess. Only three family members were allowed to be present. Three or four people from Mr. Wu’s wife’s work unit attended. The others present at the trial were brought in by the court.

A second hearing for the father and daughter was held in the Huilai County Court on April 14, 2017. The public procurator said that four people in the police department, including Wu Xuezhi from the domestic security division and Zhong Jian from the detention center, reported that they received text messages sent from Mr. Wu and his daughter. The practitioners' lawyers requested that the court reporters be present in court, but no one appeared. The lawyers once again entered a not-guilty plea for the father and daughter.

The verdicts were handed down on April 27, 2017, and May 10, 2017, was set as the deadline to appeal. However, the practitioners' attorneys were not notified of the sentence until May 4.