(Minghui.org) Two women who were arrested separately faced the same fate, as the same judge convicted them and later ordered them transferred to prison without the knowledge of their families or lawyers.

Ms. Wang Shumin and Ms. Li Hongyu, both residents of Wuqing District, Tianjin, were targeted because they were reported to police for talking to people about the Chinese communist regime’s persecution of Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline based on the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.

Their appeals have been turned down.

Ms. Wang Sentenced to 4.5 Years in Prison

Ms. Wang was arrested on November 4, 2014, and released the following day after paying 10,000 yuan in bail. The local procuratorate issued an indictment against her on March 3, 2016, and she made a court appearance on March 15.

Her family hired a lawyer shortly after she was taken back into custody on October 2. The lawyer tried to schedule a meeting with Judge Yin Jian, but was turned down. The lawyer then visited his client on the afternoon of October 25. He was shocked to learn that Ms. Wang had been brought to court to face trial that very morning. He again requested to see Judge Yin, only to be rejected again.

Ms. Wang’s family and lawyer never got any updates from Judge Yin. They learned later that he had sentenced Ms. Wang to 4.5 years in prison.

Ms. Li Sentenced to 3.5 Years in Prison

Ms. Li was arrested on September 24, 2016, and her case was also handled by Judge Yin. Her lawyer and family had planned to visit her at Wuqing District Detention Center on November 29, but she was not there when they arrived. They were shocked to learn that Ms. Li had just been brought to court to face trial. They rushed to the local courthouse but were barred outside. They found out later that Ms. Li had been sentenced to 3.5 years.

Higher Court Rejects Appeal Without an Open Hearing

Both Ms. Wang and Ms. Li filed an appeal and demanded their guilty verdicts be overturned and an open retrial be held.

Ms. Li’s family went to the detention center on June 8, 2017, to deposit money to her commissary account, but she was not there. The guards told them that Ms. Li and Ms. Wang had been transferred to Tianjin Women’s Prison on May 31, 2017.

Ms. Li’s family immediately called her lawyer, who soon made an inquiry with Tianjin Intermediate Court. Judge Li Caoyuan said the higher court had turned down Ms. Li’s and Ms. Wang’s appeals.

Ms. Li’s and Ms. Wang’s respective lawyers didn’t receive a formal notice from the higher court until June 10.

Related Reports:

Sentenced to Three and Half Years, Tianjin Woman Appeals Verdict

Second Hearing Secretly Held in Trial of Woman Arrested for Her Faith