(Minghui.org) Two residents in Shifang City were sentenced to prison by the same judge two hours apart for refusing to renounce Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline being persecuted by the Chinese communist regime.

Both Mr. Ren Shenglin and Mr. Shen Bin were arrested on November 16, 2016 and tried on July 17, 2017.

Mr. Ren appeared in the courtroom first, with his hearing beginning at 3:30 p.m. He testified in his own defense, but judge Li Kaixian kept interrupting him. Li sentenced Mr. Ren to 7 years in prison 20 minutes later.

Mr. Shen was next brought in to face trial. His defense lawyer argued that no law criminalizes Falun Gong and demanded his acquittal.

The prosecutor alleged that Mr. Shen broke the law by producing Falun Gong materials. Both Mr. Shen and his lawyer argued that those materials caused no harm to society and helped the public see the illegality of the persecution of Falun Gong.

Judge Li sentenced Mr. Shen to 4 years in prison around 5:40 p.m. He also announced that all the items seized from Mr. Shen’s home during his arrest were confiscated.

Mr. Shen has filed an appeal to Deyang City Intermediate Court.