(Minghui.org) Three residents in Xilingol League, Inner Mongolia were released on August 9, 2017 after authorities decided no longer to prosecute them for refusing to renounce Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline being persecuted by the Chinese communist regime.

Ms. Miao Zhilian was visiting her son in early June 2017 when she received a call saying police were raiding her home. She was seized as soon as she rushed back. Several weeks later, Ms. Mi Chao and Ms. Song Xiaohua saw their respective homes ransacked by police on July 13. Their Falun Gong books were confiscated during the home raids and then used by police as evidence that they broke the law.

The police cited as legal basis two notices issued by China's Administration of Press and Publications in July 1999 to ban the publication of Falun Gong books. The practitioners’ lawyers argued that the Administration issued a repeal of the ban in 2011 and that it was fully legal for their clients to own Falun Gong books. As such, the authorities' attempt to prosecute the practitioners based on the notices was meritless.

While the lawyers fought for the practitioners’ rights, many other local practitioners kept using various means, including making phone calls and sending letters or text messages, to inform the police, the procuratorate, and the court of the illegality of the persecution of Falun Gong.

The procuratorate returned the case against Ms. Mi and Ms. Song to police on August 9. Ms. Mi, a vocational school teacher in her 30s, and Ms. Song, in her 50s, were released at 6 p.m. that day. Ms. Song’s child was arrested on the same day as she was, but it is unclear whether the child has been released.

Ms. Miao (whose legal name is Miao Chunlian) was released hours later, after her blood pressure shot up to dangerous levels earlier in the day. Her husband was forced to pay 5,000 yuan before being allowed to pick her up.

Ms. Miao told her husband that she went on a hunger strike while in detention and was force-fed and beaten.

Related Report:

China Administration of Press and Publication Repealed Its Ban on Publication of Falun Gong Books in 2011

Related report in Chinese:

被非法关押近一月 内蒙宋小花、米超获释