(Minghui.org) Four residents in Shenzhen were sentenced to prison for refusing to renounce Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline being persecuted by the Chinese communist regime.

Ms. Yang Shuyue, 78; Ms. Yang Hong (no relation); Ms. Wang Shuling, in her 50s; and Mr. Zeng Heping were arrested together with three other locals on April 14, 2016, while reading Falun Gong books at a private home.

Police proceeded to ransack the practitioners’ homes. While in police custody, Ms. Wang had a relapse of her fainting problem, and Mr. Zeng also exhibited severe health symptoms. The local detention center twice declined to admit them, but was eventually pressured to take them.

The four practitioners were tried on December 14, and only one family member of each was allowed inside the courtroom. Ms. Wang had a medical emergency halfway through the trial and had to be resuscitated. The presiding judge, however, resumed the hearing as soon as she got better.

The judge convicted all four practitioners in July 2017, sentencing Ms. Yang Shuyue, the oldest one of the four, to 7 years and fining her 10,000 yuan. The other practitioners were given prison terms ranging from 4 years and 3 months to 4 years and 6 months. The exact sentences remain to be investigated.

This is not the first time that Ms. Wang and Mr. Zeng have been targeted for their faith. Ms. Wang was given forced labor in 2000 and detained for six months in 2005. Mr. Zeng was detained in 1999 and injected with unknown drugs.

Related Report: Practitioners in Shenzhen City Detained for Reading Falun Gong Teachings