(Minghui.org) Two women in Jiuquan City lost their appeal against their conviction for refusing to renounce Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline being persecuted by the Chinese communist regime.

Ms. Tao Yue’e and Ms. Fang Ping were sentenced to 4 and 3 years in prison, respectively. The local appeals court ruled to uphold their conviction, but reduce their sentences by one year each.

The two Falun Gong practitioners were arrested on August 28, 2015. Police seized Ms. Fang that morning as soon as she stepped out of her door. Five officers, including Cheng Zhong, Zhang Ming, Quan Xiuhong and Zhang Junwu, then proceeded to ransack her elderly mother’s home.

Hours later, another five officers broke into Ms. Tao’s home. She protested and was beaten. Her child tried to stop the police but was knocked to the ground. The child was handcuffed and detained for six hours.

The local Suzhou District Procuratorate initially returned their case to police on December 23, 2015, but it accepted the case weeks later after police fabricated more evidence.

The local court sentenced the two women to prison on December 23, 2016. Ms. Tao and Ms. Fang both filed appeals requesting an acquittal, as no law in China criminalizes Falun Gong.

Their families learned from Suzhou District Detention Center on April 19, 2017, that the local higher court has ruled to uphold the conviction.

Ms. Tao was transferred to Lanzhou Women’s Prison about four months later. Her family didn’t find out about it until they couldn’t find her at the detention center.

It’s unclear whether Ms. Fang is still being held at the detention center.