Married Couple Sentenced to Prison for Their Faith
(Minghui.org) A married couple in Nanchong City was sentenced to prison for their efforts to expose the Chinese communist regime’s persecution of Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline based on the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.
Mr. Liu Zhaoliang and his wife, Ms. Du Xiuyun, were arrested on September 1, 2016 and convicted on July 25, 2017. Ms. Du was given 3.5 years and will soon be transferred to Yangmahe Women’s Prison. Mr. Liu was given 1.5 years with 2 years of probation, and he has returned home at the time of writing.
Baseless Charges and Questionable Evidence
Gaoping District Procuratorate had twice returned the couple’s case to police, citing insufficient evidence, but it eventually forwarded the case to Gaoping District Court on May 10, 2017.
Mr. Liu and Ms. Du were charged with “using a cult to undermine law enforcement,” a standard pretext used by the Chinese communist regime in its attempt to frame and imprison Falun Gong practitioners.
Their lawyers entered not guilty plea for them during the trial on July 18, 2017. The lawyers argued that no law in China criminalizes Falun Gong or labels it a cult, and that their clients had every right to practice and spread information about the practice.
The prosecution evidence against Ms. Du included Falun Gong books and banknotes bearing Falun Gong messages confiscated from her home. Her lawyer argued that those items were her lawful possessions and caused no harm to anyone, much less undermine law enforcement.
Mr. Liu was accused of teaching his wife to use computers to make Falun Gong materials. The prosecutor also alleged that he provided funds to his wife for making Falun Gong materials.
Mr. Liu’s lawyer argued that Mr. Liu, as the breadwinner of his family, had every right to give his wife money and that his wife had every right to freely decide how to use the money. Moreover, there was nothing wrong with a husband teaching his wife how to use computers.
The lawyers demanded their clients’ acquittal, only to see them sentenced one week later.