(Minghui.org) A Shenyang City resident has been admitted to prison after the local appeals court ruled to uphold her guilty verdict.
Ms. Zhang Qinghua, in her 60s, was arrested on November 14, 2016, for distributing calendars with messages about Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline being persecuted by the Chinese communist regime.
The local Shenhe District Procuratorate twice returned her case to the police, but the latter gathered more evidence and persuaded the procuratorate to indict Ms. Zhang.
Ms. Zhang appeared in court on August 22, 2017. Her lawyer entered a not guilty plea for her, because no law in China says practicing Falun Gong is a crime. Ms. Zhang also testified in her own defense, arguing that her distribution of Falun Gong information caused no harm to anyone or to society at large.
Judges Li Hong and Liu Qian sentenced Ms. Zhang to three years in prison and fined her 20,000 yuan on September 29.
Ms. Zhang filed an appeal with Shenyang City Intermediate Court, which ruled in late 2017 to uphold the original sentence.
Ms. Zhang was transferred to Liaoning Province Women’s Prison on January 9, 2018. This is the second time that she has been imprisoned there.
She was sentenced to 3.5 years following her arrest on August 10, 2008, for her faith. During her first imprisonment, she was beaten on a regular basis. The guards repeatedly threw her up in the air and let her hit the ground. She suffered severe damage to her brain and nervous system.
Before that, Ms. Zhang was given two years of forced labor in 2000 for refusing to renounce Falun Gong.