(Minghui.org) Two women in Qingtongxia City were tried without legal representation in March 2018 for refusing to renounce Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline being persecuted by the Chinese communist regime. The local court didn’t notify their families of the hearing until hours before it was set to start. The defense lawyers were thus unable to make it.

Ms. Wang Hongyan and Ms. Zhang Xiuying were sentenced to 2 years and 1 year in prison, respectively, at the end of the hearing.

This is not the first time that the two Falun Gong practitioners have been targeted for their faith. Their first arrest took place on November 30, 2016, with Ms. Wang seized while running errands outside, and Ms. Zhang taken away from home that night. Both women were held at Wuzhong City Detention Center before they were released on bail on December 28, 2016.

Wang Hao, an officer of the Qingtongxia City Domestic Security Office, called Ms. Wang and Ms. Zhang many times, demanding that they write reports on their thoughts on Falun Gong. Wang later showed up at Ms. Zhang’s home to threaten her. Ms. Zhang said she didn’t know how to write such reports, and Wang told her to follow some templates.

Ms. Wang and Ms. Zhang were deceived into going to Wuzhong City Detention Center on October 18, 2017, when the 19th Congress was in session. They were issued formal arrest warrants one month later and convicted in March 2018.