(Minghui.org) A married couple in Tangshan City was sentenced to prison for refusing to renounce Falun Gong (also known as Falun Dafa), a spiritual discipline being persecuted by the Chinese communist regime.

This is not the first time that Mr. He Yixing and his wife, Ms. Zhang Yueqin, have been targeted for their faith. They were given 7 and 5 years, respectively, in 2008 and were brutally tortured during their imprisonment.

The couple was last arrested on April 19, 2017, and restrained to a bed with their limbs tied down for a whole night.

Prior to the couple's court hearing on November 21, Judge Miao Ruisheng threatened them, “If you keep saying 'Falun Dafa is good,' I'll throw you into an incinerator!” He sentenced them to 3.5 years each in prison.

Ms. Zhang's family was informed by Tangshan City Intermediate Court on January 8, 2018, that she had requested a lawyer in her appeal case. Her lawyer asked to review the video recording of her initial trial but did not receive a response from the court. He also asked for an open hearing, again to no avail.

Mr. He's lawyer visited the higher court on April 3, 2018, but court president Cui Jianming refused to allow him to review the case. Cui claimed that Mr. He's appeals case had been concluded.

Days later, the couple's family learned that the higher court ruled to uphold the original verdicts. Ms. Zhang was soon moved to Shijiazhuang Prison and Mr. He to Jidong Prison.

Judge Cui Jianming: +86-13931566208

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