(Minghui.org) A 58-year-old woman in Taikang County, Henan Province, was sentenced to three and a half years in prison for passing out two brochures about the Chinese communist regime's persecution of Falun Gong.

This is not the first time that Ms. Wang Yujue has been targeted for her faith. She was given three and a half years in prison in 2010 and three years in 2014 for refusing to renounce Falun Gong.

After her latest arrest on January 22, 2018, Ms. Wang's daughter, who lives in the United Kingdom, called for her release at a rally in London on April 22, 2018.

Ms. Wang appeared in court on May 16 and was given a guilty verdict hours after the hearing concluded.

Tried Without Legal Representation

The recipients of Ms. Wang's two brochures were two plainclothes officers, who immediately seized her and took her to Fucaolou Police Station. Deputy chief Liu Yanhui reported the case to higher-ups, who ordered Huaiyang County Procuratorate and Court to handle the case.

Huaiyang County Court held a hearing on May 16, 2018, without informing Ms. Wang's lawyer and family. Several family members of Ms. Wang managed to find out what was going on and rushed to the courthouse. They urged presiding judge Zeng Xiaofei and assistant judge Liu Fang to postpone the trial, but the judges signaled for the hearing to go on.

Prosecutors Wang Hongqi (no relation to Ms. Wang) and Liu Qin made modifications to the indictment midway through the court hearing, which is prohibited by law. Wang also said in court that the legal outcomes of Falun Gong cases were all controlled by the 610 Office, an extralegal agency tasked by the central Communist Party leadership with eradicating Falun Gong.

Though no family member of Ms. Wang's was ever notified of the hearing, one of them was listed as a prosecution witness without his knowledge.

Ms. Wang protested the court's violation of legal procedures, but Judge Liu claimed that there was no need to notify her lawyer given that she had twice been imprisoned in the past.

The hearing was held in the morning. One judge came to Zhoukou Detention Center in the afternoon to deliver the guilty verdict. Ms. Wang suspected that the verdict had been prepared ahead of time and that the hearing was just going through motions.

Ms. Wang intends to appeal the sentence on the basis that no law in China criminalizes Falun Gong.

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