(Minghui.org) An appeals court in Shanghai continued its subordinate trial court's deceptive practices and ruled to uphold the guilty verdict against a local Falun Gong practitioner.

Mr. Ding Yuguo, 36, was arrested on July 26, 2017 while on his way to work. This is not the first time that he has been targeted for refusing to renounce Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline being persecuted by the Chinese communist regime. Back in 2008, he was given 5 years in prison and lost his well-paying job.

The police proceeded to ransack Mr. Ding's home and confiscate his computer without a search warrant.

His parents visited the local police station and procuratorate many times but received no update on his case status. They tried to file a complaint against the arresting officers but were threatened.

Mr. Ding appeared in Pudong District Court on February 9, 2018. His father asked to testify in his defense but was turned down. Mr. Ding was sentenced to 18 months in prison and fined 2,000 yuan.

After Mr. Ding filed an appeal, his parents received a phone call from a man named Lin Ziyun on May 9. Lin claimed to be the court-appointed lawyer in Mr. Ding's appeals case and said that Shanghai First Intermediate Court had ruled to uphold the original verdict.

A police officer visited Mr. Ding's parents the following day and asked his father to sign the appeals court's ruling.

The elderly man refused to sign, citing an earlier incident in which police delivered his son's arrest warrant on September 5, 2017, but deceived him into putting down September 1 as the date of receipt.

Mr. Ding's father questioned the officer what law his son broke that resulted in his prison sentence. The officer left without answering him. Mr. Ding's father later found the appeals court's ruling in his mailbox.

The ruling stated that the trial court had sentenced Mr. Ding to prison after reviewing prosecution evidence presented in court. His father said that the prosecutor simply read out the indictment without showing any evidence in court.

The ruling also read that Mr. Ding had requested a lighter sentence, when in fact he demanded an acquittal, as no law in China criminalizes Falun Gong.

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