(Minghui.org) As Mr. Cai Chunpeng continues a hunger strike to protest his unjust prison sentence, the local appeals court ruled to uphold the guilty verdict against him for his faith.

Mr. Cai, a 38-year-old engineer in Shantou City, was arrested on January 3, 2018 after being reported for distributing materials exposing the Chinese communist regime's persecution of Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline based on the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.

Mr. Cai went on a hunger strike shortly after his arrest to protest the illegal detention, as no law in China criminalizes Falun Gong.

The Chenghai District Procuratorate filed an indictment against Mr. Cai, citing the following prosecution evidence:

1. Lan Shunqin, Lin Lianfan, and Zhang Zhiming witnessed Mr. Cai pass out Falun Gong materials in their Nanshe Village;2. Officer Lin Dingtian found a total of 58 copies of Falun Gong materials scattered on the ground in Nanshe Village and he alleged that they belonged to Mr. Cai;3. Officer Lan Qingzhao claimed that a surveillance video showed Mr. Cai distributing materials in Nanshen Village;4. Shantou City Forensic Science Center verified that the man shown in the video was Mr. Cai;5. Bainfang Police Station and Dongli Town Stability Office issued documents saying that Mr. Cai had disseminated materials that disturbed social stability.

The Chenghai District Court proceeded to convict Mr. Cai without holding a hearing. It announced on March 28, 2018 that Mr. Cai has been sentenced to 1.5 years in prison and fined 2,000 yuan.

While continuing his hunger strike, Mr. Cai filed an appeal. Judge Zhang Qiang of Shantou City Intermediate Court ruled on April 18 to uphold the original verdict.

Mr. Cai has been force-fed once every three days since he went on a hunger strike more than 130 days ago. He is handcuffed and shackled all day long. A nurse from Huaqiao Hospital visits Chenghai Detention Center to administer the force-feeding.

This is not the first time that Mr. Cai has been targeted for his faith. He was given two years of forced labor following his first arrest on September 23, 2011. The guards at Sanshui Forced Labor Camp once deprived him of sleep for a month and shocked him with high-voltage electric batons.

After he was released from the labor camp, the police constantly harassed him and refused to return his ID and professional certificates.

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