(Minghui.org) A Tianjin man was recently sentenced to 8 years in prison for refusing to renounce Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline being persecuted by the Chinese communist regime.
This is not the first time that Mr. Li Yuanyong has been targeted for his faith. He served six years in prison between 2004 and 2010.
Mr. Li went out on February 4, 2017 and never returned home that night. His family knew that he must have been arrested again for his faith. They checked with the local police stations, but they all said that they had no knowledge of his whereabouts.
His family received a phone call a bit past 7 p.m. on February 19 from the local Beichen Detention Center, saying that they had Mr. Li in custody there. The Shuangjie Police Station delivered a criminal detention notice to Mr. Li's family the following day.
The notice stated that Mr. Li was arrested at 7 p.m. on February 19 for distributing Falun Gong informational materials at a local children's hospital. A Falun Gong practitioner told Mr. Li's family that he was outside the hospital on February 5 and learned from a passerby that a practitioner was arrested there the day before. The local practitioner suspects that the arrested practitioner must have been Mr. Li.
The detention notice, however, failed to mention what happened to Mr. Li between February 4 and February 19.
Mr. Li's lawyers twice requested to review his case, but the local procuratorate turned them away with various excuses. The lawyers were then notified that their client's court date was set for June 2, 2017. They again requested to review Mr. Li's case, but were only given access to the file at the beginning of the court hearing.
The lawyers protested against the court's violation of legal procedure, and the presiding judge adjourned the session. The hearing resumed on August 31, but the details remain to be investigated.
Mr. Li's family learned recently that he has been sent to Binhai Prison to serve 8 years.