(Minghui.org) Three women in Macheng City were sentenced to prison for refusing to renounce Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline being persecuted by the Chinese communist regime. Their lawyers were not allowed to defend them in court.

Ms. Yin Aimei and Ms. Tang Shixing were arrested on June 1, 2015 and briefly kept at a local brainwashing center before being moved to Hanggang City Detention Center on July 29, 2015. Chief Ding Zhigang of Muzidian Police Station and his deputies Yin Fei and Liu Zhifa were responsible for the arrests.

Ms. Zhang Baolin was arrested on July 21, 2015 by agents from Macheng City Domestic Security Office. She was sent to the same detention center as the other two Falun Gong practitioners.

According to insiders, Macheng City Court initially refused to take the case, but it reversed its decision and held a hearing on June 22, 2018. Ms. Tang and Ms. Zhang were sentenced to 3.5 years in prison and Ms. Yin 2 years and 5 months in prison.

The three women's families members have not been allowed to visit them at the detention center. Ms. Tang never got a chance to see her mother one last time when the elderly woman died in early 2016. Ms. Tang and Ms. Zhang have developed various health problems due to the abuse they suffered while in detention.

Prior to the court appearance, Ms. Yin had been released on bail on May 25, 2018.