(Minghui.org) Three residents in Chengdu City were sentenced to prison for refusing to renounce Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline being persecuted by the Chinese communist regime.

Ms. Pan Xiaojiang, in her 50s, Ms. Liu Haiying, 38, and Mr. Zhang Shan, a graduate student, were arrested separately between late February and early March 2017. They have since remained at Chengdu Detention Center.

The three Falun Gong practitioners' lawyers entered a not guilty plea for them during the joint trial on June 20, 2018. Ms. Pan also testified in her own defense. She shared how Falun Gong had returned her to health and how she was persecuted for upholding her faith. She had been thrice given forced labor and once imprisoned for a total of six years between 1999 and 2005. She was also fired from her job as a an associate judge of the Nanchong City Intermediate Court.

Judge Wang Runming of Qingyang District Court kept interrupting Ms. Pan. He announced at the end of the hearing to sentence Ms. Pan to 4 years in prison and the other two practitioners each 2 years. He also ordered all three of them to pay a fine.

More than ten police cruisers parked outside the courthouse. In addition to uniformed officers, there were also many people dressed in fast food delivery uniforms, holding cell phones and surveillance equipment. They didn't leave until the hearing was over.

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