(Minghui.org) Four women in Taoyuan County were given heavy sentences for refusing to renounce Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline being persecuted by the Chinese communist regime.

Ms. Liu Dongxian, Ms. Fang Xingzhi, Ms. Liu Lihui, and Ms. Zeng Mingqing were arrested in December 2016 and appeared in court on November 2, 2017. They were sentenced to prison on March 13, 2018. At the time of writing, they have all been sent to Taoyuan County Women's Prison.

Ms. Liu Dongxian and Ms. Fang were each given 9 years. Both women had already been twice imprisoned in the past for their faith. Ms. Liu, a 66-year-old retired doctor, was given 3 years in 2007 and 4 years in 2011. Ms. Fang, 64, was given 3 years on August 22, 2002, and 7 years on September 4, 2009.

Ms. Liu Lihui was given 7 years and fined 30,000 yuan. Ms. Zeng was given 5 years and fined 25,000 yuan.

Officers Wen Chenghua and Fu Zhengquan, as well as court official Xiong Jun, once threatened Ms. Liu Dongxian and Ms. Zeng with a prison sentence and heavy fine if the practitioners refused to write statements denouncing Falun Gong. The two women refused to cooperate and filed an appeal following their prison sentences. The local appeals court ruled in July 2018 to uphold their original verdicts.

Ms. Liu Lihui's elderly father, who is in his 90s, and her teenage daughter are left at home with no caregiver. Ms. Fang's mother, who is in her 80s, is also struggling to take care of herself.

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