(Minghui.org) Two elderly residents of the Shunyi District in Beijing were sentenced to prison for refusing to renounce Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline being persecuted by the Chinese communist regime.

Ms. Pang Xiuqing and Mr. Wang Fengde, both in their 60s, appeared in court on June 20, 2018. Prosecutor Wang Penglei of the Shunyi District Procuratorate claimed that the very fact that many Falun Gong practitioners have been sentenced to prison since the persecution began in July 1999 was enough evidence to sentence Ms. Pang and Ms. Wang.

Ms. Pang and Mr. Wang refuted the prosecutor's claim. They emphasized that there is no law in China that says practicing Falun Gong a crime and that practitioners like them should never have been arrested for their faith in the first place, much less been prosecuted and imprisoned.

The presiding judge later sentenced to both Ms. Pang and Mr. Wang to two years in prison.

Ms. Pang's Arrest

Ms. Pang was arrested on October 6, 2017, and had her Falun Gong books and informational materials confiscated. The police also took around 8,000 yuan in cash from her home.

While she was held in the Shunyi District Detention Center, Ms. Pang refused to take blood pressure pills as instructed, so the guards punished all her cellmates for her disobedience. She had to endure intense pressure from the other inmates.

Ms. Pang's husband was so worried about her that his hair turned totally gray in just a few months following her arrest.

Mr. Wang's Arrest

Mr. Wang was arrested with his daughter, Ms. Wang Yanyan, on April 13, 2017. Ms. Wang had been forced to resign from her post at the Beijing Automotive Research Institute on January 4, 2017, after she sued former Chinese dictator Jiang Zemin for launching the persecution of Falun Gong in 1999. The police proceeded to arrest her and her father months later.

Ms. Wang was released on bail on May 18, 2017. She received a notice in late December that the Shunyi District Procuratorate had decided to not indict her and to terminate her bail.

While Ms. Wang is cleared of charges, her father was indicted on January 4, 2018, and later sentenced to prison.

Mr. Wang's disabled wife, who relied on her husband to care for her, has lost a significant amount of weight since his arrest.

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