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Court Increases Woman's Sentence Upon Finding that She Still Practices Falun Gong

August 24, 2018 |   By a Minghui correspondent in Shandong Province, China

(Minghui.org) Two weeks after a court sentenced a Falun Gong practitioner to three years with four years probation, they revoked the sentence and gave the practitioner a one-year prison term.

According to Chinese law, with the sentence of three years and four years probation, the defendant doesn't have to serve prison time, but will be under supervision for four years. The three-year sentence will be void if the defendant doesn't violate the law during the four year period.

But the one-year sentence means immediate prison time.

The change came after the practitioner, who remained detained at the detention center after the original sentence, told the authorities she still practices Falun Gong to alleviate her headaches.

Ms. Cui Jianxiu, 57, from Rizhao City, Shandong Province, received the new verdict from Ji County Court on August 8, 2018. It was 14 days after the same court announced her original sentence.

Ms. Cui was doing household chores when a group of police officers broke into her home and arrested her on March 8, 2018.

The Ji County Procuratorate indicted her 37 days later and submitted her case to the Ji County Court. The court appointed a lawyer to enter a guilty plea for her.

In early July, Ms. Cui's family was informed by the lawyer that the court planned a hearing on her case on July 5, which, as the family found out later, didn't take place.

Meanwhile, Ms. Cui's family frequented the police station, procuratorate and court to seek justice for her, but were turned away each time.

At 4 p.m. on July 17, the lawyer informed Ms. Cui's family again that a hearing for her case would take place on the next day.

Ms. Cui's husband, son and eight other relatives attended the hearing.

The lawyer made a guilty plea for her, but recommended that the judge give her a lighter sentence because her husband had Parkinson's Disease and needed her care.

Ms. Cui's family were informed by the court on July 25 that she was sentenced to three years with four years probation. She was also required to attend brainwashing sessions twice and perform community service once each month.

The authorities didn't immediately release her upon the announcement of the sentence.

The lawyer and a staff member from Ji County Justice Bureau visited Ms. Cui at Rizhao Detention Center in early August. They asked her whether she still practiced Falun Gong. She told them that she still does the exercises to alleviate her headaches.

Because of that, the staff member from the Justice Bureau brought the case back to the court and ordered the judge to increase the sentence.

Ms. Cui's in-laws, both 86, kept asking about her after not seeing her for nearly five months. Her family hasn't told them about her sentencing, fearing that it would cause them too much distress.