(Minghui.org) Two residents in Shenzhen City were recently each sentenced to eight years in prison; both of their lawyers are appealing the sentences.

Dr. Feng Shaoyong, an expert in telecommunications, and Mr. Chen Zeqi, a software engineer, were arrested together with two dozen Falun Gong practitioners on September 24, 2016, for spreading information about the persecution of their faith.

Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a mind-body practice that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999. Despite unprecedented suppression, many Falun Gong practitioners risk their lives to raise awareness about the persecution in China, and many have been imprisoned and tortured as a result.

Dr. Feng and Mr. Chen were tried on December 1, 2017, in Longgang Court. They were charged for “using a cult organization to undermine law enforcement,” a standard pretext used to criminalize Falun Gong practitioners' efforts to spread free information.

Their lawyers argued in their defense that the persecution was illegal and that the computers and other electronic devices confiscated from the two men were their personal or employers' lawful possessions and there was no evidence that they had caused any harm.

The judge adjourned the trial without announcing a verdict. The practitioners' lawyers and families were recently notified of the sentences.

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