Changchun Woman Denied Family Visits for a Year, Sentenced to Five Years in a Teleconferenced Trial
(Minghui.org) After Ms. Yang Xianghua was arrested for raising awareness of the persecution of Falun Gong last year, her family was kept in the dark on the status of her case and wasn't allowed to visit her. It wasn't until August 2018 that they found out through the procuratorate that Ms. Yang had been sentenced.
Her husband and younger sister finally visited her in prison on September 18, one week after her five-year term began.
According to her younger sister, Ms. Yang had lost more than 30 pounds and appeared apathetic. Separated by the glass in the visiting room, the three of them kept crying. Ms. Yang's husband told her that their 8-year-old missed her every day and her elderly parents were waiting for her return.
Ms. Yang, 38, was arrested on September 7, 2017, after the police saw her on a surveillance video distributing Falun Gong materials. The police ransacked her home the evening of her arrest and confiscated her Falun Gong books, laptop, and bank card.
They held her in the Changchun No. 4 Detention Center and refused to allow her family to visit her.
Ms. Yang told her lawyer on September 15, 2018, that she was tried via a teleconference by the Luyuan District Court in June. The court didn't inform her family of the trial. Only three or four minutes into the proceedings, the judge announced her five-year verdict.
Ms. Yang appealed her sentence to the Changchun Intermediate Court in August, but it was upheld without a hearing.
She was taken to Changchun Women's Prison on September 11, 2018. Her lawyer is now in the process of filing a motion to have her case reconsidered.