(Minghui.org) Three Chongqing residents—a son, his mother, and his mother-in-law—were sentenced to prison in December 2018 for not giving up their faith in Falun Gong. They had already been detained for over a year. They have appealed the verdicts to Chongqing No.1 Intermediate Court.

Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a mind-body discipline that has been persecuted by the communist regime since 1999.

Ms. Deng Jiqiong and Her Son Mr. Hong Liu

Ms. Deng Jiqiong and her husband were going through the security checkpoint at a train station in Chongqing on September 17, 2017, when Ms. Deng's ID was flagged as a Falun Gong practitioner's.

Zhou Xilan, an agent from the 610 Office, and a police officer arrested her and took her to Yubeilianglu Police Station to be interrogated.

The 610 Office is an extralegal agency created specifically to carry out the persecution of Falun Gong.

Mr. Hong, who doesn't practice Falun Gong, went home, only to be arrested and have his home ransacked by the police who came for him shortly after. Both he and his wife were later taken to Yubei District Detention Center.

A day after the couple's arrest, their son, Mr. Hong Liu, was arrested at his workplace. He was detained at the same facility with his parents.

Although her husband was released a month later, Ms. Deng was issued a formal arrest warrant by the Yubei District Procuratorate.

The procuratorate initially did not approve the arrest of the younger Mr. Hong, but the police refused to release him and transferred him to a brainwashing center.

An officer from the Domestic Security Division beat Mr. Hong for half an hour at the brainwashing center. He was severely injured and had to be taken to the hospital.

Before Mr. Hong was released from the brainwashing center, the Yubei District Procuratorate prosecutor changed his mind and approved his arrest on November 24, 2017. He was taken back to the Yubei District Detention Center.

Under orders from the Supreme People's Procuratorate, all cases related to Falun Gong practitioners in Chongqing were transferred to the Jiangbei District Procuratorate in early 2018. Both Ms. Deng and Mr. Hong were moved to the Jiangbei District Detention Center in April 2018.

During this time the Yubei District Procuratorate returned Mr. Hong's case to the police for more evidence. The police resubmitted the case in late April.

Mr. Hong was tried in the Jiangbei District Court on September 3 and his mother was tried on September 14. They were both charged with “sabotaging law enforcement,” a standard pretext used to frame and convict Falun Gong practitioners in China.

Both of them defended their innocence and demanded an acquittal.

Ms. Deng was later sentenced to three years and Mr. Hong to three and a half years.

Ms. Lin Zhongying

Ms. Lin Zhongying, Mr. Hong's mother-in-law, was arrested on September 19, 2017, the same day as her son-in-law's parents. It's unclear what triggered Ms. Lin's arrest on the same day, but it is known and she and her extended family have been long targeted for their faith in Falun Gong.

Ms. Lin was detained in the Shapingba District Detention Center until her case was moved the Jiangbei District.

Ms. Lin appeared in the Jiangbei District Court on September 4, 2018, and sentenced to two and a half years in prison at a hearing on December 28.