(Minghui.org) Ms. Xu Xueli, 50, is the fourth Falun Gong practitioner targeted in a mass arrest in Tianjin in December 2017 to be sentenced for their faith.

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

Ms. Xu received a prison term of 4.5 years at the sentencing hearing on December 29, 2018 by Hongqiao Court. She previously appeared in court twice on November 9 and November 28. Her mother was blocked by court bailiffs from attending her hearings.

Ms. Xu was arrested together with 36 other Falun Gong practitioners on December 28, 2017. The Hongqiao Procuratorate returned her case to the police once due to insufficient evidence, before moving it to the court.

Among the 37 practitioners arrested, 11 were released later that day, and 6 more were released after one month of detention. At the time of writing, four practitioners, including Ms. Xu, have been sentenced to prison, four are waiting for verdicts after court hearings and six are facing indictment after their arrests were approved by the procuratorate.

This is the second time that Ms. Xu has been sentenced for her faith in Falun Gong. She was previously imprisoned for eight years and fired from her workplace. Unable to bear the pressure from the persecution, her husband divorced her in 2011.

When Ms. Xu was released from the prison in 2013, she suffered from severe health problems, was constantly tense, and felt frightened every day.

She gradually recovered after she resumed practicing Falun Gong, only to be targeted again a few years later for her faith.

Her father, a cancer patient, saw his health quickly decline upon her latest arrest; he passed away in March 2018.

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