Six Sentenced to Prison for Putting up Banners with Messages about Falun Gong
(Minghui.org) Six Falun Gong practitioners in Liaoyang City were recently sentenced to prison terms of two to five years for putting up banners that said, “Falun Dafa is good” and “Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good.”
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a spiritual discipline based on the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. Since the Chinese Communist Party began to persecute the practice in 1999, hundreds of thousands of practitioners have been arrested, detained, and tortured. Many have been killed.
To help local residents see through the Party's hate propaganda, Mr. Li Weitao, Mr. Wang Yongsheng, Mr. Tang Xianhe, Ms. Luo Li, Mr. Guo Shiyou, and Mr. Gu Linjie went to the countryside on July 19, 2017, to put up the banners.
Ma Wenbo and other officers from the Baita Police Department arrested the six practitioners and ransacked their homes. The police submitted the case to the Baita Procuratorate, which rejected it twice for insufficient evidence. Despite the lack of evidence, the Baita Police Department continued to detain the practitioners.
The case was later accepted by the Baita Court in April 2018. The judge assigned to the case was Liu Lihua, who was known to have sentenced many local practitioners in the past.
Liu scheduled the trial for August 16, but she postponed it when Mr. Guo exhibited unusually high blood pressure and was unable to take care of himself. Mr. Guo was not the only one of the six who was suffering from poor health after more than a year of incarceration in the Liaoyang Detention Center. Ms. Luo also had episodes of high blood pressure and was forced to take pills. Mr. Li went on a hunger strike not long after his arrest and was force-fed. His health declined.
When the hearing was finally held on November 6, the defense lawyers pled not guilty on behalf of their clients and argued that the prosecution evidence was insufficient to charge the practitioners.
Judge Liu sentenced them all to prison in December 2018: Mr. Li, to five years, Mr. Wang and Ms. Luo, to four years each; Mr. Tang, to two and half years; and Mr. Guo and Mr. Gu, to two years each. There were also fined.
Five of these practitioners have appealed.
Key Parties Responsible:
Ma Wenbo, officer, Baita Police Department: +86-18241958569Liu Lihua, judge, Baita Court: +86-419-2952577