Three Sichuan Residents Sentenced for Reading Books of Their Faith Together
(Minghui.org) Six Suining City, Sichuan Province residents were arrested for reading Falun Gong teachings together, and three of them have been sentenced to prison.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.
Ms. Xie Chengfang, Ms. Fan Xiushan, and Ms. Liu Qiong were tried by Shehong County Court on September 30, 2019. Ms. Xie and Ms. Fan were represented by court-appointed lawyers, who were instructed to enter a guilty plea for them.
Ms. Xie was sentenced to 1.5 years in prison with a 4,000 yuan fine.
Ms. Fan was given 2.5 years and fined 4,000 yuan. Ms. Liu received 2 years and a 3,000-yuan fine. They were ordered to serve time outside of prison.
The three practitioners were arrested on March 20, 2019 while reading Zhuan Falun, the main text of Falun Gong, with three other practitioners, Ms. Luo Tongyu, Ms. Tu and Ms. He.
After they finished reading, Ms. Luo left first and was soon arrested by officers who had been waiting outside.
The officers then came back and knocked on the door. Thinking that Ms. Luo had returned to get something, the other practitioners opened the door, only to find a group of police officers standing there.
The officers searched each practitioner's belongings and confiscated their Zhuan Falun and hundreds of copies of informational booklets about Falun Gong.
The six practitioners were then brought to the police station, where they were interrogated about how they learned Falun Gong and where they got the materials.
The police ransacked Ms. Xie’s home on the same day of her arrest. Her Falun Gong books, computer and printer were confiscated.
The police also ransacked Ms. Fan’s home on the next day and took away her Falun Gong books.
Ms. Tu, in her 70s, and Ms. He were released around 1 a.m. on March 21, 2019.
Ms. Luo, in her 60s, was released after seven days of detention at Shehong County Detention Center.
Ms. Xie, Ms. Fan and Ms. Liu were transferred to Suining City Detention Center on March 21. They were held in different rooms and interrogated separately. The police told each of them that the other two practitioners had already informed on them, in an attempt to make the practitioners accuse each other.
In addition to intensive interrogation, the police also forced the practitioners to watch slanderous videos attacking Falun Gong to try to shake their faith.
The police threatened to sentence Ms. Fan to three years in prison or to deny her grandson’s opportunity to attend college or find a job. They also found her husband, son and daughter-in-law to come to the detention center and beg her to give up Falun Gong.
Unable to bear the pressure, Ms. Liu and Ms. Fan wrote statements to renounce Falun Gong against their will. They were released on April 18 and April 26, respectively.
The police threatened Ms. Fan that they would take her back into custody if she contacts Falun Gong practitioners again.
Ms. Xie refused to write the renouncing statement. Her arrest was approved on April 27, one day after Ms. Fan’s release. She has been held at the detention center since.