(Minghui.org) A Chengdu City, Sichuan Province resident was sentenced to four years for her faith in Falun Gong, a mind-body improvement practice that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.

Ms. Wang Yingxia has filed an appeal against the sentence.

Ms. Wang was arrested on August 27, 2018 for distributing informational materials about Falun Gong. She was first given 15 days of administrative detention and then put into criminal detention on September 10, 2018.

She was charged with “using a cult to obstruct the enforcement of the law,” a standard pretext used by the Chinese legal system to frame and imprison Falun Gong practitioners. Her case was submitted to Gaoxin District Court in early May 2019.

She appeared in court on October 24, and her lawyer entered a not guilty plea for her.

Ms. Wang also testified in her own defense, but she was frequently interrupted by the presiding judge, He Jing.

Items confiscated from Ms. Wang's home, including Falun Gong books and banknotes printed with information about Falun Gong, were used as evidence against her. The prosecutor also cited the one-year labor camp term she received in 2006 for practicing Falun Gong as evidence that she was a repeat offender.

Ms. Wang’s lawyer countered that the abolishment of the labor camp system in 2013 indicated the system's illegality and that his client's labor camp detention was proof of her being persecuted, not being guilty, for her faith.

The lawyer went on to point out that when Ms. Wang began to practice Falun Gong in 1995, the government was in fact promoting the practice and one could get its books at Xinhua Bookstore, the largest bookstore chain under the Propaganda Department in China.

Although publishers in China weren’t allowed to reprint Falun Gong books after the persecution began in 1999, the Chinese Publication Bureau quietly lifted the ban on publication of Falun Gong books and literature in 2011.

The lawyer further argued that it's Ms. Wang's freedom of belief to practice Falun Gong and that she didn't cause harm to anyone by upholding her faith, let alone undermine law enforcement.

The judge sentenced Ms. Wang and fined her with 10,000 yuan at the end of the court hearing.

Related report:

Sichuan Woman Faces Trial for Her Faith, Lawyer Unable to Submit Required Documents Until Fourth Try