(Minghui.org) Two Golmud City, Qinghai Province residents were sentenced to prison for practicing Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.

Ms. Zuo Aifeng, 59, was sentenced to four years. Ms. Kang Jingying, in her 60s, was given two and half years. Both of their appeals were rejected.

Ms. Zuo and Ms. Kang were arrested on March 30, 2017 while distributing informational materials about Falun Gong. They were tried together and appeared in Golmud City Court twice, first in November 2017 and then in January 2018. Their lawyers entered not guilty pleas for them.

The judge implied to the lawyers that she didn’t have the authority to make decisions about the case and would have to ask for instructions from higher-ups. She announced the verdicts in May 2019.

Ms. Kang was released on September 29, 2019 after serving her term.

Prior to their latest sentencing, both women had been imprisoned following their earlier arrests on March 23, 2009 for practicing Falun Gong. Ms. Zuo served four years and Ms. Kang one year.