(Minghui.org) A 79-year-old woman in Jinan City, Shandong Province was sentenced to two years for her faith in Falun Gong, a mind-body discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.

Ms. Feng Chunying's prison sentence was upheld after she was duped into using a court-appointed lawyer, who entered a guilty plea for her in her appeal case. The court officials threatened to have her removed from her home if her son refused to send her to the local detention center to serve time.

Ms. Feng's son initially refused to comply, but he felt tremendous pressure as the officials kept urging him to turn his mother in. There was a report that he might have already sent his mother, who had been out on bail following her arrest, to the detention center, but we cannot confirm that at the time of writing.

Arrested in One District, Prosecuted in Another District

Ms. Feng was arrested on November 18, 2018 while putting up information about Falun Gong in a residential area. The police searched her bag and brought her to the local police station.

The police returned to that residential area and collected all the materials Ms. Feng had put up earlier. They also searched her home and confiscated her Falun Gong books and related items. All of these materials were later used as prosecution evidence against her.

Ms. Feng was released on bail later that day.

While Ms. Feng lives in and distributed the materials in Shizhong District, the police submitted her case to the procuratorate in Changqing District instead.

Ms. Feng was indicted by Changqing District Procuratorate on June 19, 2019 and soon had her case submitted to Changqing District Court.

A judge in Changqing District Court admitted to her that according to Chinese criminal law, his district had no jurisdiction over her since she was arrested in a different district. The judge said that he was just following orders from higher-ups to accept her case.

Ms. Feng was sentenced to two years with a 5,000 yuan fine on September 10, 2019. She soon filed an appeal.

Duped into Using Court Appointed Lawyer in Appeal Case

On October 30, Li Changchun, a court appointed lawyer, duped Ms. Feng into signing the power of attorney after promising to enter a not guilty plea for her in the appeal case.

Two days later, judge Chen Jing from the appeals court ruled to uphold her original verdict. When Ms. Feng’s son went to the court to pick up the verdict, he noted that the court document indicated that lawyer Li had entered a guilty plea for his mother.

Son Tricked into Obtaining Medical Record to Show Mother Is Healthy Enough for Prison

Judge Chen said that Ms. Feng might qualify for serving time outside of prison if she was found to have a medical condition. Her son took her to the hospital for a checkup on November 8 upon Chen's urging. He had mixed feelings when he received the results on November 15. He was happy to see his mother was perfectly healthy, but he also knew the chance of her serving time outside of prison became very slim. He had thought that his elderly mother would have been found to have some medical issues to be able to avoid prison.

He reached out to judge Chen, but Chen no longer answered his call. Only then did it occur to him that he had been tricked into obtaining a medical record of his mother to show that she was healthy enough for prison.

Son May Have Buckled Under Pressure

The Changqing District Court, upon receiving Ms. Feng's medical record, kept urging her son to send her to the local detention center to serve time. They threatened to send court marshals to get her if he refused to comply.

Ms. Feng’s son initially rejected the court’s demand and said, “As a son, I couldn’t do that to my own mother, when she didn’t do anything wrong in upholding her faith.” The court still insisted that he comply with the demand, and it was reported that he was considering turning her in on November 28.

It is unclear at the time of writing whether Ms. Feng has been sent to the detention center. Her husband, who has high blood pressure and had several episodes of heart attacks after her verdict was upheld, struggles to cope.

Related report:79-Year-Old Woman Sentenced for Her Faith, Duped into Signing Paperwork for Court-appointed Lawyer in Appeal Case

Related article in Chinese:济南公检法迫害79岁法轮功学员冯春英