Two Hunan Residents Sentenced for Their Faith, With One Receiving 7 Years
(Minghui.org) Two Changsha City, Hunan Province residents were sentenced to prison for their faith in Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.
Mr. Peng Songwei, 71, was arrested on August 7, 2018, for sending information about quitting the Communist Party with a WiFi hot spot device at Changsha Train Station.
The police claimed that Mr. Peng testified that Mr. Han Xuezhi provided him with the device and showed him how to operate it. They thus arrested Mr. Han, an employee of local gas company, at his workplace on November 1, 2018.
Mr. Han was fired by his workplace one month later.
While Mr. Han was held at the local detention center, the police kept pressuring him to plead guilty and write statements to renounce Falun Gong. Mr. Han refused to comply.
The police harassed his family, including his mother who just had a brain surgery, and attempted to use their jobs to force them to persuade Mr. Han to renounce his faith. They didn’t comply either.
The detention center guards didn’t allow Mr. Han's lawyer to visit him and threatened the lawyer as well. After the lawyer was forced to withdraw from his case, the authorities attempted to target the new lawyer his family hired for him.
Mr. Han and Mr. Peng appeared in Changsha Railroad Transportation Court together on May 24, 2019. Mr. Peng, who has been released on bail due to his physical condition, was wheeled into the courtroom.
Mr. Han’s wife wasn’t allowed to attend his hearing. His lawyer entered a not guilty plea for him.
Mr. Han testified in court how the police attempted to extract confession from him by threatening to separate his wife and son and force them to live on the street.
Judge Wang summoned Mr. Han’s wife to the court on June 11, 2019 and said he would announce the verdict. But when his wife arrived at the court, she was told that the sentencing had been postponed for a month.
Wang said to Mr. Han’s wife that Mr. Peng had written a statement to renounce Falun Gong as required and that he was likely to go home without serving any time in prison. Wang warned that Mr. Han might get a heavy sentence if he refused to write a similar statement and asked his wife to persuade him to renounce Falun Gong. She again refused to comply.
On July 5, Wang announced the verdicts: Mr. Han was sentenced to seven years in prison, with 10,000 yuan fine; Mr. Peng was sentenced to three years with three years probation, with 5,000 yuan fine.
Mr. Han appealed to Guangzhou Railroad Transportation Intermediate Court on July 10, 2019. The higher court ruled to uphold his verdict on October 12, 2019. It’s not clear where Mr. Han is detained at the time of writing.
Mr. Peng's condition kept worsening while he was out on bail. He has become incapacitated following his sentencing and is now serving probation at home.