(Minghui.org) A resident of Dalian City, Liaoning Province, was sentenced to four years in prison in December 2018 for practicing Falun Gong, a spiritual and meditation discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999. Her appeal was rejected two months later.

The Dalian City Intermediate Court delivered its decision in Ms. Yu Chunxiang's case on February 22, 2019, without holding an open hearing as requested. Her family didn't learn of the ruling until two days later when the lawyer visited her at the local detention center.

Ms. Yu was arrested on April 24, 2018, after being reported for talking to people about Falun Gong. She appeared in Xigang District Court on September 4, 2018, and was sentenced on December 11, 2018.

Her daughter, Ms. Song Dandan, represented her as a non-lawyer defender after she received the verdict. Ms. Song helped her mother file an appeal to the intermediate court. Her requests to meet with Ms. Yu, review her case documents and have an open hearing of her case were all rejected by the appeals court judge, who also refused to answer Ms. Song’s phone calls.

When Ms. Song managed to obtain the judge's cellphone number and called him, he denied that he was in charge of Ms. Yu's case.

Soon after Ms. Song talked to the judge on the phone, she received a call from his assistant on February 11. The assistant demanded that she submit household registration as proof of her relationship with her mother in three days, or they would revoke her representation of Ms. Yu.

After Ms. Song submitted the required document, the judge asked her to submit a written defense script. She said she'd present her statement for the defense at an opening hearing in her mother's appeals case. She didn't submit her defense statement, and the judge declined to hold an open hearing or allow her to review her mother's case documents.

Ms. Song later hired a lawyer to represent her mother. When the lawyer met with Ms. Yu on February 24, he learned from her that the judge had ruled to uphold her prison sentence two days before.

Ms. Song called the judge's cellphone again after learning of the ruling. Her calls went unanswered.

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Mother Given Four Years for Practicing Falun Gong, Daughter Vouches for Her Character