(Minghui.org) The Handan City Intermediate Court ruled on April 17, 2019, to uphold the prison sentences of two Falun Gong practitioners without holding a public hearing.

Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a cultivation practice that consists of exercises and following the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance. It has been suppressed by the Chinese communist regime since July 1999.

Ms. Hou Qiaozhen and Ms. Zhang Peiying from Ci County, Hebei Province, were arrested on May 16, 2018, for talking to people about the persecution of Falun Gong. They have been held at Handan City No.3 Detention Center since.

Both women appeared in the Ci County Court on December 24, 2018. Ms. Zhang had to be carried into the courtroom by the bailiffs because she was unable to walk after being subjected to the “stretching” torture in the detention center. Their family members were allowed to attend their hearing.

They were convicted three days later. Ms. Hou, a 77-year-old retired teacher, was sentenced to three years and fined 2,000 yuan. Ms. Zhang was sentenced one year and ten months and fined 1,000 yuan.

As a result of the poor conditions and mistreatment in the detention center, Ms. Hou developed severe anemia and low blood pressure. She lost consciousness and was hospitalized several times. But the authorities refused to release her on medical parole and are planning to transfer her to prison soon.

Related reports:

Two Hebei Province Residents Appeal Prison Sentences for Their Faith

Two Hebei Residents Sentenced to Prison for Talking to People about Falun Gong, One Tortured in Detention Center

Ms. Zhang Peiying Tortured in Handan City No. 3 Detention Center

District Court in Handan City Secretly Sentences Ms. Hou Qiaozhen to Three Years

70-Year-Old Retired Teacher Detained Again, Previous Imprisonment Severely Damaged Her Health

Handan City Police Officers Arrest Falun Gong Practitioners