(Minghui.org) Two sisters in Dandong City, Liaoning Province, were sentenced to prison in 2015 for practicing Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline being persecuted by the Chinese Communist regime. Ms. Zhang Wei and her younger sister, Ms. Zhang Xiaoping, were both sent to Liaoning Province Women's Prison, where Wei is serving nine years and Xiaoping five years.

The prison authorities have denied the sisters family visits on more than one occasion because they have refused to renounce their faith. Most recently, Wei's husband was not allowed to visit her on April 19 and again on May 14, 2019. Xiaoping's family's request to visit her was turned down on April 22, 2019.

Older Sister's Family Twice Denied Visits in Three Weeks

Ms. Zhang Wei's husband, accompanied by an attorney, tried to visit her in prison on April 22. They were told that Wei was in solitary confinement for practicing Falun Gong exercises and that she was not allowed to see visitors. When the attorney demanded to see proof that she was in solitary, a staff person initially refused and then flashed a piece of paper in front of them. Despite the attorney's vigorous protestations, they were turned away.

Wei's husband again tried to see her three weeks later on May 14. He was told that he could not see Wei for the same reason. After he demanded to see prison officials, a guard came out and showed him a video clip of his wife doing the Falun Gong exercises.

Wei's husband asked again to see her. He said that he hadn't seen his wife for two months and that he was really worried about her, given how badly she has been beaten in the past.

Wei once served seven years in the same prison for her faith, and she was almost tortured to death. This time around, she was also beaten and her husband saw bruises on her during a visit in August 2018.

Wei's husband again asked to see his wife, but the guard who showed him the video said no. She said she could shoot another short video of Wei to show him. Worried that he would be tricked, he insisted that Wei state the date in the video. The guard soon produced a blurry video clip in which Wei said it was May 14th. The guard didn't say whether Wei was still in solitary.

Younger Sister's Family Allowed to See Her Only after Filing Appeal

Ms. Zhang Xiaoping's family had also tried to visit her in recent months.

They first came on April 19 and were told that they could not see her because she refused to renounce her belief in Falun Gong. They appealed that decision to the Bureau of Prison Administration. They were later told Xiaoping's visitation rights were revoked because she did not comply with prison regulation.

However, prison officials called Xiaoping's daughter on May 9 and told her that she and only she could visit Xiaoping.

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