After Eight Years of Imprisonment and Involuntary Divorce, Sichuan Woman Sentenced to Four Years Again for Her Faith
(Minghui.org) A Chengdu City, Sichuan Province resident was sentenced to four years in prison on May 20, 2019 for not renouncing her faith in Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.
Ms. Chen Jie, 57, was distributing materials to expose the persecution of Falun Gong on May 16, 2018 when she came across a plainclothes officer, who arrested her upon taking a booklet from her. The police proceeded to ransack her home and confiscated her computer, several memory cards and many Falun Gong related materials.
She was put on criminal detention eight days later and had her case submitted to Qingbaijiang District Procuratorate on the 12th day of her arrest.
The prosecutor returned her case to the police twice and asked for additional evidence before sending it to Qingbaijiang District Court in January 2019.
Ms. Chen appeared in Qingbaijiang District Court on May 20. Her lawyer Guo Haiyue entered a not guilty plea for her and demanded her acquittal.
Ms. Chen also testified in her own defense. She cited a notice issued by the Chinese publication bureau in 2001 that lifted the ban on the publication of Falun Gong books. She also pointed out the lack of legal basis for the persecution of Falun Gong.
The judge sentenced her to four years in prison with a 5,000 yuan fine at the end of the trial.
Ms. Chen's latest prison sentence was preceded by two more prison terms for a total of eight years for not renouncing her faith. She was first sentenced to three years in 2001. Her young daughter was left unattended while she served time at Sichuan Province Women's Prison. Yet the authorities spread rumors that she only knew to practice Falun Gong and didn't care about her daughter.
Ms. Chen was arrested again in 2007 for talking to people about Falun Gong. She was sentenced to five years in prison. Her husband divorced her shortly after she was released in 2012, as he couldn't bear the pressure from the persecution any longer.