(Minghui.org) Five Jieyang City, Guangdong Province residents were recently sentenced to prison for spreading information about the persecution of their faith, Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline that has been targeted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.

Mr. Wu Chunxiong, the owner of a small company in Jiexi County, Jieyang City, was arrested on May 22, 2017. The police had been monitoring him for some time after discovering Falun Gong related information on the WeChat account of his company. WeChat is the largest social media platform, and is strictly monitored by the Chinese government.

Prior to the arrest, Mr. Wu's company experienced Internet outages, and some employees noticed plainclothes officers outside of their offices.

Three employees and also Falun Gong practitioners, including Mr. Wu Xuqin (no relation to Mr. Wu Chunxiong), Mr. Tang Jianqun and Ms. Cai Linhua, were arrested the same day.

The police took Mr. Wu Xuqin to his home and ransacked his residence. They also arrested his mother, Ms. Chen Xiaobin, who is also a Falun Gong practitioner. His father, Mr. Wu Meiping, escaped the arrest as he wasn't home during the police raid. The elderly Mr. Wu was then put on the wanted list at the local 610 Office, an extralegal agency created specifically to persecute Falun Gong. He was arrested on March 15, 2019 when he went to apply for permission to attend the hearing of his son and wife. He is currently being held at the Jieyang City Detention Center.

In addition to Mr. Wu Xuqin's family, the police also interrogated other employees and questioned who referred them to the company and who were their family members. The police subsequently arrested some of the professional references, including some former employees of the company.

Mr. Wu Chunxiong was forced to shut down his business operation, and many of his personal belongings were confiscated.

The five practitioners, including Mr. Wu Chunxiong, Mr. Wu Xuqin and his mother (Ms. Chen), Mr. Tang, and Ms. Cai, were indicted by Rongcheng District Procuratorate on January 29, 2019 and tried by Rongcheng District Court on March 19, 2019.

The judge sentenced them to prison in mid-May 2019. Mr. Tang was sentenced to 8 years, Mr. Wu Xuqin received 7.5 years, Ms. Chen and Ms. Cai each got 2.5 years. The sentence term for Mr. Wu Chunxiong remains to be investigated.