(Minghui.org) An appeals court in Luzhou City, Sichuan Province, upheld the prison sentences of three Falun Gong practitioners on July 29, 2019.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.
The three practitioners, Ms. Gao Xianying, 76; Ms. Zhang Yuanhua, 48; and Ms. Zou Mingying, 53, were arrested on July 12, 2017 for distributing informational materials about Falun Gong.
They appeared in Hejiang County Court on June 14 and were convicted on December 18, 2018.
Ms. Gao was sentenced to seven years in prison and fined 7,000 yuan, Ms. Zhang received a 3.5 year sentence and a 6,000 yuan fine, and Ms. Zou received 1.5 years and a fine of 2,000 yuan.
The Luzhou City Intermediate Court heard their appeals in a makeshift courtroom at Naxi District Detention Center on May 23, 2019. Two lawyers defended Ms. Gao and Ms. Zou, and Ms. Zhang was represented by her daughter.
Ms. Zhang's daughter said, “My mom suffered a bone fracture and later became paralyzed. After learning Falun Gong, she experienced a dramatic improvement in her health. Not only was she able to walk again, but she also went back to work and took on house chores. It's only natural for her to continue practicing Falun Gong and telling people about its benefits.”
Despite the tremendous efforts by the practitioners' families to rescue them and raise awareness of the persecution, the judge at the intermediate court upheld their sentences.