Five Falun Gong Practitioners Imprisoned for Their Faith, Three of Them Have Sentences Extended by Appeals Court
(Minghui.org) After two prosecutors challenged the prison sentences of five Falun Gong practitioners for being too light, the judge at Fushun City Intermediate Court announced in August to increase the terms of three of them, following a hearing on June 4, 2019.
Ms. Zhang Chuanwen's and Ms. Xu Junying's terms were increased from 1.5 years to 3 years. Ms. Yang Xiufang's 15-month term was extended to 3 years.
Mr. Ding Guozhu’s 3.5-year and Ms. Wang Haichao's 3-year terms remained unchanged.
Mr. Ding was sent to a prison in Shenyang City, Liaoning Province on August 28, 2019. The four female practitioners were sent to Liaoning Women’s Prison on September 10, 2019.
The five practitioners, all residents of Qingyuan County, Liaoning Province, were convicted shortly after their court appearance at Qingyuan County Court on December 12, 2018 for their faith, a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.
Lu Huanhuan and Wang Zongyang, prosecutors at Qingyuan County Procuratorate, insisted that the practitioners' original sentences were too lenient and appealed to Fushun City Intermediate Court.
Family Interrogated for Seeking Their Release
The five practitioners were arrested on June 21, 2018 after being reported for talking to people about Falun Gong. The police ransacked their homes and confiscated their computers and Falun Gong books.
After the police put the practitioners on criminal detention, Ms. Zhang’s older sister and their 93-year-old mother, Ms. Wang’s younger brother and their deaf parents, as well as Ms. Yang’s older sister, went to the local police station to inquire about their cases on July 31, 2018.
Liu Feng, the police chief, responded by shutting the gate of the police station and didn't allow them to leave. He and other officers then transferred them to Qingyuan County Police Department, where each of them was held in a small room, interrogated and videotaped. The police also collected their blood samples and fingerprints, including those of Ms. Zhang’s mother and Ms. Wang’s parents.