Judge Extends Woman's Initial Prison Term after Retrial, Demands 5,000 Yuan to Revoke the Term Extension
(Minghui.org) A trial court judge in Jilin City, Jilin Province extended Ms. Qin Xiuzhi’s original three-year prison term for practicing Falun Gong by six months after the provincial high court ordered a retrial. He then demanded 5,000 yuan from her family to have the six-month extension revoked.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.
Ms. Qin, a retired employee of Jilin City Cement Plant, was arrested on February 17, 2019, while distributing informational materials about Falun Gong with another practitioner, Ms. Qin Guohua (no relation), 65, who was later given probation and fined 50,000 yuan.
Ms. Qin Xiuzhi, nearly 60, was sentenced to three years by Chuanying District Court after being detained for eight months at Jilin City Detention Center. She appealed the verdict with Jilin City Intermediate Court, which ruled to uphold her term. She was sent to Jilin Province Women’s Prison in November 2019.
Ms. Qin continued to appeal to the High Court in Jilin Province while serving time in the prison. The high court ruled to reverse the intermediate court's decision and ordered Chuanying District Court to have a retrial.
Judge Li Zhongcheng of the trial court ruled to extend Ms. Qin's original prison term by six months without holding a hearing. He told Ms. Qin's family that the six-month extension could be avoided if her family was willing to pay 5,000 yuan.
Not wanting their loved one to suffer more prison time, Ms. Qin’s family paid 5,000 yuan to judge Li.