(Minghui.org) Two county-level courts in Dezhou City, Shandong Province are confirmed to have sentenced at least nine Falun Gong practitioners for their faith between 2014 and 2019.

Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a mind and body improvement system persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.

Due to the regime's information blockade, the actual number of practitioners sentenced is likely to be much higher than confirmed.

Following Beijing’s policy to persecute Falun Gong, the two courts sentenced the nine practitioners to prison after going through show trials, ignoring the lack of legal basis for the persecution and due process.

The prison terms of the nine practitioners, five of whom are female, range from 11 months to 5 years, with an average of 2.3 years. A tenth practitioner is currently awaiting a verdict.

The following is a summary of the practitioners sentenced by Xiajin County Court and Qihe County Court in the past five years. 

Xiajin County Court 

- Mr. Zhang Shoufeng Sentenced to Five Years in Prison 

The police from Xiajin County and Dezhou City charged into Mr. Zhang Shoufeng’s (aka Zhang Shouqiang) workplace on May 28, 2013, and arrested him. 

After one year of detention, Mr. Zhang was given five years in prison on June 2, 2014 by Xiajin County Court. 

Mr. Zhang was released on May 27, 2018. 

- Couple Sentenced to Prison 

Mr. Kang Zongfeng of Linqing City, Shandong Province was arrested on February 18, 2017, after being reported for posting information about Falun Gong in public. His wife, Ms. Wei Fengqin, was arrested two days later when she sought his release at Xiajin Police Department.

The couple appeared in Xiajin County Court on August 11, 2017. Mr. Kang was sentenced to a two-year prison term and Ms. Wei to 11 months in prison on November 22, 2017. They each were fined 10,000 yuan. 

Mr. Kang appealed to the Dezhou Intermediate Court, which upheld the original sentence. 

- Retired Teacher Sentenced to 2 Years 

The police in Pingyuan County arrested Ms. Wang Jinhua on March 5, 2018, while she was posting Falun Gong fliers. The police forged evidence and transferred Ms. Wang’s case to the Xiajin Procuratorate in January 2019. 

Ms. Wang stood trial on July 18, 2019, at Xiajin County Court. The judge sentenced her to 2 years in prison and fined her 5,000 yuan on August 7. 

Ms. Wang was sent to Shandong Province Women’s Prison on October 10, 2019. 

Qihe County Court

- Couple Sentenced to Three Years Each

Ms. Huang Yuping and her husband, Mr. Wei Lesheng, were at a market telling people about the persecution of Falun Gong on February 29, 2016 when the police arrested them. The couple from Qihe County were transferred to Dezhou City Detention Center two weeks later. 

Without sending a notice to their families, Qihe County Court held a trial of the couple on August 12, 2016. They each got a 3-year sentence. 

- Teacher Sentenced to Two Years 

Mr. Jia Zhaomin from Changqing District, Jinan City, was arrested while he was giving out Falun Gong fliers on November 11, 2018. The officers bashed him with batons trying to extort a confession during an interrogation. He was then sent to Dezhou City Detention Center. 

A hearing was held on April 29, 2019 in Qihe County Court, where Mr. Jia was sentenced to 2 years in prison. 

Related article:Award-winning Teacher Faces Indictment for Sharing Information about His Faith

- Ms. Zhang Liping Received 18 Months

A Qihe County resident reported to the police a flier that was posted about Falun Gong. The police, based on the nearby surveillance cameras, located Ms. Zhang Liping’s car and tracked her down. Four months later on April 1, 2019, the police arrested Ms. Zhang in Jinan City. 

At her hearing on August 20, 2019, Ms. Zhang’s lawyer pleaded not guilty and demanded acquittal of her. The judge sentenced her to 18 months ten days later. 

Related report:Shandong Woman Sentenced to Prison for Her Faith in Falun Gong

- Ms. Jiang Yuqin Secretly Sentenced to One Year 

Ms. Jiang Yuqin of Jinan City went to Qihe Police Department to inquire about a practitioner’s arrest and ended up being arrested herself as she was leaving. She was incarcerated in Dezhou Detention Center on December 25, 2018 and her family was kept in the dark of her case status. 

Ms. Jiang’s family later learned that she was imprisoned on July 11, 2019, after she was found guilty in a secret hearing by Qihe County Court. 

Related report:Shandong Woman Secretly Sentenced for Seeking Justice for Detained Man of the Same Faith

- Ms. Dong Juan Awaits Verdict

When Ms. Dong Juan from Dezhou City told people about the persecution in public, someone reported her to the police, which led to her arrest on October 21, 2017. She was detained for a month and released on bail. 

Ms. Dong was tried in Qihe County Court on December 7, 2018. She is currently awaiting a verdict at home.