(Minghui.org) Three residents of Tonghe County, Heilongjiang Province, are facing further prosecution for their faith in Falun Gong, an ancient spiritual and meditation discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.

Ms. Chen Shoumei, 62; Ms. Zhang Guiyun, 67; and Ms. Zhang Xiuying (no relation to Ms. Zhang Guiyun), 56, were arrested on September 11, 2019. They were put in criminal detention on September 27 and sent to Harbin No.2 Detention Center.

Prior to their latest arrests, Ms. Chen was sentenced to seven years in 2008 and Ms. Zhang Xiuying to five years in 2011, both by Tonghe County Court for their faith.

Another five practitioners and one practitioner’s family member were also arrested on the same day but were later released. The police harassed that practitioner’s family member a few more times, withheld her cellphone for a period of time, and attempted to force her to falsely accuse the practitioners.

The police ransacked the homes of all eight practitioners and confiscated their Falun Gong books, computers, printers, and other personal belongings. 

The police searched Ms. Zhang Xiuying’s clothes, hats, and purses according to some surveillance videos, but didn’t find anything of interest.

When Ms. Zhang Guiyun’s family went to the Domestic Security Division to demand her release, the police blamed her for making Falun Gong keepsakes and refused to dismiss her case.

The Tonghe County Procuratorate approved the women’s arrests around October 24, 2019, and forwarded their cases to the Yilan County Procuratorate on November 20. They are now facing indictment for their faith.

In the past few years, the prosecutors in most regions near Harbin City, including Bin County, Tonghe County, Fangzheng County, and Bayan County, have all sent their Falun Gong cases to Yilan County for prosecution. 

Prosecutors Ru Shaohua and Chen Yujie from the Yilan County Procuratorate and judge Zhang Anke from the Yilan County Court are mainly responsible for carrying out the persecution in this area. They collaborate to prevent the practitioners’ lawyers from reviewing case documents and prevent practitioners’ families from defending them in court. 

Mr. Chen Huijiang, a practitioner from Bin County, was recently sentenced to nine years in prison by judge Zhang.

Ms. Zhang Guizhi, the sister of Ms. Zhang Guiyun, who was fired from her job for practicing Falun Gong, was sentenced to four years by judge Zhang for mailing two appeal letters to the local government. She is now serving time in Heilongjiang Province Women’s Prison.