Two Women Sentenced for Their Faith – One Woman’s Mother Dies in Distress, the Other’s Husband Faces Barriers While Seeking Justice
(Minghui.org) Two Dandong City, Liaoning Province residents were sentenced to prison on September 27, 2020 for their faith in Falun Gong, a mind-body discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.
Ms. Yang Qingbo was sentenced to nine months and fined 3,000 yuan by the Zhen’en District Court. Ms. Zhao Shuhua was given probation and ordered to serve time outside of prison.
Ms. Zhao’s sentencing dealt such a heavy blow to her mother, who had been suffering from a terminal disease, that the elderly woman passed away in distress on October 3, 2020.
Ms. Zhao was arrested on February 24, 2020 for distributing Falun Gong informational materials. Her home was ransacked. She was released on bail later that day and summoned to the police station several times later on.
Ms. Yang was arrested on March 5, 2020 for posting materials about Falun Gong. The police also ransacked her home and confiscated her Falun Gong books and related materials. She was released around 10 p.m. on the day of her arrest.
Details about Ms. Yang’s Case
On the morning of July 30, 2020, Ms. Yang was taken to the Zhen’an District Procuratorate to answer questions about her case. Although the prosecutor returned it to the police for insufficient evidence, the police refused to drop the charges against her and put her under house arrest instead.
Weeks later, the police submitted Ms. Yang’s case to the prosecutor again. This time, the prosecutor indicted her and forwarded her case to the Zhen’an District Court. On August 25, 2020, a prosecutor surnamed Yang called Ms. Yang’s husband and said if he could persuade her to plead guilty and pay a 4,000-yuan fine, the court would give her a lighter sentence.
Ms. Yang’s husband responded, “My wife used to suffer from a very severe heart problem. She recovered from practicing Falun Gong. Can you tell me how you determine if one violates the law or not?”
Prosecutor Yang said, “For example, if one causes harm to another person, either physically or mentally, to some extent.”
Ms. Yang’s husband asked, “Then who did my wife harm when she put up the posters?”
Prosecutor Yang didn’t respond. Instead, he accused Ms. Yang of “undermining law enforcement with a cult,” the standard pretext used by the authorities to frame and imprison Falun Gong practitioners.
On September 1, 2020, Ms. Yang was summoned to the court. She refused to plead guilty. Her husband signed her bail release document and was told that Ms. Yang wasn’t allowed to leave town for sixty days.
Ms. Yang was summoned to the court again on the next day. She went there, only to be sent to a hospital for a physical examination and then taken into custody at the Tangchi Detention Center.
In a attempt to seek justice for his wife, Ms. Yang's husband submitted several documents to both the procuratorate and the court, detailing the lack of legal basis and evidence for her case.
Guo Zhongren, the judge handling Ms. Yang’s case, said to her husband, “I won’t read it. I’ve handled so many Falun Gong cases.” He tore up the documents in front of him.
On September 25, 2020, Ms. Yang’s husband was informed by the court that she was scheduled to appear in court on September 27. Only two family members were allowed to attend the trial.
When Ms. Yang defended her own innocence in court, judge Guo said to her, “You’ll be fine if you practice Falun Gong at home, but you are violating the law and committing a crime if you go out and distribute the materials.”
Ms. Yang’s husband is now very worried about her after judge Guo announced the verdict.