(Minghui.org) A Shanghai resident was sentenced to one and a half years in prison and ordered to pay an unknown fine for her faith in Falun Gong on July 17, 2020.

Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is an ancient spiritual and meditation discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.

Ms. Zhang Fengqin was arrested on June 19, 2019, and has been held at Pudong New Area Detention Center since.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Fengxian Court, an out-of-town court handling all Falun Gong cases from Pudong, has been postponing Ms. Zhang’s trial. The court also used the pandemic as an excuse to prevent her family from attending her trial on July 17.

Ms. Zhang’s lawyer entered a not-guilty plea for her during her hearing. He argued that no law criminalizes Falun Gong in China and that it’s within his client’s constitutional rights to practice her faith and talk to people about it.

The judge announced the verdict at the end of the trial.