(Minghui.org) Two Shanghai residents were sentenced to prison for their faith in Falun Gong on July 29, 2020. Ms. Yao Guizhen, in her 60s, received four years and three months. Ms. Wang Qiuju, 47, was given one year and four months.

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. Yao and Ms. Wang were arrested on April 25 and 28, 2019, respectively. They have been detained at Baoshan District Detention Center since.

The police first submitted their cases to the Baoshan District Procuratorate, which returned them twice for insufficient evidence. As Chinese criminal law requires cases to be dismissed if returned twice, the police submitted their cases to the Jing’an District Procuratorate instead of releasing the practitioners.

The Jing’an District prosecutor indicted the practitioners and forwarded their cases to the Jing’an District Court, which sentenced them in a hearing on July 29.

Past Persecution

Both practitioners had been persecuted for their faith before.

In July 1999, Ms. Yao was arrested and detained for a month for doing the Falun Gong meditation in a park. She was arrested again days before the 2005 Chinese New Year, together with her teenage son. Her son was held at a brainwashing center for a month, and she was given two years at Shanghai Women’s Forced Labor Camp. The guards held her in solitary confinement for extended periods of time in an attempt to force her to renounce her faith.

Not long after she was released, the police broke into her home on July 25, 2007, carried her downstairs without allowing her to put on her shoes, and took her to a brainwashing center.

Ms. Yao was arrested one more time on March 26, 2014, and detained for ten days at Nanhui Detention Center.

Ms. Wang and her husband were harassed and intimidated by the police in July 2015 for filing a criminal complaint against Jiang Zemin, the former head of the communist regime who ordered the persecution in 1999.

Related report:

Police Turn to Different Procuratorate After Previous One Refuses to Indict Falun Gong Practitioners