(Minghui.org) After over two years of incommunicado detention, an 80-year-old man was sentenced to 8.5 years for practicing Falun Gong, a spiritual and meditation discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.

Mr. Xiao Dafu, of Dazhou City, Sichuan Province, was arrested at home on October 16, 2018 and has been held at the Dazhou City Detention Center since. His family went to visit him several times, but was repeatedly rejected.

According to people familiar with his case, Mr. Xiao was interrogated for extended periods of time on seven occasions. In order to force him to renounce Falun Gong, the police ordered his three children to disown him. 

Mr. Xiao appeared in the Dazhou City Court on June 20, 2019. The court didn’t inform his family of the hearing. His lawyer entered a not guilty plea for him and Mr. Xiao also testified in his own defense. 

More than a year later, in early October 2020, Mr. Xiao’s wife, Ms. Liu Jixiu, was summoned to the Tongzhou District Court and handed Mr. Xiao’s verdict, which indicated that he was sentenced to 8.5 years on September 30. 

Mr. Xiao appealed the verdict and is now awaiting the result.

Prior to his latest term, Mr. Xiao has been repeatedly arrested and detained for his faith. He was given two years of forced labor in 2002 at Xinhua Forced Labor Camp, during which time was deprived of sleep, forced to sit on a small stool without moving. and was denied use of the restroom.

Related reports:

80-Year-Old Man Held Incommunicado for 1.5 Years for His Faith

Police Demand Children of 79-year-old Man Dissociate Themselves from Him in Order to Target His Faith