(Minghui.org) The court of Linghai, a northeastern city in Liaoning Province, has wrongfully sentenced nine Falun Gong practitioners in a little over a year. More practitioners have been indicted and are facing prison sentences for their faith.
Linghai is under the administration of Jinzhou, the second largest city in Liaoning Province. Since July 2020, the authorities have designated the Linghai City Procuratorate and Linghai City Court to handle all Falun Gong cases in the Jinzhou region, as a way to expedite the prosecution process.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is an ancient mind-body exercise of the Buddhist school, teaching the principles of Truth-Compassion-Forbearance. The Chinese Communist Party launched a nationwide campaign against this widely popular practice in 1999, putting many practitioners in prisons or brainwashing centers in an attempt to force them to give up their beliefs. The persecution of Falun Gong remains unabated today.
The following is the list of Falun Gong practitioners wrongfully sentenced by the Linghai City Court since 2020.
Mr. Liu Wansheng was arrested on April 23, 2020, for talking to people about Falun Gong at a bus station. The Linghai City Court held a video conference trial at the Jinzhou City Detention Center on September 4, 2020. The court sentenced him to six years in prison with 10,000 yuan fine, on September 30. He has been taken to the prison on March 19, 2021.
Mr. Li Kai, 56, was arrested on December 16, 2020, for distributing informational materials about Falun Gong. The police ransacked his home afterward.
Police handed Mr. Li’s case to the Linghai City Procuratorate on February 23. Prosecutor Zhou Lili indicted him on March 5, without sharing the documents with his lawyer who repeatedly requested to discuss the case with her.
The Linghai City Court tried Mr. Li on April 14. The judge sentenced him to six years in prison with a 10,000 yuan fine on May 24. Mr. Li appealed, but the Jinzhou Intermediate Court ruled to uphold the original verdict.
Mr. Zhou Yonglin, 69 and Ms. Sun Jiping, 68, were seized by the police at a community fair on January 20, 2021.
Ms. Sun’s blood disorder that had been cured through practicing Falun Gong a few years prior recurred while she was held in custody. She lost consciousness and was hospitalized for a blood transfusion. Her hemoglobin quickly dropped to 5 g/dL, much lower than the normal level of between 12.0 and 15.5 g/dL, which also caused systemic edema in her. The authorities rejected her family’s request for medical parole for her.
Despite Ms. Sun’s condition, Linghai City Court held the trial via video conference on March 15 and made her and her husband stand during the entire session. None of the couple’s family members was allowed to attend the hearing. On the same day, Judge Xi Bing sentenced both Ms. Sun and Mr. Zhou to five years in prison with a 10,000 yuan fine. The judge refused to provide copies of the couple’s verdicts to the family’s lawyer.
The couple appealed with the Jinzhou City Intermediate Court, which ruled on March 26 to uphold their original verdicts.
Police arrested Ms. Su Xiumin and Ms. Li Qiulian, who happened to be visiting Ms. Su, on July 7, 2020. Both practitioners were held at the Jinzhou City Women’s Detention Center and denied family visits.
The Linghai City Court secretly tried them without informing their families and later sentenced each woman to three years in prison. Only shortly before the practitioners were taken to Liaoning Women’s Prison on July 22, did the court inform their families through text messages of their prison terms.
Ms. Chen Xiujie and Ms. Zhang Guiqiu were arrested on February 12, 2020 while reading Falun Gong’s book together. The police also ransacked their homes. Police released Ms. Zhang on the same day, but didn’t release Ms. Chen until the next day after her family paid 10,000 yuan bail bond.
In the meantime, police sent their cases to the procuratorate. Police arrested Ms. Zhang again in September 2020. The Linghai City Court sentenced her to one year in prison.
Police also arrested Ms. Chen on October 14, 2020. Linghai City Court tried her on January 21 and sentenced her to eighteen months in prison.
Police broke into Ms. Bai Shaoping’s home on April 26, 2020. They arrested her, her younger sister Ms. Bai Shaojie, and Shaojie’s five-year-old granddaughter. The sisters were released on bail at around 9 p.m.
The Linghai City Procuratorate asked the two sisters to go to the office to answer questions on March 1. Prosecutors told them that they were indicted. Prosecutors transferred their cases to the Linghai City Court on March 8. In the evening, the police told the sisters’ families to bring them to the police station the next morning. Ms. Bai Shaojie went there, only to be arrested on the spot and taken to the Jinzhou City Women’s Detention Center. Her family later found out that Linghai City Court sentenced her to two years in prison.
Cases of Practitioners Facing Prison Sentences
Ms. Sun Lijuan was arrested at home on April 25, 2021. The police in Jiaozuo City, Henan Province discovered that she posted information about Falun Gong on social media platform WeChat and then informed the police in Jinzhou. The two cities are almost 1,000 miles apart.
Linghai City Procuratorate approved the arrest on June 4 and accepted her case on August 2. Prosecutor indicted her and moved her case to Linghai City Court on September 2.
Ms. Wang Ruifeng was first arrested on April 2, 2021, while distributing informational materials about Falun Gong. The police held her at the Jinzhou City Detention Center for over ten days before releasing her.
After Ms. Wang returned home, she noticed that some officers were stationed outside of her home. She realized that the police likely released her in an attempt to arrest other practitioners who had contact with her.
She was arrested again on May 12. Police submitted her case to the Linghai City Procuratorate on May 18.
Ms. Zhang Xiulan was arrested on July 9, 2021 and has been under police’s custody since. Her family learned that she developed systemic edema and applied for her to be released on bail, but police rejected the request.
The police submitted her case to the Linghai City Procuratorate in mid-September 2021.
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