(Minghui.org) The appeals of three Jixi City, Heilongjiang Province residents against wrongful terms for their faith in Falun Gong were turned down by the higher court. Two of them, who were sentenced to nine and four years, were taken to prison. The third practitioner’s situation isn’t clear.

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

Mr. Zhou Keming, Ms. Teng Shuli, and Mr. Bao Wanming were arrested on October 12, 2020 for distributing informational materials about Falun Gong. They appeared in the Jidong County Court on April 23, 2021, through a video conference. Only Mr. Bao was represented by a lawyer, who entered a not guilty plea for him. The other two acted as their own lawyers and also pleaded not guilty. The judge and prosecutor constantly interrupted their defense.

The judge announced the verdicts of the practitioners on June 2, 2021. Mr. Bao, 50, was sentenced to nine years in prison and fined 100,000 yuan. Ms. Teng, 51, was sentenced to seven years and fined 80,000 yuan. Mr. Zhou, 53, was given four years with a 50,000 yuan fine. All three practitioners appealed the verdicts with the Jixi City Intermediate Court, which ruled to uphold the original sentences.

Both Mr. Bao and Mr. Zhou were taken to the Hulan Prison on October 19, 2021. Ms. Teng’s situation isn’t clear.

Prior to his latest term, Mr. Zhou has served another four-year term for practicing Falun Gong and barely survived the torture in prison.

Mr. Zhou was arrested on November 2, 2002 and taken to the Jixi City No. 1 Detention Center after two days at the police station. He was confined in a 300 square foot room with over 40 other detainees. The food quality was very poor. The guards forced him to take cold showers in the winter with open windows in the bathroom. He was forced to sit on a small stool all day long and his restroom use was restricted. The guards sometimes forced him to do unpaid work in the evening.

The Jiguan District Court sentenced Mr. Zhou to a four-year prison term in October 2003. He was first held at the Hada Prison, before being transferred to the Jixi Prison, and later Mudanjiang Prison.

At the Mudanjiang Prison, he was forced to work from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. The guards often beat him and shocked him with electric batons, as he refused to renounce Falun Gong. Due to the intensive labor and torture, he developed blood in his stools and had difficulty walking.

Related report:

Three Heilongjiang Residents Sentenced for Distributing Information About Their Faith