(Minghui.org) Ten Nong’an County, Jilin Province residents were given up to ten years in prison on July 26, 2021 for practicing Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.

Ms. Zhang Xiuzhi, 64, was sentenced to 10 years.Ms. Gao Xiaoqi, 56, was sentenced to 9 years.Ms. Cai Yuying, 66, was sentenced to 9 years.Ms. Wu Dongmei, 50, was sentenced to 7 years.Ms. Yu Jiaoru (Ms. Cai’s daughter), 34, was sentenced to 6 years.Mr. Shan Weihe was sentenced to 6 years.Ms. Zhao Xiulan, 67, was sentenced to 5 years.Ms. Sun Xiuying, 68, was sentenced to 4 years.Mr. Zhang Jingyuan was sentenced to 2 years.Ms. Sun Fengxian, 65, was sentenced to 2 years.

Three more practitioners, Mr. Feng Liqi, Mr. Lu Xiangfu, and Ms. Dong Xiuhui, are still awaiting verdicts.

The 13 practitioners were arrested in a police sweep on July 15, 2020, days before the 21st anniversary of the persecution of Falun Gong on July 20 and Party leader Xi Jinping’s scheduled visit to the region on July 23. Two other practitioners were also arrested on the same day, including Mr. Jiang Quande (Ms. Sun Xiuying’s husband), who passed away one month after being released in early August 2020, and Ms. Ren Yongping (Mr. Zhang’s wife), who was released on March 4, 2021 after being cleared of prosecution.

Most female practitioners were held at the Changchun City No. 4 Detention Center, and male practitioners were detained at the Dehui City Detention Center.

Ma Yanfeng, secretary of the Political and Legal Affairs Committee (PLAC) in Changchun (the municipality region overseeing Nong’an County); Zhang Kainan, the Nong’an County PLAC secretary; and Li Xingtao, the head of Nong’an County Police Department, ordered the arrests.

In the persecution of Falun Gong, the PLAC, an extrajudicial agency overseeing state security and judiciary branches, has played a central role in making and executing persecution policies.

In late October 2020, the police submitted the practitioners’ case to the Dehui City Procuratorate. Prosecutors Teng Jikun and Wang Zhiqing were in charge of their case.

Eight of the practitioners, including Mr. Zhang, Ms. Gao, Ms. Zhao, Ms. Sun Fengxian, Ms. Cai, Ms. Yu, Ms. Sun Xiuying, and Mr. Shan, stood trial at the Dehui City Court on April 9, 2021. The practitioners’ lawyers were barred from defending them in court. Only one family member for each practitioner was allowed to attend the hearing, on the condition that they provided letters showing that they don’t practice Falun Gong themselves.

Among them, only Mr. Zhang’s father attended the hearing after he got the letter at his local police station. All other practitioners’ family members and lawyers were blocked outside of the courtroom. The presiding judge, Wang Rongfu, still claimed that he was having an open hearing.

During the hearing, the eight practitioners refused to accept court-appointed lawyers, who were instructed to enter guilty pleas for them. After their requests to be represented by their own lawyers were rejected by judge Wang, who ridiculed that the practitioners didn’t have such rights, the practitioners acted as their own lawyers and they all pleaded not guilty.

Two weeks later, on April 20, 2021, another four practitioners, including Ms. Zhang, Mr. Lu, Mr. Feng, and Ms. Dong, were tried online by the Dehui City Court.

It’s not clear when Ms. Wu was tried.

Ms. Wu’s arrest came only ten days after her husband, Mr. Zhao Dazhi, passed away. Her oldest daughter had just graduated from college and now struggles to take care of her two younger siblings.

Related reports:

Elementary School Teacher Tried for His Faith after Nine Months in Custody

Filial Daughter Awaits Verdict for Her Faith

Arrested in a Police Sweep, Eight Jilin Residents Tried for Their Faith

Nong’an County, Jilin Province: 11 Arrested and 1 Harassed in 24 Hours

Fourteen Falun Gong Practitioners Targeted in Group Arrests in Jilin Province Remain in Custody

Father Dies 1.5 Months After His Arrest, Son Writes Letter Seeking Justice for Mother Facing Trial for Her Faith

Once Imprisoned for 11 Years, Jilin Man Dies a Month and a Half after Latest Arrest for His Faith

Chinese version available

Category: Accounts of Persecution