(Minghui.org) A married couple in Changchun City, Jilin Province were recently sentenced to prison. Mr. Yu Chunbo was given three and a half years. Ms. Li Fengxia was sentenced to one year and three months. She is scheduled to be released on February 12, 2022.
Mr. Yu and Ms. Li ran a breakfast stand to support their daughter to attend a high school. They were arrested on November 12, 2020, for Mr. Yu’s faith in Falun Gong, a mind-body practice that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999. He has since been held at the Changchun City No. 2 Detention Center and Ms. Li at the Changchun City No. 4 Detention Center.
The couple made two appearances in Chaoyang District Court, first on May 24 and then around September 12, 2021. The presiding judge, Wang Yanan, didn’t inform their family or lawyer of the first hearing, which was conducted through a video conference. She rushed through the session in five minutes and didn’t allow the couple to defend themselves.
Although judge Wang indicated that there wasn’t enough evidence to sentence the couple at the second hearing, she refused to acquit them and extended the time for the police to collect more evidence against them.
Mr. Yu’s 70-year-old father frequented different government agencies, including the police station and procuratorate, to seek the couple’s release, but to no avail. At the same time, Ms. Yu’s mother suffered a critical medical condition and became incapacitated and incontinent. The couple’s teenage daughter is struggling to fend for herself with both of her parents detained.
Mr. Yu developed a medical condition and has been hospitalized twice. He had difficulty eating and his weight quickly plummeted.
This isn’t the first time that Mr. Yu has been targeted for his faith. He was previously arrested in 2000 and given two years at the Chaoyanggou Forced Labor Camp.
While he was serving time, his younger brother, Mr. Yu Chunhai, was also arrested for practicing Falun Gong and incarcerated at the same labor camp. The torture and intensive labor took a toll on the younger Mr. Yu’s health. He struggled with poor health for three years after his release and passed away on January 21, 2007, at the age of 32.