(Minghui.org) A 36-year-old Weifang City, Shandong Province resident was taken to Shandong Province Prison on September 22, 2022, to serve a seven-year term for his faith in Falun Gong. The judge handed down the lengthy term based on fabricated witness accounts and exaggerated numbers of confiscated items.

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

Mr. Gao Peng took up Falun Gong while a child. Since the onset of the persecution, both of his parents had been repeatedly arrested and detained for upholding their shared faith. When his father, Mr. Gao Guangcheng, was serving a ten-year term between 2009 and 2019, the authorities often came in the middle of the night to harass him and his mother, who later died in an accident.

Mr. Gao was reported for distributing Falun Gong informational materials in 2021. The police located him through surveillance cameras and arrested him on May 18. Gao Yuzhu, the deputy chief of Nanhao Police Station, and officer Cao Zhe beat him during the arrest. He was unable to stand on his own and was dragged into the police car.

Mr. Gao was interrogated for eight days at the police station. The police forced him to wear five masks soaked with spicy water. They also threatened to arrest his father and tried to create conflicts between him and his sister.

After the police submitted Mr. Gao’s case to the Qingzhou Procuratorate on August 13, his father hired a lawyer for him and mailed petition letters to various government agencies. The police attempted to stop him by pressuring his daughter to persuade him, but to no avail. 

On September 9, the day before Mr. Gao’s lawyer was about to visit him, the police arrested his father and ordered him to serve a 1.5-year term given in December 2020 for talking to people about Falun Gong, even though he was not required to serve the term back then due to his health condition. 

One day after his father’s arrest, the prosecutor indicted the younger Mr. Gao and moved his case to the Qingzhou Court. His lawyer was also forced to drop the case. 

During the two interviews the prosecutor had with Mr. Gao, he didn’t ask anything about his case, but ordered him to plead guilty. Mr. Gao refused to comply. 

When Mr. Gao’s family hired another lawyer for him, the presiding judge, Zheng Xuejun, intimidated the lawyer. During Mr. Gao’s virtual hearing on December 20, 2021, the prosecutor kept his microphone off during the entire time and Mr. Gao couldn’t hear anything he said through the broadcast. None of the alleged witnesses appeared in court to accept cross examination, nor did the prosecutor exhibit any evidence in court.

When the judge handed down the seven-year sentence with a 50,000-yuan fine, Mr. Gao noticed that the court got both his ID number and birthplace wrong.

Among the seven witness accounts submitted by the police, three of them were people who reported him. While they claimed that they saw someone wearing black distributing Falun Gong materials, Mr. Gao said he didn’t have any black clothes. 

Another three witnesses were Falun Gong practitioners. One of them passed away shortly after Mr. Gao was arrested, so his account couldn’t be verified. As for the other two practitioners, they denied having ever provided the alleged information to the police. 

The last witness was a practitioner’s family member, who was forced to read information fabricated by the police, after they threatened to arrest his entire family.

Mr. Gao also noticed inconsistencies in the numbers of confiscated items listed in the verdict, which stated that the police confiscated from his home 700 Falun Gong books, 1,400 Falun Gong flyers, 25 copies of sharing materials, 136 pieces of paper currency printed with information about Falun Gong, and 23 flash-drives. 

But Mr. Gao said the items confiscated by the police only included 49 Falun Gong books, one booklet, three flyers, 29 pieces of paper currency printed with information about Falun Gong, and three flash-drives. While the police claimed that he printed Falun Gong books at home, they didn’t find any tools he could have used to make the books.

Mr. Gao appealed with the Weifang City Intermediate Court, but judge Ran Qingsong ruled to uphold his original verdict.

Perpetrators’ contact information:

Wang Xiugang (王秀刚), secretary of Changle Political and Legal Affairs Committee: +86-18853606688Guo Zhiwei (郭志潍), head of Changle Police Department: +86-18653669886Ran Qingsong (冉青松), presiding judge of Weifang City Intermediate Court

(More perpetrators’ contact information is available in the original Chinese article.)

Related report:

Shandong Man Sentenced to Seven Years, Father Also Imprisoned for Their Shared Faith in Falun Gong