(Minghui.org) Three Dongying City, Shandong Province residents were sentenced to prison on February 28, 2022 for their faith in Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.

Ms. Wang Xia was sentenced to three years and six months with a 25,000 yuan fine.Ms. Cui Guifen was sentenced to three years and three months with 20,000 yuan fine. Ms. Wang Muyi was sentenced to one year and six months with 10,000 yuan fine.

The three practitioners were arrested on November 21, 2020. Ms. Cui and Ms. Wang Muyi were held at the Dongying City Detention Center and Ms. Wang Xia was released on bail due to her health condition.

The police monitored the practitioners’ daily lives and tracked their locations for over six months before making the arrests. They charged the practitioners with talking to people about Falun Gong near their residences.

The Dongying District Court held two hearings on June 1 and September 26, 2021, respectively. The presiding judge, Yan Xiaohui, barred Ms. Cui’s family defender from representing her in both sessions, despite the family defender’s protest that no law criminalizes Falun Gong in China.

During the second hearing, Ms. Wang Muyi’s husband, who had just recovered from a major disease, wasn’t allowed to attend it. Ms. Cui’s daughter was removed from the court in the middle of the hearing.

Judge Yan ordered video meetings for both hearings without getting the practitioners’ consent, which caused much difficulties for the practitioners’ lawyers to defend them and for the practitioners to testify in their own defense during the show trial.

The three practitioners came from all walks of life. Ms. Wang Xia is a retired worker and has a cheerful personality. Ms. Cui lost her husband many years ago and she raised her daughter by herself. Ms. Wang Muyi is a kindergarten teacher and just got married a few years ago. Her imprisonment placed her husband under tremendous pressure.