(Clearwisdom.net) Around the time of the Olympics, the Chinese Communist regime used "social stability" as an excuse to arrest four Falun Gong practitioners from Shenbei New District, Shenyang City, Liaoning Province. These practitioners were Mr. Xi Changhai, Ms. Wang Shumei, Mr. Sun Yushu, and Mr. Huo Defu. On December 1-9, 2008, Shenbei District Court held two hearings and sentenced the four practitioners to very heavy penalties.

A Few Words from the Head of the 610 Office Determines Everything in the Court

Ms. Wang Shumei from Yinjia Township was the first practitioner to be tried. According to several court personnel who participated in the hearing, the court has no power in determining how many years practitioners are sentenced to--it is all up to the head of the 610 Office.

The previous head of the Shenbei New District 610 Office was Dong Shuliang. Because he made "contributions" in persecuting Falun Gong practitioners, he was promoted to deputy secretary. The new 610 Office head is Sun Yonggang. He previously held an office in the Puhe District Management Committee, and back then he expended great effort in persecuting local practitioners. Ms. Wang insisted that by following the principle of Truthfulness-Compassion- Forbearance, she did not do anything wrong, and she asked to be released immediately. This made Sun Yonggang very angry. He had just taken office and wanted to demonstrate his dedication to his superiors. He yelled, "I will have you sentenced to ten years!" That's all it took--one sentence spoken by 610 Office head Sun Yonggang for Ms. Wang Shumei to be sentenced to ten years.

Ms. Wang is from the countryside in Guangrong Village, Yinjia Township. All the villagers said that her kindness was very hard to match. Her husband left her and went away with another woman, but Ms. Wang didn't complain to her elderly mother-in-law at all, and took care of her as usual.

Judges Don't Allow Falun Gong Practitioners to Defend Themselves

At 9:00 a.m. on December 1, 2008, Shenbei New District Court tried three practitioners from Cailuo Town, including Mr. Sun Yushu, Mr. Huo Defu, and Mr. Xi Changhai. The court didn't notify their families until two hours before the trial.

At the courthouse, Mr. Xi's wife and son, Mr. Huo's wife, and other relatives finally got to see the three practitioners, who had been under arrest for several months. All the relatives were stunned by what they saw. Mr. Xi, who was big and tall before his arrest, was very thin. Mr. Sun and Mr. Huo both seemed mentally disordered. Their eyes were unfocused, and they had blank looks on their faces.

Judge Zou Donghui didn't allow the practitioners to defend themselves at all. He only let them answer "yes" or "no." Once the session was hurriedly concluded, the three were taken away immediately and their families were not allowed to approach them.

According to insiders, the four practitioners--Mr. Xi, Mr. Sun, Mr. Huo, and Ms. Wang--were tortured and were forced to "confess," and the police deprived them of food and sleep. Before the trial, Mr. Sun was not allowed to sleep for two days in order to be sure that he would not yell "Falun Dafa is good" in the court.

For these several months, in order to get the four practitioners released as soon as possible, their families traveled from one police station to another and to the detention centers and other departments. They asked many people to help, but every department said the same thing, "Falun Gong cases belong to the 610 Office. We (public security, Procuratorate, the court) can decide nothing."

On December 9, 2008, the court announced that Mr. Xi was sentenced to 11 years in prison, Mr. Sun 8 years, and Mr. Huo 6 years. This was totally unacceptable to their families and they were determined to appeal. When they asked the court personnel, "Why was Mr. Xi sentenced to 11 years?" the answer was, "Wang was sentenced to 10 years. Xi is their head, so a year was added."

Mr. Xi, Mr. Sun, and Mr. Huo are all from Cailuo Town. Mr. Xi is a retired elementary school teacher, and Mr. Sun and Mr. Huo are villagers from Daxinsan Village.

It has been ten years since the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) first began persecuting Falun Gong and Falun Gong practitioners. These four practitioners and their families have been enduring this unjust persecution for all this time. This is the third time that Mr. Xi has been put in jail. Mr. Xi and his family have been persecuted many times. Soon after July 20, 1999 (the day the CCP began suppressing Falun Gong), Mr. Xi's son, who had just begun practicing Falun Gong, went to the provincial government to appeal for Falun Gong. There, he was brutally beaten by police, and when he returned, he was fired from his job. He was abused both physically and mentally. In late 2000, Mr. Xi was put into a forced labor camp because he handed out Falun Gong fliers, and his son became desperate and completely collapsed. He developed a mental illness and left home. Mr. Xi's wife had to handle all of this by herself.

Unreasonable Judgment Handed Down in the Shenbei District in 2008

In the past few days, news of the heavy sentences given the four practitioners has spread and is being discussed widely. People are shocked and feel the decisions were totally unjust.

According to insiders, the 610 Office and the judicial branches (public security, Procuratorate, and court) completely disagreed with each other on this case. A directorate level official from a judicial branch suggested that these people be released as early as possible, and this was also the opinion of most of the officials in the judicial branches. However, the 610 Office insisted on giving these people long sentences. The Shenbei New District 610 Office is responsible for this "most unreasonable judgment handed down in the Shenbei New District in 2008. The people primarily responsible are district 610 Office head Sun Yonggang, ex-secretary of the Politics and Law Committee Dong Shuliang, and Shenbei New District Police Department director Qin Hua. These unreasonable sentences were essentially the product of 610 Office manipulation of the judicial branches.