(Minghui.org) Seven Falun Gong practitioners were illegally arrested on June 27, 2013 by the 610 Office in Nanyang City, Henan Province. Five of them have been unlawfully sentenced to prison and two have been released. The following is an update on their cases.

Mr. Zhang Zewen was sentenced to seven years in prison by Neixiang County Court on September 18, 2013. Mr. Zhang, his family members and the defense lawyer appealed the unlawful verdict. However, Nanyang City Intermediate Court obstructed the second trial in every possible way, including twice changing the date for the trial, postponing the proceedings so that the prosecutor could “collect more evidence” (which by law should not be allowed for a second trial). The second trial was finally held on March 14, 2014 by Nanyang City Intermediate Court at Neixiang County Court.

On the day of the trial, personnel from Neixiang County 610 Office and police from the Domestic Security Division strictly checked every person who was allowed to sit in the courtroom, including the defense lawyer. Despite his lawyer's sound arguments for his acquittal, the court rejected the appeal and sustained the original sentence of seven years in prison. Mr. Zhang Zewen was transferred to Xinmin Prison in Henan Province on June 17, 2014.

Related article: Absurd Second Trial: Prosecutor Granted Postponement of Initial Trial to Collect More Evidence

Ms. Wang Xiuyun was unlawfully put on trial on March 18, 2014 at Wolong District Court. Although her lawyer made a plausible defense of Ms. Wang's innocence, she was sentenced to five years in prison. She has since filed an appeal.

Related article: Ms. Wang Xiuyun Put on Trial—Judge Repeatedly Interrupts the Defense

Mr. Chen Fengming was unlawfully put through a closed trial on February 25, 2014 at Zhenping County Court. No family members or others were allowed in the courtroom for “privacy” reasons. He was unlawfully sentenced to four years in prison despite a strong defense of his innocence by his lawyer. He has since lodged an appeal.

Ms. Pan Dongmei was put through a secret trial at Wolong District Court on February 25, 2014. Her family members were not notified of the trial, so no one was present in the courtroom and no one was there to defend her. She was sentenced to three years in prison. She has since lodged an appeal.

Mr. Lu Hongcheng was put through a closed trial on November 20, 2013 at Wancheng District Court. His family members were not notified of the trial and therefore no one was present in the courtroom. The trial was hastily wrapped up in less than ten minutes and he was sentenced to seven years in prison. He appealed the verdict and his defense lawyer also appealed on his behalf to authorities at various levels. In early August 2014, Nanyang City Intermediate Court made a decision: Remand the case back to Wangcheng District Court for a new trial. The case file has now been returned to Wancheng District Court.

Mr. Sun Furong was unlawfully put through a closed trial at Wancheng District Court on November 20, 2013. He was granted bail and returned home.

Mr. Liu Qingyuan was “investigated” three times after he was arrested, and his case was returned to the police three times. Still, the police refused to release him. His family members and his defense lawyer demanded his release numerous times. He was finally released after being detained for over eight months and extorted 3000 yuan.