(Minghui.org) Falun Gong practitioner Mr. Zhang Zhenxiang, 61, was tried in the Lingyuan City Court on May 17, 2017. He was sentenced to 18 months in prison and has since filed an appeal.

Since the Chinese government announced a new policy in May 2015 allowing people to file complaints directly with the Supreme People's Court and Procuratorate, over 200,000 Falun Gong practitioners and their families have filed criminal complaints against Jiang Zemin, the former head of the Chinese Communist Party, who instigated the persecution of Falun Gong in 1999.

Mr. Zhang also filed a complaint against Jiang, but the police began to harass him shortly after.

He was arrested by the head of the domestic security Zhang Liping and officers from the Chengguan Township Police Station on November 16, 2016. His home was ransacked, and he was taken to the Lingyuan City Detention Center on November 25.

Mr. Zhang did not give up his belief while in detention and refused to write a guarantee statement promising to give up Falun Gong.

Lingyuan City Procuratorate ratified his arrest, claiming that he had “obstructed justice using a cult organization.”

When Mr. Zhang was tried in the Lingyuan Court his lawyer argued that the investigators did not follow legal procedures when acquiring, filing, and submitting evidence. The lawyer also stated that there is no Chinese law that stipulates Falun Gong is a cult.