(Minghui.org) An appeals court judge in Jingmen City upheld the guilty verdicts of two locals sentenced to prison for their faith. He also refused to grant medical parole to one of them, who is emaciated and in precarious condition after 21 months of detention.

Mr. Peng Yaxin, around 40, and Ms. Zhang Guangjie, around 50, were arrested on March 13, 2016, and tried six months later on September 23 for their efforts to raise awareness of the Chinese communist regime’s persecution of Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline based on the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.

Judge Cao Sichong admitted to the defense lawyers that there was no legal basis on which to charge Mr. Peng and Ms. Zhang for their faith, but he convicted the two Falun Gong practitioners more than a year later, around November 2017.

Ms. Zhang was sentenced to three years in prison and Mr. Peng to two years. Each of them was also fined 5,000 yuan. Judge Shui Shuang of Jingmen Intermediate Court ruled around December 19 to uphold the original verdicts. However, he has not issued a formal notice to the practitioners’ families as required by law.

Ms. Zhang is waiting to be transferred to Wuhan Women’s Prison. Mr. Peng, who has less than two months remaining of his term, remains at Shayang Detention Center.

Mr. Peng’s family was finally allowed to see him for the first time since his arrest, on December 27. They were shocked to see a gaunt figure walking towards them with a wobble. Once a healthy man, Mr. Peng, who stands at 5’7’’, now weighed only 90 pounds. He told his family that he could only keep down some liquid food.

Mr. Peng’s lawyer and family had filed multiple requests before to have him released on medical parole, but Judge Shui denied their request each time, saying that [Mr. Peng] looked pretty good to him.

Mr. Peng shared his frustration with his family and worried that even if his parole request was eventually approved, he probably would have finished his term by then.

Judge Shui: +86-7242635976

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