78-Year-Old Man Sent Back to Prison Three Years After Being Sentenced for Sending Text Messages About Falun Gong
(Minghui.org) A man on parole was recently sent back to prison after he was found talking to people about his faith, for which he had been sentenced to prison almost three years ago.
Mr. Ma Weishan, 78, was arrested on April 22, 2014 for sending group text messages about Falun Gong, a mind-body practice being persecuted by the Chinese communist regime. He was sentenced to a five-year prison term by the Sanhe City Court on November 5, 2015. The Langfang City Intermediate Court upheld the verdict on May 13, 2016.
The Sanhe City resident was later released on parole, but was taken back into custody on September 28, 2018 while talking to people about Falun Gong at a farmers' market. Officers from the Xicheng Police Station kept him at a detention center for a few days before sending him to Jidong Second Prison in early October to serve out his prison term.
Arrested and Sentenced for Sending Text Messages
Mr. Ma was previously a village official and manager of a private business firm. He was arrested on April 22, 2014 along with three other Falun Gong practitioners, including Mr. Kang Jingtai (a physician), Mr. Wang Zhanqing (an art teacher), and Ms. Wen Jie (a middle school teacher). They were targeted for sending group text messages about Falun Gong.
The four practitioners were sent to a brainwashing center in Langfang City in May 2014, where they were held for two months. They were charged in December 2014.
Under pressure from the 610 Office, a hearing was held for the practitioners on June 19, 2015. A second hearing took place about two weeks later, on July 2. About one minute into the hearing, the presiding judge called for a recess as Mr. Wen suddenly felt unwell.
When the hearing resumed, one of the lawyers, Wang Yu, questioned why the judge did not issue advance notice of the trial date, as required by law. The judge ordered bailiffs to drag her all the way from the third floor to the first floor and toss her out to the street. Ms. Wang's right arm was injured as a result, and she was later arrested for “contempt of court.”
A third hearing was held on August 7, 2015, but quickly ended, as Ms. Wen questioned why her lawyer, Ms. Wang, wasn't notified of the hearing.
During the fourth hearing on August 18, the practitioners and their attorneys reiterated the illegality of the persecution of Falun Gong and demanded acquittal of the practitioners.
After another hearing for Ms. Wen on September 9, the Sanhe City Court sentenced all four practitioners to imprisonment on November 5, 2015. Mr. Ma and Ms. Wen were each sentenced to five years. Mr. Wang received 6 years, while Mr. Kang was given three years with three years of probation.
All of the practitioners appealed, and the Langfang Intermediate Court upheld the verdict on May 13, 2016.
Key Responsible Personnel:
Li Zhanjiang: director of Xicheng Police Station, +86-13832639808