(Minghui.org) The judicial branch of the Chinese Communist Party has sentenced thousands of elderly Falun Gong practitioners to prison and forced labor camps. The following are a few examples.

Yu Changxin, a former China Air Force pilot; senior Air Force Command College instructor; well-known university professor, and deputy in the Military Corps, was sentenced to 17 years in prison for refusing to renounce his belief in Falun Gong (also known as Falun Dafa).

In 2014, Xiong Huifeng, 80, a former vice director of the 8358 Institute of Aerospace Ministry; university professor, and director of the Chinese Aerospace Society, was sentenced to seven and a half years in prison for practicing Falun Gong.

His wife, Liu Yuanjie, a senior engineer at the 8358 Institute, received many awards for her outstanding contributions to missile research. She later became emaciated and severely depressed, due to her husband's imprisonment and ongoing police harassment. She passed away on March 3, 2015.

In 1999, Dafa practitioner Liu Dianyuan, from Lingyuan City, Liaoning Province, was forced into homelessness for four and a half years to avoid being persecuted for his spiritual beliefs. He was later imprisoned for seven years for clarifying the truth.

In November 2015, when Mr. Liu was 79 years old, he was arrested and sentenced to 11 and a half years in prison. His wife, Liu Yufang, 61, was sentenced to three years in a forced labor camp. She was later arrested and imprisoned for four more years.

Zhao Meizhen, a practitioner from Xinxiang City, Henan Province, was arrested on October 24, 2016. The Xinxiang Detention Center refused to accept the nearly 80-year-old woman, due to her high blood pressure.

However, the Xinxiang Procuratorate overturned the detention center's decision saying, “Send her straight to prison! Her four-year prison term starts today and ends in 2020!” She is currently being held in the Number 5 Prison in Henan City. Her family is not allowed to visit her.

Zhao Xiaolu, from Zhangjiakou City, Hebei Province, worked as a reporter for the Zhangjiakou TV Broadcasting Bureau. She had been detained, imprisoned, and forced to attend brainwashing sessions on numerous occasions. She was recently sentenced to four years in prison.

According to Minghui.org, there has been a steady increase in the number of elderly Dafa practitioners being detained and imprisoned in China.

As of August 28, 2017, it was reported that approximately 270 practitioners were being detained in the Heilongjiang Women's Prison, half of them being over 60 years old, with the eldest being 77.