Hebei Woman Appeals Four Year Sentence for Speaking Out for Her Faith
(Minghui.org) A Qinhuangdao City, Hebei Province resident is appealing a wrongful four-year prison sentence for raising awareness about the persecution of her faith, Falun Gong.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.
Ms. Peng Xiuli, 53, was arrested on November 3, 2018 after being reported for talking to people about Falun Gong and passing out calendars with information about it.
The police ransacked her home while no one was around. Her Falun Gong books and computer were confiscated. The more than 10,000 yuan in cash that she kept at home was also missing after the home-ransacking.
Ms. Peng's arrest caused tremendous mental distress to her father. He passed away five days later. She was not allowed to attend his funeral.
Ms. Peng appeared in Changli County Court on July 17, 2019. Her lawyer entered a not guilty plea for her.
Her lawyer argued that no law criminalizes Falun Gong in China and it's her freedom of belief and expression to practice Falun Gong and tell people about it.
Ms. Peng was charged with “undermining law enforcement with a cult organization,” a standard pretext used by the authorities to frame Falun Gong practitioners. The lawyer countered that the prosecutor failed to provide any evidence about what law enforcement was undermined and how.
The judge frequently interrupted the lawyer's defense and threatened to remove him from the courtroom.
The judge sentenced Ms. Peng to four years in prison with a fine on August 27, 2019.
Taking Up Falun Gong
Ms. Peng used to suffer from infertility and couldn't get pregnant for 12 years after getting married. After she heard reciting the words “Falun Dafa is good” brings people good fortune, she tried it and became pregnant soon.
After giving birth to her child, she experienced some health issues. Having witnessed the healing power of Falun Gong, she learned the practice and her health soon recovered.
She lives by Falun Gong's principles of “Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance” and became much happier, more positive and compassionate.
It has been almost a year since she was arrested. With her father having passed away, her mother, who is blind and in her 80s, is left in deep agony and struggles to care for herself. Ms. Peng's child is also under tremendous pressure.
Her family is calling for her release.