(Minghui.org) When Ms. Liu Chunlan and Ms. Liu Shaojun’s families went to Fushun City Intermediate Court on April 22, 2019 to submit their motions to reconsider the prison sentences given to their loved ones, the judge threw the paper back at them after a quick glance and then left.

Both women, from Fushun City, Liaoning Province, were arrested one year ago for not renouncing their faith in Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.

While their families sought their release, they were given the runaround between the police and the Domestic Security Division, as neither agency wanted to take responsibility for arresting the two women.

The police later submitted their cases to Wanghua District Procuratorate, which then forwarded it to Wanghua District Court with the charge of “undermining law enforcement using a cult organization,” a standard pretext used by the communist authorities to criminalize Falun Gong practitioners.

Wanghua District Court tried the two practitioners on September 18, 2018. Their lawyers entered a not guilty plea for them and argued that their clients didn’t violate any law by practicing Falun Gong, nor had they obstructed any law enforcement by doing the meditation and following the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance in their daily lives.

Both practitioners denied the allegations against them. They also testified in their own defense and argued that it was their constitutional rights and freedom of belief to practice Falun Gong.

The judge sentenced both of them to 2.5 years in prison, with a 5,000-yuan fine, in December 2018.

The practitioners appealed the verdicts with Fushun City Intermediate Court, which ruled to uphold the sentences shortly afterwards.

The practitioners’ families returned to the intermediate court in April 2019 to submit their motion to reconsider their cases, but were met with blunt rejection from the judge.

They vowed to continue seeking justice for their loved ones.

Related reports:

Fushun City, Liaoning Province: 4 Sentenced for Their Faith 9 Months after Group Arrest

Falun Gong Practitioners Strip-searched and Have Blood Drawn at Jianshe Police Station

85-Year-Old Ailing Mother Calls for Release of Daughter Awaiting Prison Sentence for Her Faith