(Minghui.org) Four Qufu City, Shandong Province residents who were arrested during a private gathering a year ago, were sentenced to prison for their shared faith in Falun Gong, a mind-body discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.

Ms. Huang Chunling, Mr. Zhao Genfa, and his wife Ms. Qiao Huarong, were arrested on September 24, 2019, moments after they visited another practitioner, Ms. Liu Honglan. The police accused the four of having an illegal assembly. One officer took Mr. Zhao’s home key while searching his bag and then ransacked the couple’s home when no one was present. Their Falun Gong books, cellphones, laptop computers, and some flash-drives were confiscated.

Mr. Zhao was sent to the Qufu City Detention Center the next day, while the three female practitioners were held at the Jining City Detention Center. Their arrests were approved by the Qufu City Procuratorate on November 1.

The four practitioners were tried by the Rencheng District Court through a video conference on October 20, 2020. The judge sentenced them two days later. Mr. Zhao was given a three-and-a-half year prison sentence and he is appealing the verdict; Ms. Huang and Ms. Liu were each sentenced to three years and three months; Ms. Qiao was given three years.