Yunnan Man Imprisoned After His Appeal Against Six-Year Term Rejected
(Minghui.org) A 54-year-old Kunming City, Yunnan Province resident was sent to the Yunnan Province No. 1 Prison on June 21, 2020, after his appeal against a six-year term for his faith in Falun Gong was rejected by the Kunming City Intermediate Court.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is an ancient spiritual and meditation discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.
Mr. Li Wenbo was arrested on August 23, 2019 after being reported for doing the Falun Gong exercises in public. The police ransacked both his and his mother’s homes and confiscated many of their belongings. Mr. Li was handcuffed and shackled, dragged out of the police car, and thrown to the ground when the police took him to his mother’s home for the search. He was detained at the Jinning County Detention Center after his arrest.
Mr. Li was tried by the Xishan District Court on December 18, 2019. Four of his family members were allowed to attend the hearing. The judge sentenced him to a six-year prison term shortly after. The six-year sentence was arrived at after considering a prior five-year sentence issued in 2019 that Mr. Li was still appealing and hadn’t yet served.
Sentenced to Five Years in 2019
Mr. Li wrote two letters to the authorities in January and February 2018, respectively, requesting the removal of propaganda posters against Falun Gong displayed in his neighborhood and the return of the 10,000 yuan fine levied against him for his faith.
Instead of seeing his requests addressed, Mr. Li was arrested on May 17, 2018 and sent to Jinning Detention Center. He developed a gastrointestinal hemorrhage, perforation of hollow organs, intestinal obstruction, and severe anemia after nearly six months of detention, and was released on bail on November 2, 2018.
He appeared in Xishan District Court on May 23, 2019. The presiding judge, Deng Rui, said to his lawyer before the hearing that only five of his family members were allowed to attend the session. Judge Deng ordered prosecutor Kuang Judan to read Mr. Li’s letters during the hearing. Kuang only read half of one letter and refused to continue, despite the demand from the judge.
Judge Deng sentenced Mr. Li to five years in July 2019. In the verdict, the judge didn’t mention anything about the content of the letters, but detailed how Mr. Li submitted the letters to the authorities.
Mr. Li remained on bail after the sentencing. He filed an appeal, and was still awaiting the result when he was arrested again on August 23, 2019.
Following his latest arrest, the Xishan District Court gave Mr. Li six years, which included the five-year prior sentence that he hadn't served. He filed an appeal with the Kunming City Intermediate Court, which soon ruled to reject his appeal.
Forced Labor and First Prison Sentence
Prior to his latest term, Mr. Li was given three years of forced labor in 2005. He suffered reduced vision, lost six teeth, and had an eight-inch-long scar on his left leg, as a result of abuse at the Yunnan Province No. 2 Forced Labor Camp. His term was extended by three months because of his unwavering faith.
He was arrested again only one year after he was released, and sentenced to five years in prison in 2009. The guards beat, verbally abused, and hung him up by his handcuffs. He developed inflammation and ulcer in the esophagus, as well as a severe stomach problem.