(Minghui.org) Eleven Qishan County, Shaanxi Province, residents were arrested in July 2019 for their faith in Falun Gong. Ms. Zhang Duocai was later cleared. Ms. Song Hongqi's case status remains to be investigated. The remaining nine practitioners were tried on August 18, 2020, five of them fined by the court in mid-November 2020.
Ms. Wang Ruiqin, Ms. Wang Yalan, Ms. Xu Mingxia, Ms. Jiao Binglan, Ms. Cao Luxia, Ms. Wang Huihui, Mr. Zhang Duocai, and Mr. Shao Qihu were studying the Falun Gong teachings in Ms. Li Huiqin’s home on July 10, 2019, when more than 30 police officers broke in and arrested all nine of them. Most of the practitioners were in their 60s and 70s.
Another practitioner, Ms. Song Hongqi, had stopped by Ms. Li's home earlier to drop off some home-grown fruit but didn’t stay to read. She left before the police came but was arrested on her way home.
Mr. Shen Hongqi, an appliance repair shop owner, was arrested on July 22, 2019.
The ten practitioners arrested on July 10 were held and interrogated in a hotel for over ten days. Mr. Shen, who was arrested later, was restrained on a metal chair and interrogated for four days. According to people familiar with the case, the Qishan County Police Department has a long-term lease with the hotel for arbitrary detention and interrogation of Falun Gong practitioners. Several people have reported seeing torture instruments inside.
Ms. Li, Ms. Wang Ruiqin, Mr. Sao, and Mr. Zhang were released on bail. Ms. Zhang was later cleared of any involvement.
Ms. Wang Yalan and Ms. Wang Huihui were taken to Baoji Detention Center. Both were later released on bail.
Ms. Cao and Ms. Song were taken to the Fufeng County Detention Center. Ms. Cao was soon released due to a health condition and Ms. Song was released a month later. The status of Ms. Song’s case is unclear.
Ms. Xu, Ms. Jiao, and Mr. Shen remain in custody.
Mr. Shen, Ms. Xu, Ms. Jiao, Ms. Wang Yalan, Ms. Wang Huihui, Ms. Wang Ruiqin, Ms. Li, Mr. Shao, and Ms. Cao appeared in the Qishan County Court on August 18, 2020.
Mr. Shen and Ms. Xu’s lawyers entered not guilty plea for them. Ms. Jiao acted as her own lawyer and defended her innocence. The other six practitioners were represented by court-appointed lawyers who pleaded guilty on their behalf.
In November, the court announced that Ms. Li was fined 5,000 yuan; Ms. Wang Ruiqin, Ms. Cao, and Mr. Shao were each fined 4,000 yuan; and Ms. Wang Huihui was fined 2,000 yuan. The court said their verdicts would be delivered to them shortly.