(Minghui.org) Four Jinan City, Shandong Province residents were secretly sentenced to prison for their faith in Falun Gong, a spiritual and meditation discipline that has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since 1999.

Mr. Yin Feng was sentenced to six years with a 10,000 yuan fine.Mr. Cheng Xijiang was sentenced to three years with a 6,000 yuan fine.Ms. Chen Lianmei was sentenced to two years and six months with a 5,000 yuan fine.Mr. Liu Xixiu was sentenced to two years and six months with three years probation and a 5,000 yuan fine.

Mr. Yin was first arrested on September 14, 2018 for seeking the release of his mother, who was arrested the day before for distributing Falun Gong informational materials. While the police released his mother, Mr. Yin himself was taken to the local detention center and forced to sign a statement renouncing Falun Gong. After he was released, the police monitored him and also extended the surveillance to the other practitioners who had contact with him.

The police arrested Mr. Qi Yingjun and his wife Ms. Chen Lianmei on July 16, 2019. According to the couple's neighbor, plainclothes officers appeared around their apartment building very early in the morning. The officers ransacked the couple's home, their shoe and hat store, as well as their warehouse. All of their Falun Gong books and related materials were confiscated.

On the same day, the police also arrested Mr. Yin and those who had contact with him, including Mr. Cheng Xijiang, Ms. Yin Xiaoxing (no relation to Mr. Yin), Ms. Wei Cuiqin, Mr. Liu Xixiu, and an elderly practitioner surnamed Wu.

Both Mr. Cheng and Mr. Liu had their Falun Gong books, Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party, computers, and printers confiscated.

Mr. Yin, Mr. Liu, Ms. Yin, and Ms. Wei were released on the afternoon of July 16. Mr. Yin paid a 5,000 yuan bail bond to the police. There is no follow-up information available regarding practitioner Wu, whose whereabouts and case status remain to be investigated.

Mr. Cheng, Mr. Qi, and Ms. Chen were first taken to the Jinan Railroad Detention Center and then transferred to the Laiwu Detention Center eleven days later. Mr. Qi developed some symptoms and didn’t pass the physical examination. He was later released on bail.

The police arrested Mr. Yin a third time on August 19, 2019 and took him to the Jinan No. 5 Detention Center. Two officers ransacked his home in the afternoon.

The Laiwu District Procuratorate indicted Mr. Yin, Mr. Cheng, Ms. Chen and Mr. Liu on January 13, 2020 and forwarded their cases to the Laiwu District Court.

Mr. Qi’s child filed an application with the Jinan City Procuratorate in February, demanding that the prosecutor dismiss the indictment against Ms. Chen and remove the bail condition of Mr. Qi. The prosecutor rejected the request.

The judge, Hao Fanyun, also refused to meet with the practitioners’ family members or accept their applications to defend their loved ones in court.

Mr. Yin, Mr. Cheng, Ms. Chen, and Mr. Liu appeared in court on September 1, 2020. Their lawyers entered a not guilty plea for them. Their family members who practice Falun Gong weren’t allowed to attend the hearing.

The practitioners’ families were informed by the lawyers on December 1 that their loved ones had been sentenced on November 24, but the families have yet to receive the formal verdicts from the court.

Related report:

Jinan City, Shandong Province: Eight Falun Gong Practitioners Arrested, Three Remain in Custody